This article is an excellent starting point looking for red flags, but these are just tactical flags. Project managers leading large and complex initiatives must look for more signs that are more strategic. Three important and strategic ones that all project managers should pay attention to are as follows:

1. Sponsor involvement. If sponsors suddenly change their involvement, then ask why. For example, if your sponsor was actively engaged daily then suddenly it became weekly or less frequent, figure out why. They may be genuinely busy, but there may be other shifts in their priorities.

2. Leadership change. This is an extension of sponsorship involvement and examining the broader picture of organizations. If there are change in the top management levels, e.g. your sponsor’s boss and their bosses, then start to understand why. If your project if of a strategic nature, then prepare yourself for possible change. Change almost always provide opportunity for growth, but failure to grasp these changes can sow the seed for eventual failure.

3. Strategy change. Projects ought to enable business objectives and strategies. But if there are changes, then PM should be aware. The change may be subtle, such as shift in requirements, or the change may be stark such as greater competitive pressure requiring accelerating time to market. By paying attention to the strategy, PMs are more capable of managing expectations as well as results.

Te Wu’s Comments on the below article:

Sharon Florentine for CIO writes:  Here’s how to tell if you’re headed for project management success or failure.    Robert Burns famously wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” and while he was addressing a mouse in his poem, his words sum up the day-to-day struggles of IT project managers. The key to successful project management is being able to not only to balance the “triple constraints” of time, resources and quality, but to identify red flags that could signal an impending project disaster.

“The most important thing to remember is that regardless of how well you plan, how much you build in contingencies for all the expected ways things could go sideways, something else, something you didn’t expect, will always happen. Something is always going to go wrong. If you can acknowledge and accept that, and then understand that sometimes these things aren’t in your control, you’re in a better position,” says Tushar Patel, senior vice president of marketing for project and portfolio management solutions company Innotas.    SNIP, the article continues @ CIO, click here to continue reading……