Top Tips To Avoid Project Management Failure
The key objective in project management is to complete your project successfully. Project teams are specifically brought together to solve critical issues and problems where failure to diagnose and recommend a solution are at the heart of business survival or where strategic planning has gone off-beam.
That is no guarantee of success and many Project Teams fail to deliver for a number of reasons; this list of common pitfalls should help avoid such problems.
- Lack of clear objectives:Nobody knows the subject matter of the project is about, and nobody is agreed on what it might actually be.
- Lack of risk management:Things go wrong that someone could easily have foreseen and then controlled to some degree or even prevented.
- No senior management ‘buy in’:Senior managers were never convinced and so never supported the project, leading to problems such as lack of resource. Neither did those managers exercise normal management supervision as they routinely do in their other areas of responsibility.
- Poor planning:Unless the exercise has a tight remit and clear direction then there has actually been no real planning done at all. Not surprisingly members have no sense of direction or purpose.
- No clear progress milestones:This follows on from poor planning. The lack of milestones means nobody sees when things are off track, and problems go unnoticed for a long time.
- Understated scope:The scope and the Project Plan are superficial and understate both what the project needs to deliver and the resource needed to deliver it. The real issues and components of the problem only emerge when it is too late to make any real impact without considerable, and un-needed, extra effort, time and resource. By this time the budget has been well and truly breached!.
- Poor communications:So many projects fail because of communication breakdown, which can stem from unclear roles and responsibilities and from poor senior management attitudes, such as not wanting to hear bad news.
- Unrealistic resource levels:It just isn’t possible to do a project of the required scope with such a small amount of resource – staff, money or both.
- Unrealistic timescales:The project just can’t deliver by the required time, so it’s doomed to failure.
- No change control:People add in things bit by bit – scope creep. Then it dawns on everyone that the project’s grown so big that it can’t be delivered within the fixed budget or by the set deadline.
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