Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Ten Key Project Issues to Avoid - Part 2

~ By Brad Egeland

Road sign reading: Helpful tips

In Part 1 of this three-part series on my personal list of ten key project areas or issues that need to be managed or avoided as we are overseeing our project engagements, we covered these four areas:

  1. Poorly defined project goals
  2. A project team that is not cohesive
  3. Uncooperative managers whose resources are assigned to your team
  4. Missed deadlines and final-project deployment dates

#5: Department Management Skills Aren't Translating Well to the Project Level

Be aware of the important differences between departmental management and project management. They often require different levels of supervision and leadership. In fact, skills that work for you as a department manager may interfere with team participation, so you will probably need to develop a completely different approach to supervising the project team. And, unlike being a department manager, your project resources report to other supervisors and probably to other project managers while working on your project engagement. Understand that, at any time, they could be pulled from your project if a need or emergency arises. The highest priority will take precedence, and that may be a more important project, or it may be the resource's department manager needing them for a critical task or assignment.

#6: Unrealistic Project Budgets Are Resulting in Overruns

In your preoccupation with schedules, it's easy to overlook the importance of the budget. Because the company's risk is defined by the financial investment it has made in the project versus the potential reward derived (either from reduced costs and expenses or increased profits in the future), the budget should be controlled very conscientiously.

When you experience budget overruns, there are two possible reasons. First, the budget may be unrealistic. In that case, you need to ask for a more suitable one. Second, you may need to exercise more direct control. Review expense levels more frequently, compare budget and actual expenses, and look for emerging variance trends. Then identify what you need to do to correct the problem and take action.

#7: Your Senior Management Changes Project Scope After Project Initiation

Unfortunately, priorities change. You cannot always assume that a project assigned today will be valid at the time of its deadline. Chronic changes in project assignments are a sign of poor leadership at the top, and there is little you can do, all the while trying to accomplish an ever-changing goal.

The key is to be sure to continue to communicate while you are working on your project. Don't abandon communication after the initial purpose and goals have been defined. Meet weekly with the person who assigned the project and present a brief status report. Restate the goals to make sure they're still valid. Also recognise the fact that changes can occur because of new priorities resulting from perceptions about the market, the competition, and profitability.

In Part 3, the final instalment in this three-part series, we will review the final three of what I have found to be the ten common project issues that need to be recognised and avoided (or at least mitigated) in order to help ensure the success of our project engagements.


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
Enter the word shark backwards.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Project Management Maturity Model

Five maturity levels concept

The concept of a project management maturity model has evolved considerably from the software industry. Where does your organisation sit on the maturity model?

Work Breakdown Structure 101

Hierarchy icons on a white background

Work Breakdown Structure is a tool project managers use to break projects down into manageable pieces. Here's why you need one and how to create your own.

How to Become a Project Manager

Senior lecturer in front of his class

If you're new to project management don't be bamboozled by all the jargon. This article sets out the skills needed to become a competent project manager.

10 Steps to Setting SMART Objectives

Measuring tape showing number 10

Setting SMART objectives to guide your team is important for a leader to get right. Badly formulated objectives will steer a team in the wrong direction.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Jo Day commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Tue 16 October 8:19pm

Mohamed Bocsow Koroma commented on…
Understanding the Perspective of Your Team
- Tue 16 October 10:48am

Heather commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Mon 15 October 6:22pm

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Critical Factors for Project Success in Plan-Driven and Agile Methods https://t.co/DOxgvkBIlf about 4 days ago

General Project Management • Re: Which Project Phase is HyperCare? https://t.co/nqDy8fAK7q about 16 days ago

General Project Management • Which Project Phase is HyperCare? https://t.co/VpfYmrTcJS about 16 days ago