Field Project – Cupcakes for Charity

Project Audit Report

(MGT598, MBA X)


“Cupcakes for Charity – Fundraising for the less privileged”

 Project Description & Analysis

“Cupcakes for charity” was the collective brain-child of our team when we were assigned to conduct a charitable event for the course. The event fulfilled multiple objectives:

  1. Apply project management principles, as taught in class, to a real-life project.
  2. Spread social awareness of our selected charity – what they do and how they do it.
  3. Raise funds for a charitable organization.
  4. Ensure that we enjoy ourselves.

Although we were quick to define what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it, a structured approach was followed. At the outset we created a formal proposal for the project outlining the charity, what we wanted to do, our objectives, a brief plan of action and the perceived road blocks. The next step was to create an implementation plan that provided further details on how we were planning to accomplish our objectives. This involved detailed definition of the sequence of activities plus identifying the work packages for each team member. We also had a support or rather back-up for each team member in case the original team member was unable to perform the task for any reason. So, for example, Syed’s work package included venue and stall. Hamza was in-charge of arranging the Charity and the Sponsors. Further to that, Mahmood was back-up on the Venue. Presented below is a snapshot of the final definition of our project plan:


Now that we all had a clear idea of what needed to be done, we prepared a risk management plan for the charity event. This document contained a list of 12-odd “developments” that could potentially be detrimental to our progress. Each “development” was ranked depending upon its how critical it was (“1” considered as the most critical) and associated with a strategy for mitigation plus a contingency. Mitigation of the risk identified specific actions that would be taken to ensure it did not threaten progress; the contingency would provide an alternative to safeguard out interests. So, for example, venue identification was identified as the riskiest activity and the team agreed that mitigation lay in identifying a location that was easily accessible and well-known on the island. One thing we might add is that although we had a contingency plan, it wasn’t very thought out. With the initial response that we got from Seef Mall, the probability on relying on contingency was very low. As such, we did not take into account the low demand that we will face. So if we had a proper thought out contingency plan, we would have had an option to lower the number of cupcakes from the vendor.

Planning aside, we had to move quickly due to severe time constraints. The project completion date was approximately two weeks away coinciding with the end of this course. The first thing we approached was the venue and got approval in principal from Seef Mall. In parallel, we engaged with specific firms apprising them of our future event and exploring the possibility of getting sponsorships. We also spoke to a few bakeries to determine the level of discounts they were willing to offer if we purchased merchandise on a bulk basis. This phase of the project was the most crucial since the choices here would determine our capacity at a later stage.

Unfortunately, Seef Mall started delaying and became non-responsive a few days before the event and consistent with our contingency plan, we managed to obtain space in BIBF. In the meantime, our drive to obtain sponsorships bore fruit and we raised BHD 500 cash (~$1,300). Some organizations also contributed in kind – the stall rental cost was waived (BHD 400 equivalent value over two days) plus we received a batch of 150 free cupcakes.

The cupcake sale spanned two days during which we sold more than 400 cupcakes. As a small token of our appreciation we also gave away cupcakes to our various sponsors who helped us make the event possible.

Lessons Learned & Takeaways

Having been through every stage of the event ourselves, there were a few takeaways that we felt could be beneficial for the future:

  1. Setting Milestones – It is of utmost importance to set clear milestones and adhere to them. In our case, we had extremely limited time at our disposal and realized that any slippage could easily jeopardize the entire project. Clear milestones and deadlines need to be established upfront and adhered to so that there is no ambiguity of what is due when.
  2. Progress Monitor – Project progress and overall development needs to be established on a frequent and regular basis. This can be easily done through clear communication without even meeting face-to-face. If ignored, slippage can become uncontrollable very quickly putting the entire project at risk of failure.
  3. Activity Slack – It is a prudent habit not to depend on slack times. Although the implementation plan might show slack in some activities, this can quickly disappear especially if those tasks also involve external parties.
  4. Try to complete tasks as soon as possible although there may be slack available. Given the number of externalities in any project it is difficult to predict what and when something can go wrong. Doing this will ensure available time for any other activity that requires attention.

