10 Classic Project Management Mistakes

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 07-01-2014 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Organizations frequently struggle with project management, and tech initiatives are no exception. Research reveals that 45 percent of large IT projects go over budget, while delivering 56 percent less value than promised. Meanwhile, three-quarters of project participants lack confidence that their efforts will succeed, and nearly four of five say that business is "usually" or "always" out of sync with requirements. This puts tremendous pressure on the CIOs who ultimately take responsibility for these undertakings, so it's essential to avoid the following classic project management mistakes. They were compiled from a number of online resources, including those presented by Business Improvement Architects, a project management consultancy; and the Process Excellence Network, a global community promoting operational excellence for professionals, business leaders and executives. By remaining completely aware of these pitfalls, you and your team will accomplish more than "bringing the project home"—you'll demonstrate the business value of IT within your organization. For more about the Business Improvement Architects' list of mistakes, click here. For more about the Process Excellence Network mistakes, click here

 
 
 
  • The Proposal Doesn't Contain Value Points

    A proposal will get shot down quickly if it doesn't clearly state which products, services or processes it will replace or improve, and how this fits into the organization's strategic plan and profitability goals.
    The Proposal Doesn't Contain Value Points
  • Key Influencer Support Is Lacking

    Once secured, any top influencers' commitment should be documented. That way, those influencers can't back out later with "Well, I never really was on board…."
    Key Influencer Support Is Lacking
  • Scope Creep Veers Out of Control

    Before the project begins, get stakeholders to sign off on the project's scope. If changes are later mandated, make sure they're justified, agreed upon and documented.
    Scope Creep Veers Out of Control
  • Users Aren't Proactively Involved

    Don't pretend to know exactly what users want. Get them to specify business-driving objectives.
    Users Aren't Proactively Involved
  • Too Many Team Members

    Project teams of eight or less are ideal, because that's as many as a single project manager should supervise.
    Too Many Team Members
  • The Team Lineup Is Wrong

    Develop required competencies for each role before you evaluate and recruit members. Only 15% of organizations use competency evaluation tools to assemble project management teams, research shows.
    The Team Lineup Is Wrong
  • Team Members Aren't Adequately Trained

    Beyond simply knowing how to do their jobs, team members need training to understand the big picture objectives, scope, assigned roles, timetables, etc., as well as how to detect and mitigate early trouble signs.
    Team Members Aren't Adequately Trained
  • Team Members Get Overwhelmed by the Project's Size

    When a project gets too wieldy, the CIO and lead project manager must break it into doable parts, in stages. Remember: Divide and conquer.
    Team Members Get Overwhelmed by the Project's Size
  • The Project is Defined as a Side Responsibility of Members

    They're told to "fit it in around your normal duties," and it never really impacts their performance reviews, so they don't fully commit to the project's success.
    The Project is Defined as a Side Responsibility of Members
  • Processes, Tools, Templates are Inconsistent

    Inconsistency breeds confusion, along with the need to re-educate members about every new thing that is introduced.
    Processes, Tools, Templates are Inconsistent
 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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