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

Detect project crises early

Risks can be planned and can be determined in the initiation phase and risk prevention measures can be taken as part of risk management. In contrast, crises represent unexpected events and a SOP delay develops from a successive crisis. The organization often perceives the status of the project as critical at an early stage, but not yet as a threat to the SOP appointment.

Warning signal

Warning signal

I list various potential warning signals:

  • Customer is upset and communicates more formal (own protection)
  • Project status cannot be clearly defined
  • Decrease in collaboration by focusing on securing your own activities
  • Significantly more overtime and the employees feel overwhelmed
  • Quality of work decreases and at the same time the fault tolerance towards others decreases team members
  • Little project progress
  • Self-fulfilling prophecies are made ("I knew from the beginning ...)
  • Principle dispute with the help of bureaucratic rules (lack of flexibility)
  • Bad compromises on partial results
  • Black and white thinking
The causes of a project crisis are complex

The causes of a project crisis are complex

In a study in a study by the specialist group "New Perspectives in Project Work 2012-2013", various triggers of crises were identified for the automotive industry.

Root cause:

  • Complexity due to excessive internal change dynamics in the project
  • Problems caused by changes in customer requirements
  • Incomplete project resource plan
  • Project plan is not worked through consistently and goal-oriented
  • Complexity due to excessive external change dynamics in the project

However, the literature also points out that it is often not possible to identify a clear cause of the crisis. The decisive factors for the escalation of a crisis are the project start (initiation / planning phase), the project team and the complexity.

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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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