Software industry is facing a tremendous increase in‘Death March’ projects in recent years. A death march project result in the threat of private and corporation reputation damage (Schwalbe, 2009).According to (Yourdon, 2004), the reasons behind these failures might be the schedule of the project itself, an incorrect estimation of budget, mismanagement, lack of labor force required. In other words, it could be said that the Death March project occurs when the parameters or limitations that are fixed just simply exceed the norms of project management (Blatman& Galai, 2011). In order to cope of with these strategies a project charter plays quite a significant role in the overall success of the project.
For identifying the reasons for the failure of a death March project, the paper would identify two recent Death March projects naming the Chain Management System of Sainsbury’s and the FBI's Virtual Case File system. In the context of these two projects, the role of project charter in their failure, the analysis of the stakeholders involved in these projects, the effect of organizational culture, and integration of the management of the corporations working on these projects would be highlighted. Furthermore, the scope management analysis undertaken would also help in identifying that whether or not the project creep occur in these projects and what steps should have been undertaken to avoid this project creep. In addition, the paper would also discuss, how these resulting issues might have been resolved by the project manger by using the new and innovative technological developments. In the end, suggestions would also be made regarding the communication plan that would be best suits for the projects of this nature. Order write my paper for your assistance.
Overview of Projects
Automated Chain Management System of J Sainsbury: J Sainsbury a British retailer abandoned the software project for an automated chain management system in October 2005. The total cost of the project was estimated at $526m and poor project management was considered as the reasons of failures of the project. However, according to Stellman and Greene (2005), the reasons of failures of a software project are more likely to relate with software errors such as coding error but even coding errors are associated with the project management (Stellman& Greene, 2005). As a result, J Sainsbury whose merchandise was stuck in the depot and warehouse of the company could not get through its numbers of stores and the company had to hire three thousand additional clerks to stock its shelves manually. Since the company had to bear loss of huge investment, holding software managers responsible for inefficiency in completing the project may be right but there is greater role of poor project management for the project (Kerzner, 2009) such as project charter can have long-term effects on the success and failure of the project specifically after the initiation of the project. In the case of J Sainsbury, considering the incompetent management of the project can be basic reason of the failure of the project as the company is not capable to manage the organizational change. Poor management in organizational change is associated with project charter, stakeholder analysis of the project, organizational culture within organization, integration management and change management and communication.
FBI's Virtual Case File system: The FBI had to declare its software project virtual case file system failure delivered by contractor Science Applications International Corporation. The reasons of failure declared by the authority are based on the requirements of bureau that are not fulfilled in the project while failure of the project has been associated with the lost of time and investment spent on the project. The contractor Science Applications International Corporation held the FBI responsible for the failure of the project that are associated with the prime mission of the FBI from criminal investigation to preventing terrorism that remarkably affected the project progress. It is further termed as state of poor management in decisions early in the project while inappropriate oversight of the project affected the costly problems (Frieden, 2005). Moreover, like the case of J Sainsbury, in the case of FBI, the authority has been found incapable of managing changes and communication of planning of project resulting in the failure of the projects. However, according to Cleland and Ireland (2006), managing change in the project can be challenging as the success and failure of the project may greatly rely on the way changes are accepted and made part of the project through appropriate communication channels between stakeholders and project team (Cleland& Ireland, 2006). In the case of the FBI, it is found that there was lack of communication for changes in the project between board and project team (Frieden, 2005).
A project is considered as‘Death March’ when it inclines towards a failure as a result of unrealistic expectations in making schedules, featuring the scope of the project or due to lack of suitable strategies and training personnel to accomplish the task successfully. The two cases of project failure identified in this paper i-e Chain Management System of Sainsbury’s and the FBI's Virtual Case File system, were analyzed to find out the reasons of their failures. The main reasons that were identified include the scope creep, mismanagement and inappropriate communication between the companies Sainsbury’s and FBI with their relative contactors that were being charged to complete the project for the company. There were lacking found in the management of scope set forth by the management at initial stage. No provision was made to consider the effects of ongoing business changes. The companies simply overlooked the interest of the stakeholders that were associated with these projects. Furthermore, lack of integration and coordination in the management was also found, causing delays in meeting. Likewise, proper communication among the project team and board members were also identified.
On the other hand, the projects of the companies would have resulted in the‘Bench Mark’ rather than‘Death Mark’ through proper communication, appropriate project charter, effective organization culture and efficient scope management strategies. However, the role of project manager is quite significant in the overall success of the project. A company with an extreme and effective integration of its business strategies could make any project successful with the estimated project scope, objective, the only need is to take every decision by keeping in its mind about the stakeholders, and its project target required to be achieved.