When you look at a completed, successful million dollar project, you may think it was all straightforward. That everything worked seamlessly without issues. But that's not the truth. The process is complex and needs an intricate plan to execute.
Here’s the harsh truth: 70% of projects fail. What’s worse? 17% of large IT project failures threaten the companies’ existence. You definitely don’t want to be part of either of the above statistics.
Do you feel like your project management sucks? Are you trying to identify ways to make it work? Here are possible reasons, and what you can do about it.
1. You're not using the right tools
Are you doing project management in Excel? Do you just use a pen and paper? If you’re doing either of these, that genuinely sucks. If you’re using project management software, are you sure you chose the right one for you? A good project is as good as its tools. Wrong tools mess up potentially successful projects. It’s hard to work with a team using software that is not user-friendly and collaborative.
Solution: Get a good unified platform that helps you seamlessly manage your project. The essential features of a valuable tool include project planning, scheduling, reporting, time tracking, project budgeting and billing. Such tools will help successful project managers to handle the plethora of responsibilities they have flawlessly.
2. You don't lay a foundation for success
Let’s be honest. Before you build a house, the blueprint must be done right. The foundation should be solid. Your project management strategies may suck because you're not laying out the plan properly. You probably started prematurely without finalizing all the project details. This way the goals set are not clear and there are no measurable success criteria.
Solution: Create a winning plan before you begin the project. Get input from all stakeholders. Take your time to research what tools and methodologies work best at the time. Make sure the whole team understands what's expected. This master plan should be detailed and the goals measurable. Indicate realistic dates and timelines indicated. Sure, some things may change. But with a good plan, it's easier to adjust.
3. Teamwork issues
One of the things that can give you a stinging headache is having the wrong team. This is a big issue that may make your project fail miserably. Teamwork issues include poor communication, time wasting, low-quality deliveries, lack of professionalism and shifting priorities. Some people may end up skipping or messing up important tasks because they consider them redundant. It can be such a pain if some don’t even understand what the entire project is about.
What issues should your team be handling? According to LiquidPlanner, here are some challenges that people faced when managing projects in 2017.
Solution: This can be mitigated by carefully selecting the team members who should run the project. Let them all understand and be committed to the goal. Create proper workflows and give each person clear to-do lists. Here's where project monitoring comes in. It ensures all the project's metrics are moving smoothly. You get to identify any issues that are messing up the project's scope, budget, and deadlines. You can use an app that allows all members to see what other collaborators are doing. This may reduce the number of meetings needed.
4. You're not embracing change
What happened to Nokia? What about MySpace? Kodak? You get the drift. To go far, you need to constantly embrace change. An issue may come up in the middle of the project and threaten to bring it all tumbling down. New, superior technology may come up that can 10x your project implementation speed. Some project processes may become genuinely redundant as things change. If you’re not embracing change, you’ll soon become a laughing stock to your competitors.
Solution: To fix this, keep your project details clearly defined, documented and controlled. Focus on the end-goal. If something comes up that proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it will improve the project deliverability, give it a chance. Nobody knows the future. But the ability to smartly predict and adapt may make you move way faster than your competitors.
Your project management shouldn't suck anymore
It doesn’t have to suck anymore. To get there, you’ll need to use the right tools, lay a foundation for success, avoid teamwork issues and embrace change. When well implemented, you’ll get to the level you’ve been yearning for. No, it won’t be easy. But with hard work and dedication, it will all be worth it.