Being a great project manager is not only about running efficient teams, keeping your projects on track and ensuring that your projects are delivered on time. Project management also requires you to be able to effectively deal with a crises. Everything does not always run smoothly, and handling the times when it does not effectively and successfully is even more important than ensuring that all is running smoothly.
Although dealing with these problems when they do arise is crucial, it is even more important to keep an eye out for early signs that you might be heading for a project management failure and address the issues before they become a crises. Here are some early warning signs that you might be heading for a project management failure:
1. Ill-defined project scope
A critical part of project management is clearly defining what needs to be done and how you are planning on achieving the final results before you start working on the project. By setting out a concise project plan and planning the steps that need to be taken to ensure success, you have already eliminated a lot of potential issues that might arise later on in the project management process. An ill-defined project scope leaves your team wide open to failure.
2. A broken, inexperienced team
Your team is the most crucial resource you have, and it is important that they function effectively as a cohesive unit in order to make your project management process a success. Experience is crucial to your team, so it is crucial to create a mix of brilliant new minds along with older, wiser heads. When a crisis does arise, an experienced team member will be able to keep his cool and find a resolution where a more inexperienced team member, no matter how brilliant they might be, will fall apart.
A lack of communication is as good as a nail in the coffin of your project, and bodes ill for any project. Good project management requires that you encourage close collaboration between team members, nurture a team spirit and encourage members to share their knowledge and expertise with others in the team.
No matter how brilliant your ideas or your project might be, if the timing is not right, you might be heading for a project management disaster. This could mean anything from rejection of your project by your end users, to adverse interference from the stakeholders who do not share the vision or enthusiasm for your project.
4. Disengaged stakeholders
Project management is difficult enough as it is, but when your clients or stakeholders are distant and not providing any input, chances are that the project you ultimately deliver is going to be wrong. As much as you would like to simply go ahead with the project management process and do your thing without interference from a third party, remember that these are the people who are footing the bill, and if your end product does not match up to their expectations or requirements, you will have a full-blown project management failure on your hands. Therefore, as much as you would like to keep stakeholders out of the project management process, their input and opinions are crucial. Bite the bullet and involve them.