Project managers know it, the history and statistics are not on their side. But once you know of typical mistakes that lead to project failure, and if you are able to avoid those mistakes, you can ensure projects can be delivered successfully
Mistakes That Lead to Projects Failure
It is very important have very clear idea about project objectives and in turn, know what is expected to be delivered. Lack of clarity will make your entire team run places without any success or you will lead to the success that depends on factor of randomness.
Having right resources gets the half work done. By right, I mean who not just skilled enough but also committed, reliable to get the job done on time. Those who understand the urgency when necessary and who are ready to pull their sleeves and get their hands dirty.
As a project manager, you always deal with CHAOS; your team needs to collaborate and work with cross functional team. It has always been difficult part of project management to expect timely support and communication from every other stakeholder involved. It helps to let every other team understand project objectives and to draw common path to ensure consistent communication and support.
I have said it earlier and it has always been my belief that unless higher management buys-in, the lifecycle of the project is in amazingly unpredictable (tends to shelve, if things are not in your favor). If you have support from Executive Management, it can step in and using their experience & authority, can make the way for struggling project or remove obstacles.
If you are getting carried away with changing project scope, then you are dragging everyone with you including your own team, other teams, vendors, etc. So the question is are you able manage project scope changes? You can be flexible to certain extent but project scope has to be sacrosanct. You should have it all, to say ‘NO’ when required.
Why just project, even in our own personal life, we understand lack of communication cause hell of un-warranted problems. Clear and frequent communication with team, missing engagement with customer, vendors, higher management and other teams involved can really save you (and of course other) from last minute surprises. Nobody likes negative surprises because we are not prepared. If at all , it is unavoidable to communicate negative results, making everyone aware (informed) will not surprise them.
To make the deal happen, many project manager make the mistake of proposing over-optimistic timelines for project deliveries. Things go wrong, if you do not have buffer, project plan will remain a plan far more unreal to execute. You need to look at quick scope changes, team members’ personal problems, logistics, and infrastructural problems. I am not saying you should make space for much of buffer in project timeline but you will have to be practical and judicious.
As I mentioned earlier, no matter how much meticulously you create a project plan, still things will go wrong. Practicing, experienced project managers know it well and they ensure risk management strategy is in place right from the beginning of the project.
Unpredictability is the most significant problem any project delivery face. As I said, nobody likes bad surprises. Having proper processes in place brings in such predictability. Short-cuts or ad-hoc deliveries can work, once for a while but not most of the times. You need a repeatable and reliable process of project initiation, planning, execution and delivery.
No. project management software doesn’t do any magic; it certainly helps you greatly to be informed, be alert, get organized and collaborate. Having right project management software that works really well with entire team will definitely makes the difference. Knowing what will work for your organization (features requirements) and your team (usability, simplicity, performance); will make superior chances of making PM tool work really well.
You should definitely have a look at ZilicusPM – complete online project management software that offers comprehensive functions to streamline your project management process and let everyone stay on top of the things.
[Image source] : Businessgross.com
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