Spot the warning signs. Clean up project emergencies.

Helpful resources to limit, control, avoid, or plan for project risks using red flags

If problems are popping up unexpectedly around your company’s projects, products, and people, those, my friends, are red flags. Missing them is tantamount to an acid bath for your organization. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These red flags will be begging for mercy.

Extreme red flags

Let’s start by outlining a few red flags that can throw your team and projects off the rails.

Extreme impact, certain probability

These commonly experienced red flags will often show an extremely impactful probable risk on your projects. Don’t ignore these: plan for and mitigate them as much as possible.

Red flagsProbable risksPart of project affected

Stakeholders will ‘know it when they see it’ (indecisive)

  • Ongoing design rounds
  • Unhappy stakeholders
  • Disenchanted or disengaged team
  • Project failure

PM, Research, Content, Design, Development, QA

Too many stakeholders (big board/committee/review panel)

  • Project delays/inertia
  • Multiple revision rounds
  • Client onboarding overages
  • Scope creep

PM, Design, Development, QA

Client team has its own design or development team

  • Stakeholders misaligned
  • Scope creep
  • Additional QA and revisions
  • Communication breakdowns
  • Unhappy stakeholders

PM, Design or Development, QA

Tight timeline or rushed project

  • Effort creep
  • Unhappy team
  • Budget overages

PM, Content, Design, Development, QA

Stakeholders don’t know their audience or market

  • Additional design rounds
  • Build the wrong product
  • Project failure
  • Budget or timeline overages
  • Disengaged or frustrated team

PM, Research, Content, Design, Development

Stakeholders have strong ideas about how product should look or function

  • Hostile communication and misalignment or mistrust
  • Project failure
  • Additional QA
  • Additional design rounds

PM, Research, Design, Development, QA

You’ve inherited this project after some other team’s past attempt

  • Project failure
  • Additional design rounds
  • Additional stakeholder communication and research

PM, Research, Content, Design, Development, QA

Stakeholders slow to respond or inarticulate

  • Schedule delays
  • Team frustration and disillusionment
  • Increased hand holding and management

PM, QA

Stakeholders can’t describe their own brand or vision

  • Additional design rounds
  • Research needs double
  • Build the wrong product
  • Project failure
  • Budget or timeline overages

PM, Research

Stakeholders are difficult or high maintenance

  • Additional stakeholder management
  • Additional onboarding
  • Additional revisions or adjustments to scope

PM, QA

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