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10 ways how to kill your project

10 ways how to kill your project

Aug 7, 2020

More than 80% of projects completely fail or at least miss the deadlines due to various reasons. Such failures cause great financial and moral damage. And the bigger is the project, the greater is the damage. Let’s review the main problems why most projects fail:

1. Poor market research

42% of startups fail because of the lack of market research. Startup founders mostly catch at their ideas and work on them, delegating the market research to their assistants who don’t know much about it. As a result, founders do not know their customers’ needs to make right decisions, and startups meet great competition when emerging in the marketplace.

Here you can see some examples of failure cases: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/money/business/2019/07/10/dangers-neglecting-market-research-cathy-ackermann/1681472001/

2. Unreliable project estimate

Project estimate requires profound technical and project management experience of the team, as well as a well-written project documentation. However, about 28% of estimates are made incorrectly and lead to various problems during the development process, such as deadlines delay, financial losses and others. 

3. Wrong team

The team you choose can have a very respectable portfolio and a lot of senior developers, but beside that they also need to have particular skills that match the project needs. You may choose a professional team with extensive experience and fail anyway, because they have no particular expertise for your project. Due to the choice of a wrong team 23% of projects fail.

4. No project and scope documentation

Developers don’t like to maintain project documentation, as it takes much time and effort. But if you don’t have it, you will face misunderstanding of the team members concerning product characteristics in the process of development and later when you do the maintenance. The more product grows - the more difficult it is to remember how things work and how they are connected. Besides, it will get more complicated to check the functional completeness and compatibility when extra features are added in the process or when a new team member needs to understand the code. Project and scope documentation absence exposes your project to a risk of failure in 75% of cases. 

5. Miscommunication within the team

If the communication process between the team members is not well-adjusted, be ready for pending tasks, delayed deadlines, disputes in the team and misalignment of the entire development process. Not all founders can organize developers into a good team and not all professionals can actually make a good team themselves. Poor communication is the reason of 19% of failed projects. 

6. Ineffective project management

Is your project management strategy adaptive to new conditions? Does it specify the responsibility of every team member and yours as the project owner? Are all your team members competent to properly fulfill the required tasks? Do you have a properly written project plan? You may think that you have an effective project management strategy, though, if you don’t have it written, you don’t have it at all. 20% of projects fail due to the lack of it.

7. Scope creep

The scope of the project determines its general goal and specifies its deliverables and time. Desire to build an ideal product is absolutely understandable, but constantly adding small features at the MVP stage without any feedback from your users is not the way to go. As a result, the project scope differs a lot from its initial version even before getting first customer feedback, that leads to great losses in time, money, and motivation in your team. Reputation of your product in the users eyes depends on the value and work of the “killer” feature, but not on additional functionality which you assume to be useful. More than 34% of projects fail due to scope creep.

8. Disconnect with the customers

Vision of the initial product is a prerogative of the project owner, but further development is always guided by communication with customers. After the launch of the product, customers feedback is more important than your assumption or initial plans. It is a driving force that defines the direction which you need to spearhead. 14% of projects fail because product owners don’t get in touch with their customers.

9. Undervaluation of the testing stage

The testing stage is as important as development. Lack of proper quality assurance threatens invested time, budget and efforts as you never get a second chance to make the first impression. Quality control can distinguish a successful product from a failure with similar financial investments and create a solid technical base for future development. 

10. Poor marketing strategy

14% of projects fail because of the poor marketing of their product. Surprised? You can make a top product which will stand out from other competitors and perfectly cover all client’s needs, but all this doesn’t make sense if you don’t promote it. Do you have a good marketing strategy? If it’s not written, then you don’t.


We hope that you don’t make the listed mistakes and your product becomes a real success. 


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