Projects form a large part in the life of business owners. Businesses expand by reinvesting the money earned by value creation for customers. As this happens, the entire focus of entrepreneurs diverts from managing and controlling projects individually to managing teams and ensuring that they execute the projects successfully. Ideas and visions also expand across different platforms and geographies as the business grows. In order to ensure uniformity in the execution of projects, owners have to entrust teams at distinctive geographies with respect to project management.
Such a transition proves to be extremely challenging of owners. They hate it because managing teams and projects become difficult when they lack full control. Micro-managing every project becomes impossible. It is difficult to ensure that everything in the project plan is happening at the right time and in the right way at so many different locations. A lot of failures start occurring as owners become dependent. Hence, driving the teams together becomes a very crucial transition for entrepreneurs in such cases.
We are discussing top factors which signal towards potential project failure. As we go along, we shall also discuss how to deal with these challenges.
An unsuccessful project is never likely to go as per the project plan. It is necessary that 80 percent of the efforts should be invested in only planning the project. This allows the team leaders and other members to be well-prepared for the tasks they are assigned. A detailed project plan also helps in visualizing the kind of work that is going to happen and the failures that are likely to occur.
Amongst the many project management tools, a Work Break Down Structure (WBS) is what could be used to tackle the above challenge efficiently. A part of the project planning stage, WBS lists out the task details, start date, end date, and critical path. This is calculated concerning the number of manpower, their availability, and job responsibilities.
In a WBS, every function must be divided day, job, and hour-wise. They can also be divided based on costs. Once done, activities must be allotted to teams starting from the smallest unit in the value chain. It should be made mandatory for all the stakeholders to follow the WBS without fail.
Project leads often fail to capture delays as members blatantly tell that everything is going to get done. Since, the WBS has a start date, end date, and a critical path assigned against tasks; it becomes easy to figure out that the project is lagging. However, even when a delay happens, there is often a lack of root-cause analysis because of which the delay in that particular function keeps lingering on further.
The 5 Whys analysis is an efficient project management solution that is based on the DMAIC methodology (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control). The 5 Whys analysis involves asking a series of “Why” questions. Doing so helps in de-layering the causes that lie at the root of the problem. When this methodology is practiced regularly in projects, it becomes convenient to identify and tackle the factors that are causing the delay at an early stage itself.
Since people working on-ground do not have clear visibility of the end-goals, they end with a siloed outlook towards the project. Hence, it becomes really necessary that clear outcomes are defined for the project. Each team member must have a uniform understanding of the project objectives.
A project management ERP can help in efficient managing, monitoring as well as reporting the tasks. It also helps all the stakeholders acquire full visibility, consistency, and control over the project that eliminates any silos that me existing in the path of execution. All the approvals, as well as sign-offs, are automated, ensuring that tasks happen on the designated time without delays.
The last but the most important thing one should acknowledge is that they can’t do everything on their own. Hence, whenever the responsibilities are being assigned to a wider number of resources, tasks must always be prioritized.
In order to do so, we need to focus on the first solution once again. Everything should be planned with the help of a WBS. It helps in defining the critical path of a project. Thus, everyone has an understanding of which tasks needs to be dealt with at priority. It also helps achieve visibility about the most time-consuming activities and the ones that are likely to cause a delay. A project plan is laid out in such a way that every problem can be accommodated for without compromising on the timeline.
Of course, there are other aspects of successful project management. However, the ones mentioned-above have stood the test of time repeatedly. Project management is all about the “output” that your team delivers to helps you earn the “outcome” that your customer is expecting.