One reason to fail in any project

The reason is a lack of or wrong communication. (For those of you who want to safe time and not read all of it).

I’m writing about this topic because I experienced it in several ways at work, in private life and also in university.

In a project there are usually involved several people/departments/counterparts and there should be one project leader who is responsible for the handling.

In a successful project (regarding the process, not the outcome) everyone knows at anytime what to do and what their task is. On the other hand this means that in an unsuccessful project there is a sort of chaos caused by communicaton. Reasons for that can be:

  • missing information
  • unclear expressions
  • unstructured communication
  • word-to-mouth deviatons
  • misunderstandings
  • not asking if anything is unclear
  • etc

Of course communication is not the only reason why projects fail. But it’s indeed one of the biggest issues, regardless the industry.

One example herefor is something we all probably faced in our logistics course a few weeks ago. As you all know we receive emails after each class with a good summary of what we’ve learned and about what we have to prepare for the next class. One task was about the HOF3M project we are supposed to do. And for Mr Garcia the task of course is clear as he did it many times before, but for us students this task simply produced a lot of question marks in our heads when we read the mail. He tried to explain it but many of us were not able to follow the instructions immediately. We started to ask along in whatsapp what we are supposed to do and no one had a clue. Some simply started to do the homework how they thought it was meant and some didn’t do anything.

You can see that wrong or a lack of communication can have a quite immense impact on what you are doing and how you are doing it.

But the good thing is that we changed the situation and asked him to explain it again because we didn’t understand. And that’s where the good communication started. We asked for help and we received the missing information that we needed to fulfill our homework.

So, for the future some Tipps: don’t ever hesitate to ask if you don’t understand anything, try to express yourself as clear as possible and last but not least: it’s always better to explain something face to face as the probability of misunderstandings increases with written communication.


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