Frustrated Project Manager

Remember These Famous Project Management Failures?

When you’re trying to manage business at your organization, it’s important to be flexible. But let’s be real: it’s easier said than done.

Even major brands like Sony and Coca-Cola make mistakes. Unfortunately for these industry giants, big project failures often end up front and center in the news. For us little guys, these unsuccessful projects can be great lessons on what not to do.

Take a look at our top 4 most famous project management blunders. Through the lens of a project manager, we can learn how to avoid project failures like these in the future. We can also see that no matter how successful your brand is, not having trusted project management resources can knock you down.

4. The Computerized DMV

No one likes the DMV. If they were a brand, they would have gone bankrupt long ago. But whether we like it or not, anyone with a vehicle is going to have to work with this government agency at some point. They certainly didn’t help their reputation in the 1990s when the states of California and Washington attempted to computerize their Departments of Motor Vehicles.

The project began in 1987 in California as a five-year, $27 million plan to track 31 million driver licenses and 38 million vehicle registrations. The issues began right from the start by soliciting only one bid for the contract, Tandem Computers, locking the state into their services.

To make matters worse, tests showed that the new computers were slower than the ones they were to replace. But the state kept going until 1994, when it had to admit failure and end the project. All-in-all, the endeavor cost the state $49 million. And the cherry on top? A state audit found that the DMV violated contracting laws and regulations.

The Lesson? Do Your Due Diligence

Every industry has its regulations. Projects must exhibit due diligence, and legal and regulatory constraints are a necessary part of that process. If the state of California had done so from the start, a costly mess could have been avoided, and a trip to the DMV might have become slightly less dreadful.

3. The DeLorean

There’s no argument: their out-of-this-world designs are different, and you can’t help but do a double take when you see one. But there were too many out-of-this-world problems to save the DeLorean DMC-12, which experienced issues from start to finish.

On top of low sales, John DeLorean, the company’s founder, was arrested in 1982 on drug trafficking charges he incurred while trying to raise money to jump-start his business. Even though he was ultimately found not guilty, his reputation never recovered and the business went under.

The Lesson? Put a New Twist on Something Old

One thing we are noticing in recent years is the return of 80’s nostalgia, and with only 6000 DeLoreans left in the world, their rarity has brought value way up. The company is actually planning on producing more of the iconic vehicle, and while recovering from legal issues is always a hurdle, they plan to introduce a re-release of the classic very soon.

There are always opportunities to retry a project, but make sure it’s the right time and place. With resources for managing what ifs and a good scenario planning strategy, you can bring old ideas back to the future.

2.Sony Betamax

Did you know that you could still buy Sony’s Betamax Video cassettes until 5 years ago? Probably not, and neither did their customers—most likely because they weren’t interested in buying them anyway. Back in the ’70s, JVC found a way to produce VHS tapes that were more affordable and easier to use, but Sony continued to work on innovating their original best-selling product, convinced that their customer loyalty would outweigh anything else.

The Lesson? End Draining Projects

It’s always good to try the same idea in new ways, but sometimes you’ll end up dumping resources into the wrong project. Be adaptable to the needs of a changing world. If your product doesn’t serve the needs of the current market, pull the plug and start something new. When all else fails, make sure to use the right resource forecasting tools and techniques to get real market data.

  1. #1 New Coke

When trying to counter-act Pepsi’s growing popularity in 1985, Coke did their homework. After testing a new recipe on 200,000 tasters and finding most preferred it over the original, Coca-Cola released New Coke. The release seemed like a no-brainer: it was time to revolutionize the soda industry.

Unfortunately, product loyalty got in the way and New Coke didn’t sell as expected. The failed venture ended up costing the company $4 million in development and a total loss of $30 million in back-stocked product. This failed project management story has become an infamous marketing horror story still discussed today.

The Lesson? Data Isn’t Black and White

Coca-Cola misinterpreted their extensive marketing research when it came to finding what their customers really wanted. Customer input is a non-negotiable in developing and managing a successful project, but you need to ensure you have a way to gather accurate customer insight that gives realistic data on how to incorporate your new ideas into the consumer market.

How Do I Manage Projects at Work? | ProSymmetry

Project managers have to work within their current resource availability, making a powerful impact while catching any curveballs thrown their way.  With stressful deadlines, unexpected market feedback, and ever changing regulations, no one should be doing it alone.

Give yourself an advantage with better resource management tools. Tempus resource by Prosymmetry has the best price-value ratio, the simplest user integration, and the ability to pull more data from more sources instantly. The software is simple to understand and has features like bulk editing, an excel-like interface, real-time heat mapping, “what-if” analysis, and more. When your company uses the best resource management tools, you’ll be the best project manager. It’s safe to say that you’ll be able to manage expectations and reach new levels of success with Tempus resource by Prosymmetry.

Ready to learn more about how Prosymmetry resource management can help you? Visit their website today

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By Published On: July 19, 2021Categories: Uncategorized

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