Advice for Similar Events

Our advice to other teams attempting to conduct a similar event would start with the list of lessons learned in the previous section. In addition, we would recommend the following to ensure a smoother implementation:

  1. Whenever any third party is involved, ensure there are written agreements so that neither party suffers due to any untoward event. In our case we made the mistake of not taking this route at the time of finalizing the venue. As a result, the Seef Mall management failed to appreciate our sense of urgency in the matter.
  2. Try to finish everything as soon as possible. Slacking is dangerous. Usually, a plan is as good as its implementation. But a plan cannot incorporate unforeseen risk as you as a planner are not very experienced in project management.
  3. One should have clear understanding with the charity organization as the things they are responsible for and their continuous support on the day of event is very important. Choosing a Charity that you are going to represent is also a very important decision. Charity and their causes have inherent fund raising power. In our case, the charity we chose had no specific cause and as such it was harder for us to rally support.


7 6 5 4 3 2

Team members:

Syed Ehsan-Ul Hassan

Mahmood Abdulla

Asim Qureshi

Mayukh Chaterjee

Hind Abdulla

Hamza Haroon


Field Project – Fund Raising For Ayadi Relief Organization

The project objective is to raise funds for Ayadi Relief Organization to help with providing relief, awareness and rehabilitation to poverty stricken countries around the world. This is as well as providing these countries with their health, education and social needs. In addition, invest in youth to build in them the love of humanitarian work.

Ayadi Relief is simply a group of Bahraini youth who came together for the passion of volunteering and helping others, and decided to create the first relief organization in Bahrain. This group has started working on relief projects since 2010, although the relief organization was initiated officially in August 2013, titled “Ayadi Relief.” Their aims are to:

– Provide emergency relief in poverty and/or disaster stricken countries around the world.

– Involve young people in humanitarian missions and voluntary work, locally and worldwide.

– Provide continuous assistance in the field of education for local communities and poverty-stricken countries around the world.

– Provide continuous social assistance to local communities and poverty-stricken countries around the world.


The team set out with three main goals and objectives. We set out to achieve them by devising a detailed plan of action. Our main goal was to raise funds and awareness of the organization. We managed to raise around BD 560 for the organization from the event. In addition we achieved the goal of raising awareness of the organization by using both the event and our marketing plan. Word has reached the organization and our team that people from all over the country are calling and asking about the organization and its events.

The second goal was to manage a successful event with no major problems that could cancel or jeopardise the event. We succeeded in achieving this goal regardless of the setbacks and challenges that have occurred prior to and during the event. We devised a detail plan of action and risk assessment to make sure that everything has been thought off. The plan of action was present to guide us through the different tasks in an organized manor ensuring that every member of the team was aware of their own tasks. The risk assessment was used to plan ahead for any problems that could affect the event. We gathered up all the potential problems and put a plan of action for each, either try to solve it or if necessary a backup plan would be used. This detailed planning helped mitigate the severity of the potential risks due to the plan of action placed for each.

The third goal was to discover our strengths in the project and project management in general. Most of our team have been together in groups throughout the past year and a half during the MBA program. We somewhat know what our strength and weaknesses are. Yet we have never faced a project like this as a group. Therefore we were keen to discover our talents and strength in the different aspects of the project and project management. We accomplished this goal and where surprised that there were still some hidden talents and strengths that we have not yet discovered in each other. Some excelled in risk management, some in negotiation skills, some in people or guest relations and some in taking point in a sudden problem and trying to solve it rather than loose time being upset. Due to this experience it strengthened our friendship and ties as team. As one of my colleagues said, “We came into this project as a group of friends and class mates and left it as a strong team.” – Badran Mahmoud

For future teams we would advice them to put together a detailed plan of action and support it with a very detailed risk assessment with its contingency plans. Reason being, that you can never have enough planning or assessing risks due to the unpredictable nature of the project. Hence it is very important that you look at all possibilities and weigh the pros and cons. By doing so, you will have a clear plan of action that is understood and can be implemented by everyone. In addition you will reduce the amount of potential risks or problems that might occur during the project due to the risk assessment. Hence, the whole team will be ready for everything that is ahead of them.

