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Discussion on: Have you been part of a project that failed? Why do you think that happened?

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gsto profile image
Glenn Stovall

I've worked on multiple projects where the main reason the project failed was the hesitance on the part of the stakeholders to launch earlier.

They built an idea in their head of what the initial launch would be, to the point where nothing could match those expectations. I was talking to a friend on my podcast the other day and he said it well: "the more time between when a project starts and when it goes live, the less chance it has of ever succeeding at all."

Instead of testing with users, getting feedback, and iterating, they want to get it right on the first try. Or they try to solve the whole problem at once. For example, a medical client wanted to re-build their backend service, add new tools their employees could use to manage data, and integrate it all with a customer-facing iPad app, and they didn't want to launch until all of them were done. Instead of trying to launch all of them once, we could have done one or more of the following:

  • launch an iPad app that integrates with the current backend service.
  • build a separate service to add new features for internal customers, instead of building them into a legacy application, we wanted to scrap.
  • find a way to replace the backend service one piece at a time.

Instead, the project languished and eventually died. Money and energy ran out on the stakeholder's side.

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João Forja 💭 Author

"the more time between when a project starts and when it goes live, the less chance it has of ever succeeding at all." - So true. And unfortunately, it's tough to make a client understand that. Especially, as you said, when they want to build a monopoly and want to build it all at once.