Norman Carnovale is an IT architect working for Lockheed Martin Professional Services on Homeland Security-related projects. He was formerly a software consultant, instructor, and architect for Davalen, LLC (http://www.davalen.com), a Premier IBM Business Partner specializing in WebSphere Portlet Factory, WebSphere Portal, and Lotus Domino projects.
FAILED PROJECTS CAN HAPPEN FOR A MULTITUDE OF REASONS. One of the most common sources of failure is altering the project schedule in midstream without proper planning. This kind of failure is avoidable, but it can require major effort on the part of multiple people. Adjusting the timeline or increasing resources on a project are not normally of concern. Problems start when you are asked to do more in the same timeline or when the schedule is shortened without reducing the workload.
The idea that schedules can be shortened in order to reduce cost or speed up delivery is a very common misconception. You'll commonly see attempts to require overtime or sacrifice "less important scheduled tasks" (like unit testing) as a way to reduce delivery dates, or increase functionality while keeping the delivery dates as is. Avoid this scenario at all costs. Remind those requesting the changes of the following facts:
A rushed design schedule leads to poor design, bad documentation, and probable quality ...