Some of the lessons that we have learned from this project are:

–          Have things in writing: In project management in general, you have to have most if not everything in writing. It helps smoothen out the different stages and processes. Plus it helps guide the two or more parts of the project to what has been agreed upon. Plus it makes the conditions of the agreement clear to both parties. In addition it helps as a guideline to return to if a team member or one of the parties forgot due to human nature.

–          Projects are unpredictable: Projects are naturally unpredictable. No matter how much you plan to have a perfect execution, there will always be things that happen unexpectedly. Rarely do you get a project that doesn’t face any problems or hiccups, and when you do project managers often retrace their steps thinking that there is something wrong.

–          The larger the number the harder it is to manage: Having a large group has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is having enough people to do many tasks in a project therefore each can focus on one or two instead of many tasks like in smaller groups. A disadvantage is that it is very hard to manage a large group due to the amount of opinions and ideas each have. It is not an easy job and time consuming reaching a decision with a large group. In addition, in some projects there aren’t many tasks to do therefore some of the group members will have nothing to do.

Team: Khalid Al-Saei, Ahemd Al-Kooheji, Zeyad Zainal, Badran Mahmoud, Ali Rasti, Mohamed Juma and Ebrahim Akbari




IMG_9785IMG_9786 IMG_9787 IMG_9788 IMG_9789 IMG_9790 IMG_9791 IMG_9792 IMG_9793

Field Project – Team 1 : Support Sickle Cell patients by drinking Coffee

Our project was to sponsor a Catering Company at BIBF for few days to support a charity in Bahrain. We have considered some options for the charity we wanted to raise awareness of and the same for the coffee shop we wanted to make the deal with.

We were thinking about two charities, this first was “Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Disease Patients” and the other charity was “Bahrain Cancer Society”. We decided first to contact “Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Disease Patients” because of the increase in death among their patients in this year comparing to couple of years back. We had a good response from the society and agreed to work together.

Also we put some options for selecting catering company or coffee shop and started communicating with some of them like COSTA Coffee, American Bagel, and Al-Abraaj Restaurant. In addition to communicating to these companies we had a backup plan of dealing with the local cafeteria in BIBF in case we could not manage to agree with one of them.

We managed to get to an agreement with COSTA Coffee and Al-Abraaj restaurant, but we decided to go with COSTA only because of the time constrain.

We have created the project plan using Microsoft Project software and assigned the tasks between us, below are some of the tasks:

  • Searching for catering company, and make a deal with it.
  • Searching for Charity.
  • Get a required approval from BIBF and other if needed
  • Arrange meeting between Sponsoring Company and BIBF to make a setup and discuss their requirement and provide all facilities they need.
  • Arrange for meeting with charity society to discuss their input in project
  • Follow up the Coffee shop installation
  • Media cover, and informing the BIBF student and Staff about the project.
  • Closing the project

We think the main reason behind our success in the project is defining our goal and put a plan for conducting the project, distributing the task according to the capability of team member, following the project at different stages, have a conference call at each stage to discuss the difficulties we face.

There were many challenges in our project, starting from the limited period we have to do the whole project which was around 2.5 weeks only and which was not negotiable, and the fact that we are one of the smallest teams (4 members), ending to the fact that the regulations in Bahrain restrict fund raising without a prior approval which normally takes one month to obtained!

We believe we did good work regarding creating awareness about the society between the students in BIBF considering the number of booklets distributed. But on the other hand the funds generated from this project were not up to the expectation.

