You can easily find resources, tips and even guidelines that you can use to become an effective and successful project manager. What you will rarely see being discussed are topics involving project failure.
In order to ensure the success of a project you’re assigned to handle, you should also be aware of the common reasons why projects fail. This way, you will know what to avoid, and what you can do in case any of these issues begin to affect you and your team.
Below are some of them that you should know:
#1 – Unclear or Unidentified Scope
The scope of a project includes not only the things that should be done, but also the things that shouldn’t be done. As a project manager, once the project work is identified, you have to be sure there are no unplanned changes to it. You should be able to anticipate also what possible changes will be required, so that you may be prepared to set a new schedule or budget perhaps. Otherwise, it is very likely that you will miss your target, which will become a disappointment to the management and the customers.
#2 – Wrong Allocation of Resources
Project managers need to do a better job of knowing what their people are doing, and what resources are being used for a particular project. Project failure happens when people or team members do not have a clear understanding of what projects they need to focus on and when. Thus, managers are advised to meet frequently so they may discuss how resources are allocated and being utilized.
#3 – Lack of Proper Communications
It is typical of some team members to know the project manager only through various means of communications. In many cases, workers are only given instructions over the phone or through emails. This is inevitable because some projects are so huge and involve way too many people. Thus, project managers must be effective communicators to avoid confusion and chaos.
#4 – Wrong Estimates
Estimates should not be guessed. Calculating duration of time as well as the amount of money needed for the completion of a project should be based on historical records. Doing guesses instead often leads to erroneous scheduling, and increased risk.
#5 – Lack of Risk Management
Every project is different and so uncertainty is always part of the picture. This uncertainty is also known as risk, especially when the uncertainty is quantified. Project managers need to be able to anticipate what things could go wrong, and what challenges may come their way. This way, the team will be able to come up with strategies on how to respond to such risks in case they occur.
Good and effective project management requires a lot of focus and commitment, especially on the part of a project manager or leader. If you have been assigned to manage a certain project, you have to make every effort to communicate with your people well to make sure resources are allocated properly, risk is calculated and prepared for, and project scope is perfectly understood.
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