Often you hear that a project is having 'political problems'. In a person of a certain mindset, this arouses a fear; there is a whole class of failure mode that you don't know about. "Political problems? What does that mean? How should I try to avoid political problems in projects that I participate in? I don't even know what kinds of political problems are possible." To begin in answering the last sentence, I'll try to make a list of kinds of ways that a project has 'political trouble'. I use the word 'political' here loosely; you might think that some of these problems aren't really 'political'; sorry.

Note that many of the 'problems' on this list have multiple points of view. Sometimes I try to list the problem from both points of view, sometimes not. Also, some of these 'problems' are not really a 'problem' but just a discussion over alternatives for resolving some other problem.