Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Your "What Can Go Wrong" List

When compiling your What Can Go Wrong list for a project, don't forget the following:
  1. It is assumed that the current project will closely resemble an earlier similar project.
  2. The deadlines have not been clearly established.
  3. The deadlines are unreasonable and/or unrealistic.
  4. The amount of time for the project has been underestimated.
  5. The team is burdened with unnecessary work.
  6. The wrong people are on the team.
  7. The right people are assigned but their responsibilities are unclear.
  8. The workers are tackling their tasks individually when it would be more efficient for them to work as a group.
  9. There is a continuing lack of communication among the team members.
  10. At least one important team member feels left out.
  11. The team lacks a clearly defined goal.
  12. The team does not want to achieve the goal.
  13. There are two or more goals and they are conflicting.
  14. There are insufficient resources.
  15. There is interference from an internal or external party.
  16. A key decision was influenced by GroupThink.
  17. Implementation is dependent upon the cooperation of hostile parties.
  18. The team will soon be exhausted and there are insufficient substitutes.
  19. The team has ego problems.
  20. The competition has been underestimated.
  21. The team feels unappreciated.
  22. Team members need training.
  23. Priorities are unclear.
  24. The plan of implementation lacks flexibility.
  25. Assumptions behind the plan are wrong.
  26. Analysis has been unduly influenced by a charismatic team member.
  27. The numbers don't make sense.
  28. There is insufficient planning for the transition between various stages of the plan.
  29. Turf wars will arise.
  30. The plan contains incompatible elements.
  31. Key members agree on the elements but not on the general philosophy.
  32. Maintenance and support are neglected.
  33. Quality review checkpoints are absent.
  34. Incompetence is tolerated.
  35. Decision making is too centralized.
  36. Decision making is too collegial.
  37. Decision making is too autocratic.
  38. Key information is not being shared with the proper parties.
  39. Key members will leave.
  40. There is a lack of commitment.

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