Four Scheduling Mistakes that are Derailing Your Projects

You probably already know… But… It bears repeating: projects fail all the time and most of them fail drastically…

The Internet is filled with statistics on the matter – just take a look at these stats compiled by Capterra – some of the more popular ones include that less than a third of projects is successfully completed on time and that three fourths of IT executives think that their projects are doomed form the start…

Of course, when you look at those numbers, you’re only left wondering two things – why do so many projects fail and what can you do to prevent your projects from failing?

Unsurprisingly, there are a couple of mistakes that managers make, which directly correlate with project failures. Surprisingly, most of these mistakes stem from project planning and luckily for you, they are entirely avoidable…

Four Common Scheduling Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Whether your realize it or not, scheduling and planning are perhaps two of the most important factors to the success of your project. And no matter if you’re using the critical path method or Gantt charts, the four project management mistakes we have listed below may make or break your project, so you need to do everything in your power to avoid them…

Not Defining the Purpose of Your Project

·         The Problem

Communication between you and your team members is naturally crucial for your success – more on that later – but the first step in the entire project should be establishing the purpose of your project and establish short-term goals. So before you start making a schedule, you need to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, because if some members of your team haven’t agreed on a common goal, your project may be over before it even starts.

·         The Solution

According to Managing Projects, every team member needs to have a clear understanding of the purpose of your project and has to agree with your goals and the course of action to achieving those goals. This will eliminate any uncertainness down the line and keep your team members in check. Therefore, make sure to communicate with them why and just how the project is important and how it will help your company…

Having No Risk Management Strategy

·         The Problem

During the course of your project cycle, things are bound to change and you’ll have to adapt to them, however, you still need to have an official risk management strategy in place. According to a recent Info-Tech study, companies that have a clear risk management strategy are more than 50% more likely to have management success than those who decide to take a more reactive approach to the whole ordeal….

·         The Solution

Don’t worry, making a risk management strategy isn’t really that hard, so you won’t have to consult a full team of experts. On the other hand, you should also keep in mind that creating one of these strategies is time consuming. You’ll have consider all of those common risks like for example scope changes and unrealistic schedules.

Lack of Communication with Your Team

·         The Problem

According to research from the Project Management Institute, roughly 33% of projects fail due to lack of communication between team members. Of course, if you don’t talk to your team members on a daily basis and you’re being overly-optimistic about their ability to meet deadlines, it’s safe to say that you’ll have a hard meeting any deadlines to say the least.

·         The Solution

You need to have regular meetings with your team members to understand their capabilities, their capacity to take on the project and even see how each individual member expects to perform. In order to make sure everything is going according to plans, you should use an online collaboration platform like Active Collab that allows your team members to deliver daily reports that will help you measure their productivity. Creating a risk management

Failing to Establish Requirements

·         The Problem

Although your vision for the project might be clearly defined, it’s also important to settle what requirements need to be included in your planning process. Some people, including the self-proclaimed career-long student of project management, Duncan Haughey think that every project manager needs to have a written statement of requirements from their customer. Needless to say, most project managers don’t actually have their requirements written down…

·         The Solution

As Duncan Haughey notes in this Project Smart article, the statement of requirements should function as your guide the customer’s requirements of the project you’re working on. Once you create the document, you need to make sure that your stakeholders sign-up to it and make sure that every member of your team understands that this is what you all have agreed to deliver. This will push scope-changing risks off your team on to your customer and take of the pressure…

Final Thoughts: Project Usually Don’t Go Exactly as Planned

While most people are quick to blame the project manager for a project failure, in reality, most managers are constantly working on their skills. According to a recent AXELOS study, a vast majority of project managers have an attitude of skills development and re constantly trying to get better at what they do in order to succeed.

However, no matter how hard-working a project manager is a possibility of failure is always there. In most cases, most managers feel like they don’t have enough time to finish and deliver project. And if you’re working under pressure, the start of a project is the best time to make some time savings.

Nonetheless, you need to plan things out before the project even starts, because what might feel like a good idea in beginning might end up leading you in the wrong direction. Therefore, you need to try to succeed through clarity of purpose which means knowing where the project is going from the very start, managing that idea and seeing it through to the end.