Regardless of how much we would like it to happen, in project management it is rare when everything goes smoothly. The level of difficulty in completing projects is reflected in the fact that only every fifth project is completed on time, in the assumed budget and containing all the features and functions specified in the original requirements. What happens in other cases? A lot of failures are caused by errors leading to serious problems, the resolution of which requires increased expenditure of labour and resources and which often leave the future of the project uncertain as well. Obviously, not everything is foreseeable and plannable. However, there are areas to which special attention should be directed. What errors and barriers stand in the way to the project’s success most often and how to avoid them?
Regardless of the type of project, no plan is a plan for failure. How to manage a project if it is not known how to measure its effectivity because a solid work schedule was never worded and approved? Creating too vague plans, which make the effective coordination of activities impossible – that is one thing and a too detailed “timetable,” is another, which, especially in long-term projects, loses its topicality very fast. Thus, despite the fact that the planning stage is usually time consuming and requires a great deal of work both from the project manager and from the entire team, creation of a good, flexible schedule is an extremely important (some say, the most important) element of project management. What to do to ensure that the plan does not slip out of control? One of the most effective methods is the Kanban method. IC Project, which is based on this method, facilitates access to the work schedule to all project participants. Thanks to this, anyone can check what the work is currently being focused on, what are the priorities and, above all, are there any problems requiring response.
No one needs to be persuaded how important teamwork is in project performance. Hard skills, that is the knowledge and abilities of individual team members, though essential, are not sufficient for us to be certain the goal will be obtained. There is also a human aspect that cannot be forgotten. The manner of communication, readiness to share the knowledge or ability to work under time pressure are only a few elements which impact the team’s effectiveness. A separate issue is the attitude of people participating in a project. A situation where there is a group of well-prepared people, who in theory should cooperate, but for some reason lack devotion, is a huge threat.
Errors in communication
Effective communication of all parties participating in a project is key to efficient performance of each undertaking. Nothing causes problems to pile up more than lack of information and unclear communication. Often all it takes is one signal about difficulties in performing a given task, sent adequately earlier, in order to prevent a serious crisis in a project. This is why determining clear rules and communication methods which will be accepted by all team members is one of the most important challenges for a project manager. Today it is hard to imagine effective information exchange without modern tools in our aid. ICP proposes a range of functionalities in this area. Two of them is the possibility to communicate in real time and a well-developed notification system. Thanks to them, we can avoid situations when an important decision or opinion waits for its turn in someone’s mailbox, hindering the work progress.
Project management is an extremely complex task. No wonder errors and slip-ups are experienced even by experienced PMs at each stage of project performance. And though errors, as it is commonly known, are a part of our nature and an opportunity to draw conclusions, in some cases such education may cost dearly.