In management and leadership, you’ll often find that you’ll be responsible for overseeing or getting a number of projects completed. Project management requires you to be responsible for all of the moving parts within the project, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks and the project is actually completed. This is, however, much easier said than done. Here are 5 common reasons why your projects are going over schedule, over budget, and generally under expectations of quality:
- Overextending on your resources: You find yourself doing more than what your resources allow, whether it be in finances, human capital, strategic partnerships, time, etc.
- Micromanaging: You’re too busy looking over everyone’s shoulders instead of allowing your trusted team members to complete their tasks.
- Lack of strategic vision: You are being too tactical (putting out fires, playing catch-up vs how to sustain long term competitive advantage).
- Eating an elephant whole: No matter how well thought out the project is and how well the individual pieces may be perfectly executed on time and on budget, it’s sometimes impossible or extremely difficult to integrate the pieces. It’s probably a better idea to chunk out the projects to produce measurable results such as described in the “rapid results initiative” where specific quantifiable milestones are set, and once reached can be either built upon or scrapped depending on the goal discovery process.
- Poor communication between cross-functions: Bureaucracy is part of the game; just get used to it, or better yet, learn to be a better communicator. Don’t just let the marketing or engineering head decide on the project requirements; set aside time to get insight from all constituents and stakeholders.
Not only do failed projects cost time and money, sometimes amounting to several years, and millions of dollars, it also demoralizes all the stakeholders to the project, especially the frontline employees and managers that had direct reign and input into the project. As has been quoted in the media and surveys, the majority of projects fail to meet expectations or even sustainable results. Therefore, it’s necessary to improve your own knowledge of the field of project management to advance one’s career or business success in this high paced environment.