Our advice for any team doing similar projects are:

  1. Take enough time in planning, but don’t over plan, especially when your total project time is very limited.
  2. Make your estimation according to real figure.
  3. Conduct survey/questioner before start.

We learned a lot of lessons from this project:

  1. There is big gap between science and art in project management
  2. Define goal, very important to success the project.
  3. Assign tasks to the members with right skills.
  4. Main reason behind success of project is your team.
  5. The team should know the goal of project to make it succeed.
  6. Relationship between the project manager and project team should be strong enough.


Setting up COSTA mini branch




After setting up COSTA



Putting Project name stickers



MGT598_COSTA_02 MGT598_COSTA_03  MGT598_COSTA_05



Team members with Prof.



Team members with class mates, Prof, and our guest speaker.




Risk Management – Projects vs. Banks

In project management, managing risk is a four step process as illustrated in the chart below. The approach is very risk specific for identifying each potential risk.  Step one is always to identify the risk. Once a potential risk is identified, assessment of the risk must be done. The severity of impact and the likelihood of occurrence are evaluated. After which, a response to such a risk is developed. The last step is more general as a response to any unforeseen risk being discovered after the risk management plan is developed.  I feel that in the context of project management being a process of finite time period, identifying specifics risk is easier than Banking and therefore a useful exercise. However, that being said, every project is different and some in some projects it may be just as difficult or even impossible to list the potential risk.  With banks, such a technique would not be fruitful as the number of risk that the bank is subject to are limitless. In general, what risk management is used for in banks is to minimize losses and to minimize the impact of these losses on the stability of the Bank. Stability is very important to banks. That is why Central Banks focus on a bank’s ability to sustain losses and issue regulations for the bank to hold adequate capital to sustain losses. This can looked at as a strategy to reduce possible damage to the overall balance sheet of the bank emanating from a loss event.


Ch 7 – Project Management – Larson and Gray (Figure 7.2)
Ch 7 – Project Management – Larson and Gray (Figure 7.2)

This feeds into a risk breakdown structure. All the risk can be categorized into either being technical, external, organizational or related to project management planning.

Ch 7 – Project Management – Larson and Gray (Figure 7.3)
Ch 7 – Project Management – Larson and Gray (Figure 7.3)

In contrast, banks use a different approach which is specific to their model. They categorize the source of risk as either being credit risk, investment risk, operational risk or legal & compliance risk.  This is in some way is similar to the risk breakdown structure above but more specific to banking.

Banking Risk Catogorization
Banking Risk Catogorization

With modern banking risk management techniques, they have moved towards quantifying each type of risk in the numeric number which is the potential loss. With the potential loss in mind, they hold adequate capital as per the regulations issued to cushion any financial losses. Also to minimize the losses themselves, (step 4: risk response control) banks embed in their strategies and processes & procedures, risk control policies.

For the potential impact (step 3) the techniques used are mostly maths based and depend on track records of previous financial losses that had occurred for a number of reasons in the past. Based on the past data, a likelihood of a financial loss s reached.

In essence, the model presented for risk management in project is a more generalized framework of what most organizations use in running their businesses on daily basis.

Incorrect Identifying the Risk

People refuse to discuss the risk management might they face during project , this fear due to natural of human being that we do not want to hear a bad news ,and discuss about things may/may not happen in future “if we have time we have to spend it in project implementation” . The executive of organization will make risk management a search for opportunities as well as threats . There are a number of reasons behind the failure in risk management, one of them is Incorrectly Identifying the Risk .

Identifying the risk is an essential part of project management ,due to the fact that any risk may happen that will cause you to miss one of the following: product, schedule or resource target .

The fact that organization haven’t undertaken project similar to present project is a risk ,you can start with a default risk associated to the project (life cycle)stages; down some of them .

Stage 1: Starting the project ; possible risk are no formal feasibility study has been done ,no formal benefit-cost analysis has been done .

Stage 2: Organizing and preparing ;possible risk are some plan not approval ,part of plan are missing .

