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Top 5 mistakes that will get your projects off the rails

No one wants to have their projects derailed. You can’t control shifting organizational priorities or a customer’s failure to deliver a key component, but you can take action to minimize and prevent mistakes from being made.

Top 5 Mistakes that will get your projects off the rails

Whether a mistake is committed by a team member, customer or even YOU, arming yourself with knowledge on where these mistakes can occur, can help prevent or minimize them. Here are the top five mistakes that can jeopardize your project.

 

Lack of Clarity in Project Scope

The project scope is the foundation of all future decisions. Without clear scope definition, the timeline you have created in your project plan will not be met. You will be missing tasks, estimates for effort and duration from your timeline. Your budget will be missing the associated costs. As a result, your project will go over budget, and your delivery date will get impacted.

 

Easy Project WBS for Scope ManagementEasy Project WBS for Scope Management

 

Lack of Project Management Processes

With each delivered project, you need to constantly improve your organization’s project management processes. When a process is missing, it can create confusion among team members on the workflow and delays in deliverables. The management process ensuring that the planning, organizing, and controls are in place, facilitates the course of action when decision making is taking place. Lack of processes is disruptive, increases your workload and consumes your time to sort out what needs to be done to keep the project moving.

 

Easy Project WorkflowEasy Project Workflows for Organised Processes

 

Outdated Project Status

Organizations have multiple projects running at the same time, frequently with shared resources. If you fail in communicating the status of your project, the resource management may not have these resources available when you need them. The necessary resources may be assigned elsewhere because the resource management team was not aware of your needs. To align stakeholders and team members, they need an up to date status to do their planning and make decisions.

 

Easy Project Project StatusesEasy Project - Project Indicators 

 

Lack of Identifying Tasks Dependencies

There will be task dependencies that need to be identified and completed for the project to keep moving forward. Failing to do so, will result in delays, possibly not having the necessary resources available to complete tasks and increased costs. This comes back to having a clear scope from the start of the project.

 

Easy Project Define DependenciesEasy Project Gantt for Clearly identified dependencies

 

Lack of Resource Availability with the Right Skill sets

Human resource management will never have too many people with the same skill set. If you have a poorly defined scope, failed in identifying your task dependencies and an outdated status, you will not be able to get the resources with the right skill set at the time you need them. You may be forced to use an inexperienced human resource or experience a delay until the required resource is available.

 

Easy Project Resource ManagementEasy Project Resource Management for clear skill set identification

 

An organization focused on building a strong business management environment does help you to meet your project management objectives. It is your responsibility to educate the business on the requirements to effectively support project management.

Mistakes will happen even through your best efforts. You need to be persistent and consistent when exercising best practices in project management to initiate, plan, execute and close your projects. Many mistakes are preventable, and the ones beyond your control can be minimized and managed. By exercising best practices, you will see the desired results to achieve success.

 

Read also "Kanban or not to Kanban? Project management benefits & costs".

 

Author: Lukáš Beňa

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