Project management plays a vital role in any quality management or improvement strategy. There are many challenges occur when planning and managing projects which can result in errors, delays, late submissions, revisions, unauthorised changes, non-compliance to policies and budget overruns. Any failure within a project will have a negative impact on the projects delivery, as well as its quality, schedule or budget. These issues are symptoms of a far larger set of problems, and identifying the most common reason for project management failure is essential to ensure a great level of quality management when implementing new projects.
Common Causes of Project Management Failure
To improve your project management strategies, consider the following potential pitfalls of any project that you plan to implement.
- Poor communication – good communication is essential in project management. All relevant employees who are working on the project need to be kept updated on changes, requirements, policies, costs, budgets and schedules. Visual management systems and online document control systems with a centralised database and easy accessibility are effective tools to keep people informed.
- Schedule and resource mismanagement – schedules and resources need to be managed careful to ensure that all steps are actioned on time, every time. Time lapses are one of the most common causes of project failure.
- Poor requirements definitions – without clear requirements, it is impossible to plan correctly. Project managers need to know their targets in order to define the end result in measureable terms. Clear and objective measurements ensure better planning.
- Poor planning – project management needs to factor in assumptions, risks and resources to ensure project success. Critical chain management allows far greater control over time buffers when they are implemented, ensuring more streamlined projects.
- Unproven methodologies – trying the latest technology or methods is tempting, but without thorough training on new methodologies, there is a huge risk of project failure. Focus on software and methods that you know well to ensure better quality management within your projects.
- Lack of quality controls – quality control involves checks and balances to ensure that deliverables are being met. Without quality control, it is impossible to track non-conformances, which could have a severe impact on your project’s success.
- Multitasking resources – multitasking increases complexity and schedule risk, which can have a negative impact on all projects being managed. Less is more when it comes to project management. Start by focusing on one project goal, and increase your productivity by focusing on fewer projects.
- Supply chain issues – managing contractors can add even more risk to projects. It is impossible to determine whether the contractor has the right skill set for the project, and many contractors multitask, which further adds risk. Ensure that there are clearly defined requirements agreed upon when outsourcing assistance.
- Poor impact analysis – often projects evolve and turn into new projects, with requirements becoming blurred. To ensure a greater level of quality management on your projects, impact analysis is essential along with clarifying primary requirements.
- Insufficient qualified resources – ‘making do’ equates to questioning your resources. Giving the wrong task to the wrong person can have a major impact on your project, which often happens when there are insufficient qualified resources.
While the overall results and quality of your project can only be measured once the project is close to completion, considering these tips on effective project management will ensure that your projects follow best practices for a greater success rate.