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Established in 1974

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When Projects Go Wrong – Four Things To Avoid!


Projects can and will go wrong! Some famous examples are:

  • Wembley Stadium – three completion deadlines were missed and the project was tens of millions of pounds over budget
  • The Diana Memorial – completed a year later than expected and two million pounds over budget


These show clearly that no matter how much money, time and experience is put into the planning of a project, it can still end up going wildly over budget and continuing well beyond the original deadlines for completion. The project manager’s job is about getting it back on track and below are four things to avoid if you want the project to turn out a success.

Avoid Panicking!

The worst response any project manager can give to their project starting to go off the rails is panic. Panicking hinders problem solving skills, sweeps through the ranks like wild-fire and leaves the project team jittery and unclear about what is required of them. So, before moving forward it is essential that the project manager takes a deep breath and regains a sense of calm. The project manager must project an air of confidence or their team will lose faith in their leadership skills. And, once this happens it is very difficult to regain it.

Avoid Losing Your Temper

Alongside keeping calm is keeping a firm hold of your temper. It may be tempting to shout as a means of getting work completed quickly, but all it really serves to do is:

  • undermine your credibility
  • ruin team spirit
  • make the whole team feel disheartened


Anyone can see that this is not the way to motivate a team that’s encountering problems. So, step back and stay calm until you’ve thoroughly revised the situation.

Avoid Putting Off Dealing With The Problem

Procrastination will only make matters worse. When the project manager spots a problem is should be dealt with immediately. Pushing it to one side, hoping that it’ll go away, simply allows the problem to get worse and potentially jeopardises the whole project. Deal with problems as they arise to prevent them from becoming too big and impacting on other areas of the project.

Avoid Keeping Quiet About The Problem

Keeping quiet about what is going wrong with the project is the worst plan of action any project manager can take. The best way to resolve issues with the project is to engage and utilise one of the best resources they have at their disposal – the project team. Several pairs of fresh eyes may find the perfect solution and, not only that, keeping the team involved in the process keeps motivation and the chances of the project being a success high. Not knowing what is going on can be very demoralising.

If you want to find out more about project management request a Business Training Project Management course prospectus.