Date published: February 4, 2014
Twenty-eight percent of all community based projects, which are undertaken in Ghana, become a failure; according to a recent research conducted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme in Ghana, headed by Mr. George Ortsin, National Coordinator, GEF/SGP.
According to the research, 23% of the community based projects, however come out just fine. It continued that 49% of the projects provide only partial results and 70% fail to deliver the benefits anticipated at the outset, adding major projects overrun budgets by 75% (average). Bigger projects are 14% over budget.
‘Most small projects are unable to complete 20% of the proposed tasks. It almost always takes twice as long to complete a task as what was originally thought it would take. Most projects typically accomplish 80% of their results using 20% of the resources’, the research indicated.
According to the research, the projects fail for the following reasons; poorly managed undefined objectives and goals, unrealistic timeframes and tasks, lack of management commitment, poorly defined roles and responsibilities, competing priorities and lack of a solid project plan.
Other reasons are, inadequate or vague requirements, poor communication, lack of user inputs, stakeholder conflict, insufficient resources (funding and personnel), business politics, team weaknesses and overruns of schedule, cost r communication and centralized proactive management initiatives to combat project risk.
The rest are, scope creep, ignoring project warning signs, estimates for cost and schedule are erroneous, no change control process, inadequate testing processes, lack of prioritization and project portfolio management, meeting and user expectations as well as bad decisions.
The research noted that for a project to succeed there was the need for the adaptation of what is known as project management cycle that follows a flow dubbed ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ cycle.
It explained that the phases or steps of the cycle are linked together by results; that is, the result of one step becomes the input to another adding ‘A successful project management process must address the various phases of the project life cycle.
‘This process involves scoping and deciding what to do. It is the process in which it is decided that there is a need for a particular project and then the decision that the project will begin. It involves situation analysis, problem identification, needs and interest of stakeholders, screening and selection’.
The research indicated that it is important that before a project commences, there is the need for a planning process in which the scope of the project is developed, including “documenting the actions necessary to define, prepare, integrate, and coordinate all subsidiary plans into a project management plan”.
It continued that ‘Planning is of major importance to a project because the project involves doing something that has not been done before. As a result, there are core and facilitating processes in this section.
‘The amount of planning to be performed should be commensurate with the scope of the project and the usefulness of the information developed. Planning is an ongoing effort throughout the life of the project’.
These planning processes include; developing a written scope statement as the basis for future project decisions, subdividing the major project deliverables into smaller, more manageable components and identifying the specific activities that must be performed to produce the various project deliverables.
Other planning processes are: identifying and documenting interactivity dependencies, estimating the number of work periods that will be needed to complete individual activities, analyzing activity sequences, activity durations, and resource requirements to create the project schedule and deciding how to approach and plan for risk management in a project among others.
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