Sometimes things go wrong in project management. Budget forecasts may be off now and then, schedules occasionally slip, and finding the right balance between the human power needed to achieve success and how many people the organization is willing to hire is often tricky. But some companies encounter more serious project problems, and these tend to compound in severity as time goes on. The scope and effects of the challenges widen and the team’s ability to recover between initiatives diminishes.
If you’re watching the performance of your project function dropping over time instead of climbing, you may be teetering on the edge of a failure spiral.
Below are some strategies to identify how much trouble your project team is in and understand how an experienced project management consultancy can help you restore your project performance and overall portfolio to a healthy state.
You’re constantly rescuing troubled projects.
A single initiative that goes off the rails is one thing—a string of them is a giant alarm bell that your project management function is suffering from serious dysfunction. Adding to the concern is that very few at-risk initiatives fall into jeopardy due to just one issue. Instead, a cascade of problems is usually at work, making it not only difficult but time intensive for your team to unravel everything and implement the right fixes.
Unfortunately, given the amount of effort and focus that’s needed to pull a faltering initiative out of danger, it’s often impossible for teams to find the additional energy necessary to dig into the root of the problem and then implement corrective actions at the foundational level. The challenges become almost insurmountable when multiple projects experience schedule, resource, or budget problems.
Guidance from an experienced project management consultancy can enable you to identify the factors that are contributing to the deep-rooted problems plaguing your initiatives. You may have outdated processes within your organization that need to be revamped or even eliminated, the data used to inform your project planning phases could be incomplete or inaccurate, or you may not have sufficient controls in place to spot and resolve trouble before it can affect your projects’ progress. The right expertise can put your strategy back on track and prevent your initiatives from sliding downhill.
You’re revamping multiple inefficient processes, but performance isn’t improving.
Project teams often have some idea of what’s not working, and most groups take a proactive approach to adjusting their workflows over time. However, when the project function begins to disintegrate, there can be too many warning flags that pop up at once. This makes it difficult to understand where to start and to prevent otherwise discrete problems from trickling over into other areas or interfering with other projects.
In addition, the growth in collaboration across most organizations means that processes may involve several internal support departments. Making changes to these interconnected operations can be intricate and disruptive, and there’s a chance you won’t see much participation from your collaborators if their end of the process appears to be working well for their needs.
The neutral perspective offered by a project management consulting partner can provide valuable insight into where processes are out of step and what sort of remediation would be most useful in reducing inefficiencies and boosting performance. An expert can also help you prioritize your risk areas to ensure that your team is able to begin making positive strides as quickly as possible. This lessens the domino effect that often happens when project management processes start to go wrong and also provides early reinforcement that you’re on the right track to better results.