Back to Back Issues Page
Project Skills Newsletter Issue #12 - Top 7 Reasons For Project Management Failure
January 13, 2015


Welcome to Issue #12 of my Project Skills Newsletter - I hope you'll enjoy this issue.

1. How To Start A Business Analyst Career - Update!

Here's an update on how I'm progressing with my guidebook, How To Start A Business Analysis Career.

The good news ... the guidebook is almost done, all 85 pages of it!

How To Start A Business Analysis Career will go on sale on 15 January 2015, 12 am (US Pacific Time).

If you've always wanted to transition to a BA role, you should definitely pick up a copy. There are 28 practical action steps in the book that you can take to find your first Business Analyst position.

Also, do watch your email box on January 15 for a very special deal on my guidebook! This exclusive deal is ONLY available to you, my newsletter reader - and good for one week only. You don't want to miss out.

Meanwhile, read what some of my book reviewers had to say about the book, as well as an excerpt of a chapter ...

2. Praise For How To Start A Business Analysis Career

Testimonial 1
Your book has helped me understand the steps I need to take to make career change from software development to Business Analysis. I'm done with Java programming and I don't think I'm that good with it. Your book and website has given me the courage to step out and take action towards a BA career. Thank you! - John Patel

Testimonial 2
I had a number of questions on BA work, e.g. what is the job profile for a Business Analyst in firms like Deloitte, IBM or Cognizant? What is the task they actually do? I'm glad I read your book as it answered these questions and more. I realize now that a BA's work profile can vary - depending on geography, industry and also by employer type (e.g. software vendors, consulting firms or end-users like banks, insurers) - Ronald Heath

Testimonial 3
Just wanted to thank you for covering the basics of the banking industry in your book. I was searching the Internet to prepare for a job interview as a Business Analyst in a top tier bank. None of the sites I found gave a real, practitioner's point of view like you do in your book. And I can tell you speak from experience, having worked as a Banking and Insurance BA for so long. - Rajashik M

Testimonial 4
I wanted to switch careers to work as an Senior Insurance Business Analyst in the IT industry. Your book's section on accumulating BA experience has helped me greatly! It helped me re-frame my past insurance expertise into a solid resume which gave me interviews at IBM and Accenture. - Vishy N

Testimonial 5
I had been trying to break into the BA space for a few years now - but had no luck. Every place that I've applied for said they were looking for "experienced" BAs - so I bought your book wondering if you had any advice for someone like me who's a web developer by trade.

3. Sample Chapter: What Kind of Business Analysis Job Is Right For You?

You know, BA jobs come in all kinds of flavors. If you're looking for a BA role, it is useful to understand the common types of business analyst positions out there.

This will help you determine which one will be the best fit with your talents, current skill set, and career goals.

To learn more, click on this link to download the sample chapter.

4. Featured Article:Top 7 Reasons For Project Management Failure

In my experience as a Project Manager, I've seen many projects fail. In fact, according to the Cranfield School of Management in the UK, 68% of projects are destined for failure.

Given this, I've just two questions in my mind.

  • Why do projects fail?
  • Why do companies continue to let them fail?

Let's try to answer the first question before moving to the second one.

To me, projects fail for many reasons. But the top 7 reasons usually are:

  • Lack of Senior Management Involvement
  • Poor Requirements
  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Scope Creep
  • Lack of User Involvement
  • Inexperienced Project Managers
  • Lack of Resources

To read out more about each of these reasons why projects fail, click here.

5. More Articles

5 tips for getting the attention of your project sponsor
Here are 5 tips for getting the attention of your project's sponsor.

How to create a project plan in microsoft project
Learn how to create a project plan in Microsoft Project.

The role of the insurance business analyst
Learn about the role of an insurance business analyst and what he or she does on the job.

Learn about 3 important business analyst techniques
A list of 3 important business analyst techniques useful for those starting out in a BA career.

5 things a project manager do if the scope is unrealistic
Learn about 5 things a project manager do if the scope is unrealistic. Save your project from imminent failure by applying these scoping tips.

For more articles, be sure to visit

6. Tip of the Week

My tip this week is to tackle project work tasks iteratively.

I remember I once had to come up with a business case for a digital banking initiative at a top- tier banking client.

I only had three weeks to do it inclusive of interviewing client stakeholders and doing data analysis.

Obviously, that was a challenging three weeks for me. I worked many late nights with my team, crunching data and validating our findings with the client almost of a daily basis.

I found that what really helped our team complete the work on time and with quality was our ability to work iteratively.

We first came up with a Table of Contents for the business case, which we then validated it with our stakeholders.

We then did our interviews, analyzed the data, and filled in whichever chapters we could. We would publish a draft copy of the report for validation with our client twice a week.

As you can see, this approach focuses on "getting deliverables out to the client" as soon as we can, so that the client can see what work we're doing and provide early feedback.

In the end, we managed to deliver the business case without issue and the client was very satisfied with the work.

The lesson learnt is to break up the work into reasonable chunks, then tackle it iteratively with a lot of client communication and buy-in built into the process.

Try this the next time you have a major deliverable to work on - it works!

Final Thoughts

I hope you all have a great week ahead! If you have any questions, send feel free to send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.


Very Respectfully,
Gary Tan
Author, Project Manager & Business Analyst

P.S. Check out my tips and resources for the PM and BA.


Back to Back Issues Page