6 Project Management Practices You Need to Blacklist
Holistic Project Management practices focus on the project objectives, which ultimately drive a project’s success. Projects are most often interconnected with various other ongoing product development processes. Project pitfalls are bound to take place if the foundation isn’t strong enough to sustain a project plan.
Having said this, in 2020, KPMG research reported a staggering 70% of organizations suffering project failures in 2019. Did you know that most of the projects fail due to running a poor project plan? Not only that but also, deviating from the plan.
Fewer projects under the belt with a refined approach help in project effectiveness and timely completion. Kicking-start a project as early as possible while keeping an eye on the early signs of hurdles smoothens the rough edges of a project schedule.
Since its better safe than sorry, today’s Project Managers must watch out for red flags that could prevent projects from functioning as expected.
Project Management Practices that need to be avoided —
1. The ‘Note-taking’ Manager
Inexperienced Project Managers usually dwell under the notion of keeping themselves limited to note-taking tasks during stand-ups. The missing element here is effective communication, brainstorming ideas with subordinates and team managers to come up with lucrative strategies. Bringing value to a project and inviting cutting-edge ideas can accelerate project milestones and deadline dates.
Getting a project commenced on the right foot is fruitful when a project is initiated beyond just taking down notes. A project team needs clearly defined goals, aims, and objectives for further project discussion and proceeding.
So be wary of hearing statements like “I conduct stand-ups and note down pointers”. This is a red signal that your PM isn’t listening enough in a struggle of taking notes.
Project Management is a different ball game and isn’t just limited to taking down notes. Running an experienced manager through a one-day training on individual roles, responsibilities, deadlines. This will in turn spike their confidence to focus on possible challenges and contribute ideas for accelerating project synergies.
2. The One-Man Army (Shutting down ideas)
Going on a power trip is great as long as you don’t take on too many tasks
on hand. One of the worse project management practices is going solo with projects and handling task hassles all on your shoulders. Considering your own approach being the best can put your own efforts into the drain.
A team constitutes people with varied suggestions that can lead to a project’s success. Avoiding inputs from your team members can ruin an opportunity to ace your own pace within a project.
Your team is most likely to be experiencing various touch points in terms of challenges, risks, and issues that are likely to impact the project.
Chris McMasters, the CIO for the City of Corona, cites the case of a project SaaS CRM system project failure. When an 18-month-long implementation went wrong, he mentioned “We weren’t as engaged as we could have been. Probably we could have teamed up better with the business.”
Instead of shooting down your team’s ideas, engaging your team and giving them a stake at the end of a project can prove like icing on the cake for you as a Project Manager.
3. Resource Mismatch
Do you select resources based on their respective skills set? One grave mistake of assigning resources based on availability (instead of skills set) can shake the foundation of a project.
An offshoot of crisis situations prevents the success of critical projects. Experience is the main factor that comes into the picture.
Scrutinizing the skills and experience of team members that are often overlooked can work out as a blessing in disguise. Making sure a team member fits a particular task should be a priority. Attention to such dependencies gives space for saving time and assigning the right people for each task.
Resource planning is one of the basic factors responsible for Project Management best practices. Allocate the right resource by understanding each challenge that could possibly impact the project goal. Clear communication, vigilance, and thorough expectations from the team are a must during the project initiation stage.
This, in a way, also encourages team spirit, close collaboration, knowledge sharing for a team that is fragmented and bound to communication breakdown.
4. Inability to Deny
The two-letter word “No” can create havoc on an entire project!
As much as accepting productive ideas from team members can be beneficial, denying some of them comes with de-motivating consequences. Although we mentioned that working as a one-man army can be lethal for projects, at times, rejecting suggestions that may not profit the project is cumbersome.
There are occasions when project managers, as well as team members, need to say “No”. Denying in an indirect way can prove to be profitable as well as open new opportunities. Beginning your response with a “Yes..” instead of slamming a “No” can provide an alternative to the suggestion instead of coming across as a rejection.
Unrealistic requests from stakeholders are common situations where Managers need to explain the consequences of taking the wrong path.
For example, if a Stakeholder states “After thinking over the entire project plan, I think adding an extra task will add value to the project.”..As a Project Manager, gracefully offering alternatives and explaining your point like “ Starting with a “Yes, this sounds like a great idea to hit your business objectives, however, our project goals will have to be reinstated with a reshuffling of resources and tasks. This could inversely demand extra time along with an additional budget increase of X amount.”.
What can go wrong when you blindly agree to ideas for the sake of being modest?
- Re-tasking and re-resource planning again would take up time and effort.
- In case the suggested plan doesn’t work out, the only person responsible could be you.
- It can undermine your own credibility with the team.
- The quality of work by the project team members gets affected significantly along with wastage of time.
- Errors and omissions are like a double-edged sword that could cost you time.
- Problems usually multiply with shortcuts taken and risks follow suit.
5. Faulty Budget Estimation
A project budget embodies the amount of money needed to complete the development of all the project phases. Plucking figures in the air, expecting a project to be “reasonable” would result in an unequal ratio of work and budget. This leads to project Management issues that take time-consuming efforts. Basic assumptions and guesswork won’t really motivate or offer clarity in the amount of effort required.
When unpredicted expenses exceed the original budget estimate, cost overruns are bound to take place. Project delays and budget overruns often lead to time wastage. A project requires a specific time and budget. Underestimating future costs are the primary reason for cost overruns.
Three things to keep in mind while estimating a budget —
- Allocating resources according to budget estimation
- Deciding on who will handle the cost overrun
- Encouraging collaboration among multiple stakeholders during the budget estimation phase.
- Managing uncontrolled scope changes with schedule extension
- Upgrading to value-added and clearly defined operational metrics
There is a high possibility of inaccurate resource distribution within a project. Faulty budgets lead to damaging productivity in every aspect, leading to a project failure.
6. Undefined Project scope
The primary reason for a project failure is conflicting project scopes. A project scope paves the way to a project workflow management defining the desired outcome. They should be baselined at the beginning of any project. Project Managers must insist upon the scope to understand the depth and gain clarity and insights into the project.
There must be a process to handle change requests for the scope. Disregarding the scope can cause a big-time impact on the budget and schedule.
Granular scoping helps Managers to break down the budget and allocate resources at a task level.
Refrain from estimating hours in lump sums during the initial scoping process. This provides greater control and transparency to estimate future projects with similar tasks.
Say “Hello” to the best Project Management Practices
Gaining absolute clarity and recovering from potential pitfalls is the main idea behind resolving project management issues. As a Project Manager, avoiding the above project management practices can certainly help with completed and successful projects.
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If a holistic approach towards best Project Management practices is your idea of success, feel free to hit up with Orangescrum and manage projects like never before!
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