Projects slip due to various reasons. Ultimately, it affects who is paying for the project. Yes, the Project Sponsor, Client and the buyer. Therefore, next time be very cautious about the project slippage. Ask right questions and challenge the project team for all the good reasons.
So, how delay in the delivery can affect you?
The major reason is that the world around you does not wait. It is constantly moving at the increasingly faster pace. When your project is delayed, you are exposed to the preexisting risks with higher probability.
Let us see what they are?
- Business: Your business is constantly exposed to the risks due to competition, new entrants (industry disrupters), changes in government policy, regulations, new business models etc. Longer is the delay on the current project, higher is the probability of these risks.
- Delay in other business initiatives: Delay in the existing projects increases overall Work in Progress (WIP). It causes inefficiency and may delay other planned initiatives in future.
- Project Team Morale: Delay is projects delivery often upsets the committed Project Team members. These are the ones who commit their heart and soul to the project’s Go-Live date. When the project delay is announced, these committed members feel that they have lost, their efforts are wasted and the engagement level drops.
- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Longer the project drags, higher is the TCO. This should be key consideration for the business case.
- People moves on: For the projects that drags for longer period (over 2 years), chances are that key resources will move on. This leaves a gap of knowledge and experience, as not everything can be written and handed over. The new resources will take time to learn and adjust. Overall it causes further delay and increase in TCO.
In nutshell, Project are delayed but as a Project Sponsors we must ensure that there are very good reasons for the delay. We must constantly review the Business case to justify the delay, reassess risks and find alternatives. We must know where we are heading intentionally. Drifting is sinking!