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Failing Projects: How to Avoid Delays

How to fix them and how to prevent some of the hiccups you find along the way.

There are many reasons why a project becomes delayed. They may be internal or external. Some are avoidable while others are completely unforeseen – take the pandemic, for example. If a project is delayed it can sometimes be difficult to agree or pinpoint the root cause, so good communication between the client and software provider is vital in getting it back on track.


5 Most Common Reasons for D365 Project Delays:

  1. Internal or external communication blocks
  2. Pre-planning is rushed or lacks detail
  3. Unrealistic objectives, deliverables, time and cost estimations
  4. Delays in user testing
  5. Delays by external vendors or partners.

How to Avoid a Delayed Project

There was no avoiding the consequences of the recent pandemic; however, you can mitigate the effects of any delay caused by it.

  • Ensure there is always someone in place who can make decisions in the absence of their colleagues by appointing deputies to key positions in the project team.
  • Start the project with realistic timelines. If they’re too tight, any hiccough or delay will affect the go-live date. So, build in contingency, even if it’s a day or two to allow for sign-offs. It can prove valuable and allow you to catch up on lost time.
  • Ask your provider for an account management system. Have regular governance calls and stand ups to assess how things are going – it’s all about communication.
  • Be clear and detailed in scoping sessions and try to avoid scope creep. Involve as many stakeholders as possible in order to get a realistic estimation of what is achievable.
  • Make sure the technical design document is signed off by all concerned. If details haven’t been established and agreed upon, developers may have questions which means more time and further possible delay.

How to Recover a Delayed Project

Although delays are to be avoided, when they do happen there can be positives outcomes.

  • Refocus the project and take advantage of the situation to reignite the passions of those involved and get buy-in from people who may previously have felt excluded.
  • Re-plan and with a new timeline established, you might get some of those ‘nice to have’ features added to the project.
  • Start afresh. This isn’t as scary as you might think, and what has been done so far isn’t necessarily a waste. Pause and review what is needed from the software and the project and determine how much of what has been done so far can still be used.

Find out more about how to save a failing D365 project.


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