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  • Writer's pictureAnil Puri

The Cost of Poor Governance: Why Projects Fail

Updated: May 7

Poor governance is a significant contributor to project failure, particularly in large-scale and complex environments. When governance structures are inadequate or poorly implemented, it can lead to issues that undermine the success of a project. Here are some ways in which poor governance can cause project failure.

  1. Lack of Clear Accountability and Decision-Making Authority: Without a well-defined governance structure, there can be confusion over who has the authority to make critical decisions, leading to delays, conflicts, and poor choices.

  2. Ineffective Risk Management: Poor governance often results in inadequate risk identification, assessment, and mitigation strategies, leaving projects vulnerable to unexpected challenges and setbacks.

  3. Insufficient Stakeholder Engagement: Failing to involve and communicate effectively with key stakeholders can lead to misaligned expectations, resistance, and lack of buy-in, ultimately undermining project outcomes.

  4. Inadequate Resource Allocation: Poor governance can result in insufficient allocation of resources, including funding, personnel, and necessary tools, hindering project progress and quality.

  5. Lack of Oversight and Monitoring: Without proper oversight and monitoring mechanisms, projects can easily steer off course, miss critical milestones, and fail to meet quality standards.

So, how do we prevent projects to fail caused by poor governance?

  • Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities: Every team member needs to understand their role and who they report to. This fosters accountability and avoids confusion.

  • Establish Effective Communication Channels: Regular meetings, progress reports, and a culture of open communication keep everyone informed and aligned.

  • Empower a Strong Project Sponsor: A leader with clear vision, decision-making authority, and the ability to motivate the team is crucial for project success.

  • Set Realistic Goals and Milestones: Clearly defined and achievable goals with measurable milestones keep the project on track and provide opportunities to course-correct if needed.


By addressing these governance-related issues and implementing robust governance practices, organisations can significantly improve their chances of project success, mitigate risks, and ensure effective delivery of desired outcomes.

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