While everything that can go wrong will go wrong, at some time, having measures in place to prevent a potential project problem will make it more likely that you are going to avoid such disasters having an impact. Here are some points to keep in mind:
Six Tips for Avoiding Project Management Disasters
1. Start as you mean to go on
One of the most common problem areas within project management is failing to get your project off the ground properly. By not spending the necessary time gathering and agreeing on the project requirements, creating a plan in line with these requirements, and setting expectations, you are heading into a project with an unclear vision and steps.
Don’t start the project until all questions and grey areas have been filled and your project is properly assessed. It is important to not rush this stage as the work done here will be reflected down the line.
2. Lack of control
Project control is so important. Areas, where control is essential, would be scope creep, communication channels, risk and issue management, change control, etc.
In order to manage all these aspects correctly you need to gain and maintain control at all times. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Have a set process in place to help you approach a change control situation
- Review potential risks and issues at your project status meetings
- Set down the channels of communication at the beginning
- Review and update your project plan regularly to make sure you haven’t lost sight of the overall project goal. These reviews allow you to take action straight away if your project needs pulling back.
3. Are the right people working on the right projects
By not having the right number of people available to work on the project or having the wrong skill set allocated to the project can often lead to project failure.
Resourcing requirements should be examined at the beginning to see where there are gaps and take the necessary steps to correct this.
Miscalculating the project timeline isn’t just a matter of missing your deadline. There are knock-on effects such as budget overspends, and delays in bringing products or services to the market.
In the planning phase, discuss issues that could impact the project timeline and establish resolutions to these issues.
5. Management isn’t fully involved
As the project manager, you are the centerpiece of the project and are responsible for the entire team, and project progress, and answerable to any queries relating to the project.
Check-in frequently with the project team through a weekly status meeting and offer your expertise where there are rising issues or where progress is slowing down.
6. Learn from your previous mistakes
As a business, you are consistently looking to improve the way you work. However, things go wrong and you may end up failing in some areas. When failure happens the worst thing you can do is move on like it hasn’t happened.
Learning from your mistakes is important and spending time examining all the “whys” is good practice. By completing “lessons learned” at the end of your project can show you:
- Where your plan went wrong
- What could you do differently
- Can this be brought to future projects
Managing projects can throw up many obstacles, which can hinder the project process of initiation to project delivery. However, these obstacles can be controlled by putting the correct measures in place to help ensure project success.
See how Cora can put the structures in place to help you avoid Project Management disasters by watching an overview of the platform at corasystems.com/demos