Managing a project well is one of the hallmarks of effective leadership. It can also make a lot of difference when your business is in a competitive market which is changing rapidly. 

However, there are also many risks that come from project management, with ineffective handling often leading to huge costs for the business. Often these costs cannot be recuperated and leave huge holes in company budgets.

IT projects are just one area in which companies can easily face spiralling costs and ineffective results. A study from McKinsey and Company found that, among software projects, 66 per cent run over budget, while 33 per cent run over time.

At the same time, companies are at real risk of losing business from badly-handled projects. In fact, 17 per cent of IT projects go so badly that they threaten the existence of the whole company.

Often these failures occur because of the difficulties that come from tracking and managing a project at a managerial level. In fact, the single largest reason for problems with an IT project came from unclear objectives and a lack of business focus, rather than anything inherent in the project itself.

For time-poor executives with a number of different responsibilities, there is a real danger that these projects will not receive the attention they need throughout the life of the initiative. One solution is to invest in processes which can make project management more transparent for leaders.

Strategy execution software like StrategyBlocks can make it easy to track the progress of projects across your organisation, with simple tools to display different projects and ensure that they all stay on target.

Another option is to align team and individual incentives with the success of a project so that everyone has good reason to commit to the effective execution of a project.

Aligning technical initiatives with greater leadership oversight and individual responsibility is often your best bet that projects will happen on time and with a minimum of disruptions.