Common Problems

5 Questions that Uncover Project Problems

Executives and other plan sponsors often have difficulty gauging how well a project is faring. From their somewhat removed vantage point, they likely don’t know if everything is on track at any given time. They don’t typically have detailed insight into how each of the critical paths is being managed from day to day, for…

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Wrangling Project Communication Issues on Your Team

Projects that have clear and ongoing project communication issues eventually become plagued with problems. You’ve probably seen it before: The people responsible for managing schedules and monitoring progress are seen huddled in a corner solving problems, but the issues they’re working on and the solutions they’re developing to address them aren’t always communicated outside the…

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Don’t Ignore an Unworkable Project Plan

When time is tight and there’s pressure to get a project underway as quickly as possible, it might be tempting to ignore concerns that might keep you from revising a project plan that is out of whack. You probably know the feeling—you’ve seen the plan but you don’t think it can possibly be executed as…

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Causes of Project Scope Creep

Project managers can usually spot scope creep once it appears, but by that point the damage has already begun and it’s a challenge to get things back in line. Sometimes the hardest part of fixing a problem is knowing why it happened in the first place. That’s the case with teams that find themselves hindered by a scope that has grown out of control.

What’s Missing in Your Project Team’s Communication Plan?

Project managers sometimes discover there are multiple versions of the truth existing within their team. One sub-group thinks it’s on track—in reality, they’re working from a schedule that’s out of date. Another department is late on several key activities, but they haven’t updated the master plan so no one else is aware of the delays that will soon affect their own scheduling. Or an outside vendor has almost completed a custom piece of equipment. Unfortunately, they don’t realize the specifications have since changed.

Projects Benefit from Neutral Perspectives

Finding a neutral party in a project can be extraordinarily difficult. Every project stakeholder has their own list of wants, needs, and worries. The team is focused on getting everything done on time, end users want to know they haven’t been forgotten, department managers are concerned about meeting productivity goals and avoiding work disruptions, and the leadership group is keen to leverage the project’s end results to move their own strategic plans forward. Complicating matters is that these many voices don’t just represent their own competing priorities—any time stakeholders feel they have something to lose or gain, they may not put the project’s (and the organization’s) best interests first.

Risk Management Versus Crisis Management Explained

Face it, there’s always the possibility that your project will encounter a problem. A key vendor may be late in delivering a key piece of equipment, or your craft labor supplier may get tied up on another job, setting your activity timeline back unexpectedly. Achieving success in spite of the challenges isn’t so much about what sort of difficulties your team encounters—it’s about how you deal with those problems. Your response will either enable you to overcome the situation and continue driving the project to a timely completion, or it will cause you to fall behind, cut back on quality, or increase expenditures as you scramble to stay on track.

Project Risk Management Done Right

A strong project management methodology needs to encompass more than developing a timeline and scheduling individual tasks. The effort must also include a risk management function with an eye toward where and how potential issues might impact the project.

Workforce Engagement Tips for Project Teams

Your team may occasionally execute projects that will have unwelcome effects on an organization’s workforce. Most impacts are intended to be positive, such as workflow and machinery updates that improve safety for staff. But in other cases, employees may learn their jobs are scheduled for relocation or that their positions are being eliminated entirely.

Don’t  Let Today’s Delays Sink Tomorrow’s Projects

The on-deck project. It’s there, waiting in the wings, ready to go as soon as your team wraps up its current efforts. You and your stakeholders are probably excited to get going on it. It may be a garden-variety project, or it could be a one-time, strategically important initiative that will catapult the company forward. Either way, if its start date hinges on completing other tasks, it’s in a precarious position, because if something—anything—goes wrong with your present schedule, that on-deck project will almost surely be bumped.