Five Ways Data Projects Fail

posted on 15 Mar 2023 in

From my time in and around Analytics, Data, and AI I’ve seen more projects fail than I care to count. hell, I’ve lead or been a part of too many projects that have failed. Here are a few high level observations how and when projects fail.

  1. Projects can fail before they begin.
  2. Projects can fail to achieve their end goal.
  3. Projects can fail by taking too long to achieve their goal.
  4. Projects can fail by being too rigid.
  5. Projects can fail

Each of these is related in some way, but let’s break each one down. I’ll provide stories from my background to illustrate some of the problems that I have seen.

Projects Fail Before Starting

Really, this one is a hindsight thing. Or with enough experience you can get the sense of a projects impending failure before it begins. Largely i chalk this one up to distraction.

The focus of any project at any time, should be value.

If it’s not, then it’s likely going to fail.

Projects Fail to Achieve Their Goal

Projects Fail by Taking Too Long

Projects Fail by being Too Rigid

Project Fail by


I’ve taken this and turned it into multiple pieces of content here.