Stage 3: Carrying out the work :risk might face are ; no team procedures to resolve conflicts ,incorrect information regarding schedule performance ,one of key project worker reassigned .

Stage 4: Closing project ; Risk associated with this stage  are ,project team members are assigned to new project before the current project is completed ,and project result not approved by one of project drivers .

What defines a Projects Success?

What is a Project?

As defined in our textbook, “a project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result”. A project usually involves a new vision, a change request depending on various needs.

No two projects are the same, it can be looked at differently from different point of views.

It consists of components which are achieved in an organized manner with a defined start and finish.

Going through the above definitions of a project, I started wondering, what defines the success of a project?

Generally speaking, a project is successful if it realized its objectives and delivered results within deadline and budget.

Another main factor is how satisfied its stakeholders are, since at the end they are usually the one who wanted the project and invested in making it.

A project success can also be subjective in a way, for example, in a construction a project if the owner decided he didn’t want to carry on the project, and the foundation was already built at that point of time, to the main investor the project was a failure, but the contractor who was responsible to build the foundation can think of it as a success, since his part was delivered in full as agreed upon.

A paper written by Banat’s University in Romania sets 5 factors to identify a project’s failure or success as follows:

  1. Beneficiary
  2. Supportive executive manager
  3. Clear understanding of the requirement
  4. Appropriate planning
  5. Realistic expectations

Which is inline with what we studied during our course, and also emphasizes the importance of communications among team members as well as the strength of the project manager.

Another very interesting article by Mr. Robert Goatham (a project manager), who introduces an interesting view into measuring the success of a project where he defines them within 5 tiers/ levels.

He sets 5 levels of conditions to be met for a project to be considered successful:

  1. Delivered most of the objectives, regardless of time and budget.
  2. Delivered the objectives on time and/or within budget.
  3. Delivered the project on time, within budget and as per the expected quality.
  4. Delivered all objectives as agreed upon, as per the defined criteria, with the expected quality and outcome.
  5. The highest level of success is achieved if the project delivered a product that adds a significant net value for the organization.


5 Layers in Project Success


The editor’s example as explanation of his concept was about The Sydney Opera House, the original budged in the 1957 plan was $7M to be finished within 5 years. It was completed after 13 years and costed $110M. This project would be considered a failure as per the classical definition, but this is today one of the main tourist attraction.

He argues that the value of a project could change over time and might sometimes include outcomes which are beyond a project manager’s control.


From your own experience, what do you think is the main factor in determining a project’s success or failure? Would you agree with Mr. Robert Goatham?




MGT598 textbook, Project Management: The Management Process, 6th Edition


Winning in Project Management

In my course and readings about successful project managers I have found that successful projects and project managers share some commonalities that lead to their accomplishments.

First of all, I would like to start about what leaders in project management thought defined project management, I will start with a very influential project management school of thinking “IBM”.  IBM defines project management as managing the interrelationship between 3 vital factors in each project and the importance to achieve the ideal balance between all 3 critical factors which are Project Scope, Budget and Time which is commonly referred to by project management professionals PMP’s as the project triangle.


 Now, considering the above factors it’s not easy to be able to manage those 3 angels in projects hence, they involve numerous subdivisions to keep track. I will mention those below with the top points that I found best project managers stress on:

