Top 5 Reasons Project Planning Fails

Mar 3, 2021 3 min read
Top 5 Reasons Project Planning  Fails

Project planning is of vital importance for achieving results. And, when I observe a project manager who fails to plan, I am compelled to speak up.

Some time ago, I was accused of patronizing a project manager. Perhaps I was. But, I’m not apologizing.

Here’s why…

Why Project Planning Is Critical to Success

Project planning is of vital importance for achieving results. And, when I observe a project manager who fails to plan, I am compelled to speak up. Occasionally, this means I say things that people prefer not to hear.

But, I know from experience and observation that projects designed by one person lack vitality and are far less likely to achieve ordinary—let alone extraordinary—results!

Projects are a means of creating beneficial change. But it would seem that we are not so good as we should be when preparing for business change projects.

All too often, we don’t know what we should be doing, which is why planning is so important.

The purpose of project planning is to keep the project on track. To stay in control. And, to know what we’re doing and why we are doing it.

Project planning helps us to avoid last-minute surprises.

But, project planning has another benefit. It is ideal for bringing the project team together: that is, the movers, shakers, and producers. Indeed, project planning calls for participation.

Project planning is the process of asking questions and seeking answers. Answers to questions that cannot be answered by the project manager alone.

5 Reasons Project Planning Fails

So, where do some project managers go wrong?

Stick with me, and I’ll share my top 5 reasons why project managers—or those who claim to be project managers—screw up project planning.

Failing to plan

Although this may seem obvious, some people do not plan. They may feign planning, but inevitably they are found out by their incompetence. Quite simply, the project manager who does not plan has no control over what’s going on!

The project plan helps us to predict and prepare for difficulties, and to identify what needs to be done to succeed. It helps us to answer a variety of questions with confidence. For example, is the project viable? How much will it cost? Will it deliver the right benefits? And so on.

Confusing the schedule plan with a project plan

Every so often, I sound like a stuck record. The project schedule is not the project plan. The project schedule is not the project plan. The project schedule is not the project plan…

The emphasis of the project plan is the big picture, the ideas, and ideals of the overall project goal.

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