As long as 'better' is possible,
'good' is not good enough.

Project crisis - possible causes

In order to shed light on the causes of this crisis, I jump briefly to the end of the project: After project renovation and securing the SOP, a Lessons Learned Workshop was carried out. In this workshop, we identified the various causes of this project crisis (Table 3). The main reason for the crisis was that the functionality of the component did not meet the specifications and the planned series production concept could not be implemented on time - the Tier 1 supplier endangered the SOP for the first vehicle of the MQB (Volkswagen: Modular Transverse Toolkit - Golf, A3, ...).

Practical example – root causes of a crisis

Topic Findings
Team building / motivation
Process organization
Meeting standard
  • Changing team members (project management / purchasing)
  • Employees uncoordinated in various projects planned
  • no functioning proxy regulation
  • no priority regulation
  • Schedule testing machines (resource planning)
  • no clear overall responsibility (e.g. tool acceptance part sampling)
  • Parts logistics / tracking (no tracking of Incoming / outgoing goods - person dependent / none available system)
  • Lack of discipline (implementation of activities / Participation in meetings / punctuality)
  • no regular appointments
  • Responsible for tool coordination
  • "driven by the OEM" (Finding a solution without considering possible Consequences)
  • Tools not triggered in time
  • missing / too late project information (on industrialization)
Change management
  • missing documentation (no action plan)
  • Specifications are missing (what can / how do you want to implement what?)
  • Acceptance test not defined (no correlation to OEM tests)
  • No development suppliers (prototype supplier was no series supplier - late integration)
  • prompt display of change management (e.g. Steel quality component outer ring not shown)
  • No scope of testing coordinated with the customer

As a rule, there is not only one cause and one responsible for a project crisis. As already found in a study by the Society for Project Management, projects do not fail because of their complexity but because of a lack of or inadequate communication. Accordingly, project management (clear goals, support management, ...) and their organization (responsibilities, structure, ...) have a significant impact on the success of the project.

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„I would be happy to advise you by email at or use my offer to make a call on +49 163 - 55 39 66 1.“

Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Graën PMP

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