Depending on the nature, size, value, and strategic importance, project failure could have a devastating impact on an organization’s credibility, strategy, and survival. Projects fail for various reasons. Project managers must take a close look at the mistakes that the teams make and then plan actions to avoid or overcome them. In this blog, we highlight seven common project management mistakes.
1. Lack of communication among project team and stakeholders:
According to PMI’s guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (aka, PMBOK), 90% of a project manager’s time is spent on formal and informal communication with the project team and other stakeholders. Lack of communication and collaboration among project team members lead to disaster. It is essential to create an atmosphere with open communication channels, that allows the project team to be more engaged. It also helps the team to realize the importance of their roles and responsibilities.
Simple communication approaches such as periodic reviews, weekly meetings, and project dashboards give a clear view of project progress. It helps to identify and remove roadblocks at the earliest. Using TouchBase – Social for Projects, project managers could foster better collaboration with diverse stakeholders.
2.Unclear project objectives:
“If you don’t know where you are going, it does not matter where you go.” When the project objectives and goals are not clearly understood by the project team, the chances of chaos are high. Without clear objectives, it is hard to measure results. Objectives help the project team to stay focused and provide a common goal to refer to when going gets tough. By using project management software like TouchBase, clear goals and targets can be set for the project team and enable work prioritization.
3.No repository for projects
Another huge mistake in project management is not having a common repository for projects. Without a central repository of project artefacts, team members are more likely to struggle for the ‘right project information’ – impacts the team’s effectiveness. Using good project management software helps to manage all project documents in a central and secured location. It ensures that all stakeholders have ‘one version of project truth.’
4.Inaccurate estimation and budget
Projects must be delivered to a specific budget and schedule that are set during project initiation and planning. Stakeholders often underestimate the schedule and budget to deliver the project. Most of the time, estimates are padded up to account for project uncertainties. However, these should be managed via contingency or management reserves supported by rigorous risk management. Also, it is important to seek expert advice, review historical information, understand the team’s expertise while estimating for a project.
5.Poor resource management
Many organizations assign project resources based on their availability and not their experience or skills. The problem of resource management gets aggravated when organizations share resources across projects. Competency and skills assessment tools are important to select a project team with the right skills and knowledge. A clear work breakdown structure helps for effective resource allocation and identify the scarcity of resources in the project timeline. Project managers must use a comprehensive software to:
1.Integrate all projects
2.Create a common resource pool
3.Forecast resource demand
4.Group resource by skillset
5.Assign resources to projects.
Scope creep as well as gold plating are the common causes of project failures. As per PMBOK, scope creep is “the uncontrolled expansion of the product or project scope without adjustment to time, cost, and resources.” Gold plating refers to providing extra features to customers for better performance. Scope creep over time can disrupt margins and even project viability. It is important to include clients and stakeholders in the scope planning process to avoid scope creep. A robust change management plan is important to manage scope creep.
7.Poor risk management
The most common mistake in project management is not paying enough attention to risks in a project. It is important to identify risks in the early stages of a project and monitor them throughout the project lifecycle. Project managers along with team members should identify risks, perform risk assessment, define risk mitigation plans, create response plans, and assign clear ownership along with due dates.
It is imperative that organizations implement best-in-class project management software to make the process of managing projects smooth. TouchBase is designed to enhance the project management experience for project managers, project teams, and stakeholders alike.