Leading a project can be very stressful. It requires undivided attention, leadership skills, and the ability to see things through regardless of how rough it gets during the process. Completion of these projects is of paramount importance if a business is ever to reach its true potential. As a result, knowing the common mistakes that lead to a failed project can be essential information. After all, if you identify and understand the obstacles in front of you, it’ll be easier to strategize and solve them. Here are three common ways that projects can go terribly wrong, as shared by IT professionals and seasoned project managers.
Not Being Specific Enough with the Scope/Allowing the Scope to Frequently Change
If a project does not have clear-cut goals from the start, it is already doomed to fail. Without well-defined targets, scope creep is not only possible, but can almost be expected. If not managed correctly, it can dry up key business resources, specifically budget and time. Even the most innocent last minute change, such as a different color or slight change in functionality, can lead to costly delays.
To avoid this common mistake, make sure that you provide clear definitions of your project’s scope before starting the project. Continuously monitor the project to ensure that both management and the development team are following their initial scope. In addition, to prevent digressing from the initial scope, track any requested or proposed changes individually from the original deliverables. At that point, you can offer analysis with regards to how it can impact the deadline, budget, workload, etc.
Lack of Programming Expertise and Specialties
It is essential to get the proper resources in place to have a successful end result for any project. Typically, this begins by not assigning the right people to handle the back-end development that is required to fulfill the defined requirements of the engagement. Often, the senior software developer or programmer is picked based on mere availability rather than skill and expertise. An inexperienced professional can often translate into to poor results where output is severely affected.
Finding and picking the right programming muscle is essential, especially nowadays where there are countless languages used to communicate with computers and networks. And avoid relying too heavily on software to solve all of your project-related problems. In some cases, an experienced developer may need to think quick on their feet in order to create new and improvised tools to surpass a problem.
Lack of Regular Communication/Meetings
Any project requires collaboration and clear communication between team members. Communication is unarguably the most vital factor for the successful management of a project, regardless of nature or scale. Even the simplest ideas or scopes can turn out better if a team communicates fluidly compared to a team with high expectations and goals but are unable to collaborate and use the resources they have properly.
To avoid miscommunication or lack thereof, choose a specific day and time every week that works for the entire project team. Stick with this schedule and only deviate if emergencies pop up. During the meetings, allocate at least 15 minutes per person, but be sure to control the conversation to make sure that the time is spent efficiently. Make sure people involved in the project have time to speak up about their concerns or suggestions. The Agile Software Development process is a very popular communication strategy for teams and adheres closely to these principles.
The bottom line is that projects can often veer off course if the proper resources and process aren’t in place. Whether it is providing IT professionals for specific staffing solutions or providing expertise for specific software languages, Softensity can provide the engineers to make your project a success. Contact us today to learn more.