Risk Management: 10 Major Project Mistakes You Can Avoid


Does your organization see every opportunity as a “must-win” project, even when it is a poor fit your in-house talents? If so, this is often one among several viewpoints which will blind your company to potential problems ahead. partially 1 of this series, we explored the way to recognize six common project traps. Now partially 2, we’ll review 10 major mistakes to avoid (or risks to flag) when choosing, estimating, and staffing your projects.

First, it is vital to acknowledge that your organizational culture sets the tone for a way you approach projects. for instance , does your company always expect people to try to to more for less? Does the management routinely enforce or comply with unworkable schedules? Are team members encouraged to underestimate their realistic efforts? If so, these are signs that your organization may have a “must-win-at-all-costs” view of projects. you’ll want to think about how idealistic but impractical expectations could set the stage for project failure.

In any case, if your business faces challenges with project budgets, schedule, quality, or features, try asking these 10 questions subsequent time you’re considering a project:

1. is that the project non-compelling or a nasty fit the project team?

A bad fit means it doesn’t fall within the overall professional or technical arenas during which your company has accomplishments or your colleagues have expertise. Note that if your projects normally entail working with material experts who would supply the knowledge you would like this is often not as great of a priority .

2. Will the project scope entail operating in unfamiliar territory?

Even if it is a reasonable fit, if a project involves requirements your team has never worked with before, you’ll be overly optimistic in assuming everyone can come up to hurry quickly enough to achieve success on the project. you’ll got to seek outside expertise, although this will introduce its own risks (see #6-7 below).

3. Are project requirements, like product features, complex?

A project that needs many complicated features to interact correctly vastly increases the potential for problems. One risk strategy could involve agreeing to introduce and test the complexity over time. Another might be to barter a discount within the number or difficulty of the features to be completed.

4. Are the wants pitted against an aggressive schedule?

Time limits of some sort exist on almost every project, and drive nearly every other project expectation. Will there be enough time to implement the requested features at the specified quality level? If not, you’ll want to barter a extended schedule, comply with reduce the wants , or introduce some features later. you’ll usher in more people, although this may involve more coordination.

5. Are too few personnel and resources available for the project?

Project managers routinely lose sleep in the dark over what would happen if key project members were to go away . Or if the funding or resources were to urge chopped or significantly delayed. It’s one thing to possess snafus occur later within the effort, but it’s another to start out off unrealistically. So try to not underestimate your needs.

6. Will coordination with many various collaborators be needed?

Involving many of us means complex hand-offs. If your project will include client or third party collaborators, how will people interact? Should all parties remain in direct communication? Or should each group have one point of contact? Also believe the division of labor and every group’s responsibilities to the others.

7. Are the first collaborators unfamiliar to the project team?

If it does become necessary to recruit one or more new contributors, will you be ready to verify whether or not they can do the job? If the unfamiliar parties have stretched the reality about their capabilities, you’ll be certain trouble. If there is a thanks to have them prove themselves first, that’s ideal – alternatively have a contingency plan.

8. Are project team members discouraged from raising concerns?

Before and after the project starts, team members will identify all types of challenges. does one want people to boost red flags once they see potential problems, or does one prefer everyone to stay quiet, maintain a stiff upper lip, and work 24/7 if needed? The team culture will determine whether the members verbalize and address during a timely fashion the various pitfalls which will appear along the way.

9. Are there insufficient review and test cycles within the schedule?

Allocating enough time for review and testing iterations commonly presents a challenge. no matter your initial planning, if project delays begin to feature up, what is going to people want to cut? are you able to afford to scale back testing and still deliver quality?

10. Are there no standard protocols for managing scope changes?

When the inevitable “add-on requests” materialize, consider how they’ll affect the project. Unless you’ve got a tool, like a project change request, to regulate the official budget and time-frame you will always be in danger for cost and schedule overruns.

If you answered “yes” to at least one or more of those questions, it means each is a neighborhood of risk that you’re going to got to manage to make sure project success. Either create a workable plan for managing these risks, or consider whether pursuing the project is within the best interests of your organization.

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