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  • Writer's pictureExhibit Associates


Or Unraveling Three Key Missteps Where Projects Often Go Astray

Amy Adams, actress. Enchanted is the movie. She cleans Patrick Dempsey apartment by singing a song, enjoying life and the animals of New York City (rats, pigeons, roaches, etc) going all the work with a lot of magic. There is no magical help when it comes to projects.

A tradeshow booth build is a project. Projects are the lifeblood of an exhibit house. Large tradeshow, or portable booth: There all projects. Whether it's a booth rollout, or an execution of a tradeshow, projects often navigate treacherous waters fraught with unexpected challenges.

So, what are the three critical areas where projects typically veer off course?

1. Poorly Defined Scope and Objectives

The initial stages of a project lay the groundwork for its entire lifespan. Ambiguity here can set off a chain reaction of misinterpretations, misalignments, and misunderstandings that haunt the project till completion.

Without clear goals, projects become rudderless ships in a storm. Stakeholders, team members, and leaders might have disparate interpretations of success, leading to conflicting efforts. This lack of alignment results in wasted resources, delays, and a final product that often misses the mark.

Solutions for Clarity: Establishing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) objectives and having a well-defined scope statement can be the beacon guiding the project. Regular reviews and recalibrations ensure everyone stays on the same page, adapting to changing circumstances while remaining focused on the end goal.

2. Inadequate Risk Management

Risk is an inherent companion in any project journey. Yet, projects often falter when risks aren’t adequately identified, analyzed, or mitigated. Ignoring or downplaying potential risks is akin to sailing blindly into troubled waters, inviting disaster.

The Risk of Ignored Risks: Failure to address risks can lead to cost overruns, missed deadlines, and even project failure. Unforeseen obstacles can arise, halting progress and forcing teams into reactive, rather than proactive, modes of operation. This can breed a culture of crisis management rather than strategic problem-solving.

3. Communication Breakdowns

The Perils of Poor Communication: Miscommunication breeds misunderstandings, leading to delays, rework, and conflicts among team members. Critical information might not reach the necessary parties, causing decisions to be made on incomplete or outdated data. This can disrupt workflow and erode team morale.

In conclusion, projects often falter due to a convergence of factors related to unclear objectives, inadequate risk management, and communication breakdowns. By addressing these key areas with precision and diligence, project managers and teams can navigate the murky waters of project execution more adeptly, increasing the odds of successful project completion.

Ask Amy Adams.

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