Lean or Agile, XP or PRiSM – if you’re a beginner in the field of project management, the methodology you choose will not make any big difference. It’s time to focus on the basics instead since they are what determine your project success rate. The scope, budget, and deadline are the key factors that affect the nature and outcome of the project lifecycle. Somehow, still, they are also the main culprits of a project failure.
Every rookie mistake stems directly from here, so beware. The sooner you establish a well-defined project management process, the more promptly you’ll flourish. Here are five common discrepancies that will certainly occur at one point or another when you are dealing with multiple projects. These ideas may help you avoid them.
Discrepancy #1: Company vs Client
Experts recognize five fundamental phases of a project management: 1) initiation (conception), 2) planning (definition), 3) execution (launch), 4) control (performance), and 5) closure (completion). A successfully finished project is not possible without them, so make sure to master each one of them.
In the heart of every project, the owner is always a client. The client sometimes knows exactly what he needs, and sometimes that person doesn’t have any faintest clue of what he should be asking. All this may cause misconception and confusion among team members. Unfortunately, for clients each of such phases depend on their expectations, regardless of how vague they actually are.
In other words, the first factor that determines the scope, budget, and deadline is the client’s requirement. If you don’t know what questions to ask then there is no point to insist upon a written statement. If these key determinants can’t be certain, you’ll hardly be able to pass the first two phases of the project lifecycle.
Also, it is important to have a list of requirements on your company’s part too. So, the client knows exactly what to expect. Obviously, poor communication between a company and a client is the biggest mistake you can ever commit as it may affect the overall course of the project from day one.
Discrepancy #2: Company vs Stakeholder
Assessment is a huge part of both initiation and planning, but it certainly doesn’t stop until the project has reached its completion stage. One phase after another, your team is expected to stay within the established framework.
Since this implies a continual assessment of one’s own capabilities and performance, projects often fail due to the team’s inability to evaluate how much work they should do in a specific time. Once the stakeholder asks for a progress report, the team chooses to bite off more than they can chew.
From there on, every consecutive milestone is rushed and sloppy. The team races against time, which makes the overall process too stressful to be productive. In the meantime, the managers start to lose control, while the stakeholders start to lose their patience.
This is the biggest obstacle on your way to project success, but it’s actually the easiest one to prevent as well. Regardless of how daunting the workload is, never give inexact estimates because the stakeholder pressure is too high to handle in the future.
Discrepancy #3: Team vs Workload
Failure to define the project goals, unclear requirements, and poor communication with clients and stakeholders are just some of the largest threats to your project’s success. In case your team lacks a reliable operational structure, there’s a big chance you’ll have productivity issues too.
This discrepancy occurs during execution and control, and it is directly caused by a flawed workflow management system. Though it doesn’t necessarily imply project failure it can jeopardize the time frame or budget, and lead to unwanted scope creeps.
Luckily, it’s nothing that simple project management software solutions, like ProProfs Project, cannot solve. With project management software you can access different teams in a centralized platform. All this will streamline and automate a large part of the working process. Hence, we can say that digital tools will guarantee increased productivity and success.
Discrepancy #4: Whiteboards vs Digital Tools
Of course, it is a manager’s job to find a suitable software solution. Regardless of the scope, budget or deadline, effective project management is nearly impossible without any one of them. In case you choose to stick to your whiteboard anyway, your project will lack the infrastructure needed for a certain success. You have to bypass these traditional methods and match up with modern needs to deliver projects at the right time.
Simply put, companies that stubbornly avoid project management software solutions give rise to the doomsday of different projects to happen from the very first day. However, no matter how well-organized a team might be, there’ll always be at least one task to miss that results in a missed deadline and at least one team member who forgets to update his status report.
Due to one missed task, the dependency chain of the project will get bottlenecked for an entire milestone. Pretty soon, your whiteboard will become so messy that even your team members will lose track of what’s already finished, what’s currently being done, and what’s yet to be completed.
Discrepancy #5: Expectations vs Reality
Another aspect of project management is the effective way to do risk control. To forgo a reliable risk management strategy is to make another rookie mistake always leading to a project failure.
Not only can simple project management software solutions prevent unrealistic scheduling and unexpected scope changes. It can also help you create a foolproof plan for what may go wrong.
They provide a detailed insight into the project at only one glance by automatically recording all the changes. Plus, it can generate a summary of your progress, equipping you with the information needed for predicting risks.
Experienced managers and teams realize that nothing is ever certain in the project management. You can hardly rely on your clients and stakeholders for guidance. The same goes for you as you can hardly rely on yourself to predict and prevent productivity issues and scope creep. The only things you can truly rely on are suitable project management software solutions which can solve all of your project related problems in one go. With only a few clicks, it enables you to avoid both rookie mistakes and common discrepancies.