  • Planning: common mistakes that caused a lot of projects to fail is that they rushed to start working on the project and went to fast through the planning process. Always give planning the bigger chunk of your time.
  • Time estimation: most valuable take home lesson for me from this project management course and readings about the subject is that time is unforgiving. You can go overboard with the cost and still have a project but when the deadline is due and you have no complete project the cost overboard will be a breeze compare to not having delivered a project at all.
  • Communication: a very vital skill to have as project managers hence, ideas and dreams “final project” in your mind are defiantly not similar across your team members. Try to be very clear!
  • Coordination:  define requirements to each individual and be very clear on delegating responsibilities. Successful project managers have an eye for identifying talents and skills in their team members
  • Tracking: this point I found that there was a lot of stress on by my studies in class and readings. The importance to keep check points alongside the project “success points” is crucial for success of the project!! Assessing each stage and the timeline within a project is one of the most important duties of the project manager.
  • Risk assessment & mitigations: even with the an excellent plan things can go wrong, predicting problems and obstacles is indispensable skill for PM’s while identifying risks is on one side, on the other side providing solutions to those problems forecasted is of the same weight of importance. An important lesson here is to assign a devil’s advocate in your team J
  • Reporting:  understand who your customer is! All projects have an owner or a requester, as a project manager you will have to establish a reporting line between the project developments and your customer. An important lesson here is to establish a good relationship with your customer, after all they are the ones paying your bills 😉

Questions that inspire the thought:

  • Is there an optimal mix in the project triangle? How could we measure it?
  • Which is most important from the three project angles?

References and sources:

Project Managers – The “mini-CEOs”

Project Management, I got to learn first hand that its both an art and a science. Considering this was one of the few courses where we had to actually complete a project, it gave me a greater understanding how applying theory differs in practice from just learning theory and going home.

Work Breakdown Structure

  • I.) Throughout the course the importance of setting milestones, goals, and even before the goals and milestones, the work breakdown structure (WBS), are extremely important. Breaking down a project into a workable and understandable structure is extremely important. Without having a structure you wouldn’t know where to begin and where to end. At the same time the breakdown can’t be too confusing or you have a risk of potentially undermining your own project. It can’t be vague as well or else the teams won’t know what they’re trying to achieve. Striving for balance was one of the most important things, this was something that I could understand perfectly having worked on a few projects over the course of my professional career.
  • II.) The next important task that comes in is then the formation of teams and assigning them with goals and milestones. In our project this was done right after the WBS stage, where we assigned who would do what and when. There was a time frame given and everyone was assigned with a task to accomplish. The importance of the team is fundamental for the success of the project. If we don’t have a team that works well, then it’s all but over. Finding the formula to success is extremely important. The project leader works as a motivator, someone who can get the ball rolling so to speak. The others have to be able to rally behind him or else the project is not going to go anywhere. Jack Welch highlighted the importance of building a team and managing it below.

  • III.) One of the things we learnt in class was also that the project managers have to make tough decisions, these decisions have to be made in a moments notice or the project could be over before you know it. This is why project managers act like Mini-CEOs, they are constantly making decisions and they’re constantly monitoring the situation. Through either software such as Microsoft Project which lets you know when goals and milestones have been reached. Once they are reached, the project manager can then focus on whats not done, it’s like being a military commander having set objectives that need to be accomplished in a set order or else you run the risk of failing. This is true for multi-year projects on a massive scale. Like our discussion of the Hoover Dam and Bechtel. You need to make sure you’ve got a team that can handle the workload and are capable of working in various teams. Constant feedback is extremely important.


  • There was an excellent link for assessing the effectiveness of a team and I gave it a go after the conclusion of the project that we had. I suggest giving it a go, it was quite handy and informative. scored a 49, in my own assessment.

Overall the key takeaways from the class and our hands on project was to make sure you are constantly monitoring everything, make and prepare for contingencies and make sure you have an “Oh No” plan. Because, as we learnt there is no such thing as a perfect plan, especially once the project is underway, it starts to go all over the place.  We learnt the hard way when the venue we had put most of our eggs in vanished before our very eyes.

Theory is fine but…

MGT 598 has been the only course that demanded an active interaction with the real world. We learned about various components of
project management – some more technical and scientific (e.g. resource smoothing, project cost allocation, Gantt charts, etc.) and some highlighted as more of an art (e.g. providing leadership, motivating team members, etc).

