Failed projects can cost a lot of money and, often worse, time. There are other costs as well: demoralized stakeholders and investors, disappointed managers and employees who worked on the project, and upset customers. A failed project can do damage to your company that can take years to fix. Many projects either fail to meet expectations or even fail to get off the ground entirely. If your team’s projects are not getting finished, or are running over budget and past deadlines, you need to improve your project management skills. Below, find the most common reasons why your projects are not being completed as they should be.
Overextending Your Resources
The reason your projects are failing may simply be that they tend to require more resources than you actually have, whether those resources are money, time, human resources, or supplies. The problem is most likely that you aren’t examining your projects thoroughly enough before you take them on. You can fix this problem by diving deep into each project idea before you commit to it, so that you are aware of all of its potential hidden costs.
Maybe your projects start out with a reasonable budget, but during the design process, new features keep getting added. While anyone change may seem inconsequential enough, they can add up very quickly. They not only burn up a lot of extra money, but they also take time out of your team members’ already tight schedules. If feature creep is a problem, what your team needs is better discipline. Make sure they stick to the original plan as much as possible.
Micromanaging doesn’t make your employees more productive, it just makes them try to look more productive. They become so busy wondering what you think of them and trying to impress you that they aren’t putting enough effort into actually getting the project done. The solution here is simple: trust your team, step back, and let them do their work unbothered by you. If you cannot trust your team to work without close supervision then you have the wrong team.
Lack of Strategic Vision
No matter how well done the individual pieces of your projects are, do they just not come together well? Are the wrong parts completed first, leaving some team members twiddling their thumbs while waiting for the essential parts? The problem is not in the team, but in the fact that you are not giving them enough direction. Your team members only see their own parts of a project. You need to work out in advance how everything is supposed to come together so that the workflow is smooth and efficient. If this isn’t one of your strong suits, you can always use project design templates to help.
Bureaucracy is an inherent part of the team projects game, but there’s no reason why your team has to have their hands tied by it. There’s a time and a place for filing reports and going up the chain of command, but your team members have to be able to communicate with each other, with you, and with outside departments easily if they are going to make progress. Set up a communications protocol that ensures that everyone has the information they need as soon as it becomes available.
You have the ability to boost your team’s performance so that future projects come in on time, under budget, and functioning as they should. All you have to do is learn how to lean in when your team needs in, and back off when they need it.