Based on my prior experience with project management and the learning imparted in the classroom there are a few points that I believe deserve special mention:

  1. A project plan is exactly what it is – a plan. It is a specific course of action for a given combination of expected 0externalities. There are numerous factors influencing the final outcome and to remain relevant, the plan needs to be dynamic. It needs to be tweaked throughout the project to remain consistent with what the team is doing and where they are headed. It is a time-consuming exercise and more-often-than-not what starts out as a sincere effort in management slowly morphs into a series of rule-of-thumb activities. It requires perseverance and patience to ensure all documents are updated. How often does the last iteration of the project plan or risk management document reflect the real status of the project?
  2. I view resource allocation to be a bit more complicated. To start with, we need to have access to the resources before they can be allocated. In real life, everyone is not suitably skilled for all activities. For example, in a construction project, the person operating the roller does not have knowledge of masonry. Similarly, the design team is different from the construction team. We are faced with a similar situation in software development also. The team analyzing user requirements is different from the group of programmers and the project will surely be at risk if you play mix-and-match. So, the resource pool is far from a homogeneous mix where everyone can potentially contribute at every stage. Here is the additional twist – will all resources be available to the project when required.

3. It is mathematically possible to reduce the duration of a task in half by engaging double the required resources, my  experience is slightly different. In the realm of software development, additional people working on an activity usually results in a greater need for coordination, communication and integration. To that extent, instead of reducing elapsed time, it has an effect of increasing activity time. Perhaps it is a similar case with other professions.

4. When preparing project plans a few managers have a tendency to try and be aggressive on timelines and time estimates. There is

also another camp that starts with an ambitious plan and then builds in slack to create a more realistic picture. My focus is on the former group because I think they generate more harm than good for the team. Constantly missing deadlines is demoralizing for the team and soon excessive backlog results in a very uncomfortable situation with senior management. What has been your experience
in such circumstances?


Lessons from failed projects

CHAOS report in 2009 showed that the successful projects were 32% of the total number of projects, the other 68% of projects were either failures or challenged.


Many of us were part of challenged or failed projects. Marking project as successful does not change the fact of being failed project as many projects have to suffer change of scope, time, or cost that will change the whole shape of this project.

It’s stressful to fail in a project, but failure projects will give you some lessons you will never learn from successful projects.

Andrew Makar, the writer of this article mentioned 3 lessons can be learned from failed projects and was referring to one of the projects he was part of.

The project was an IT related project involve“implementing multiple web applications that supported resume collection and online candidate assessment”. Andrew was a business analyst for an HR recruiting project.

The project involved many internal IT professionals, consultants, and project managers. One of the main causes of the project failure is that they did not develop an integrated project schedule for the whole project. This in fact will raise many issues in such project as they will not be able to identify the critical path(s) or to have a good estimates for the time and cost of this project.

So Andrew considered that the first lesson from this failed project was “The project schedule is your friend”, as it’s important to build and manage project schedule for the success of any project.

From what I’ve learned in MGT598 and from my experience in my professional life. It’s very important to have a written, scheduled plan for any project to be able to identify the critical path and any bottleneck in resources or time constraints.
The other lesson Andrew set was “You can’t escape the project triangle even if you’re an executive”, where he was referring to the scope, time, and cost. As they were running the project, one of HR executives decided to increase the scope of the project while thinking that this will not impact the other constraints of the triangle which are the cost and time, and for sure this was wrong assumption as the change in the scope without even studying the impact and the outcome of such change had a bad impact on the project as they missed the deadline and the cost of the project was over what was budgeted.

The lesson was to make sure that the scope is well defined and any changed in the scope is studied with impact analysis highlighted. This lead us to the issue of scope creep as well.

The third lesson was “Project heroics only lead to project failure”. Andrew described how the consultant in the project he was working in was acting like a hero and was working alone saying “just leave him alone so he could work” where at the end nothing from what he promised was delivered!

We learned in our field project “Raising funds” that the team work is a key in any project for it to be successful.


Do you agree with these lessons?

What are other lessons you believe can be learned from failed project?

Have you been part of failed project and what have you learned?