No matter how skilled you are at project management, there will be times that your projects fail. This is even truer when first starting a business, as you learn through trial and error. Doing thorough research and being skilled in project management can help and as a project manager and/or business owner, you need to be aware of the signs that your project may be failing. Here are five common signs that you may need to take a second look at your project management plan.
The Main Reasons Projects Fail
Before we look at the common signs, it is worth looking at the reasons that most projects fail to begin with. Nobody wants to begin a project thinking about the fact that it may fail, but you have to go in with both a positive yet open mindset. Being successful doesn’t happen overnight and that is why project managers are trained to spot early warning signs. Many new businesses often don’t take advantage of the many free articles out there that can inform them of vital information or check out the various project management tools that are available to them.
Your Team are Quiet
In business, communication is vital to success. While silence may just be a sign that everyone is busy working, it may also be a sign that someone is struggling and doesn’t want to come forward, or it may be that your team doesn’t understand the importance of communicating with the whole team. Addressing this early can ensure it doesn’t happen. Explain the importance of communication and regularly check in with your team. Be approachable so that nobody feels they cannot admit a mistake.
There Are No Risks
If your whole project feels completely risk-free, it is probably because you haven’t done a proper risk assessment. Every project will have risks, some of the most common being time and money. This is why you should look at the risks of each project before you start. From here, you can set SMART goals for each risk, meaning that you have covered each base, and you should be regularly checking in on these. It is a good idea to have a plan A, B, and C.
All Tasks are Priority
If every task in your project seems to be a priority, it could be that you don’t understand how to prioritize or that you haven’t got enough time or staff members to complete the work on time. Remember, important and time-critical are two separate things. Every task that needs to be completed is important to the success of your project. Sorting deadlines for each task can help you to understand what tasks really should take priority. If you are struggling with your team to finish tasks on time, it may be that you need to find a better way of doing things or you may need a larger team. You can hire freelance workers if you cannot afford to hire someone on a permanent salary.
You’re Running Out of Cash
One of the leading failures to a project, and ultimately to the failure of a business, is going over budget. A budget should be calculated before the project begins and this should be as detailed as you can make it, with expenses such as travel, salaries, and supplies. It can be difficult to ensure that you haven’t forgotten a hidden or unobvious expense, and this is why you should be keeping a close eye on your incoming and outgoing cash flow each day. If you notice that your budget is dwindling, it is extremely important you look at why, and fast.
You’re Constantly Changing Methods
Every project should follow a certain process so that it can succeed. Each process should have clear steps that every member of staff understands and can follow. These don’t necessarily need to come from yourself; there are many processes that can be found online, as well as project management tools, tips, and software. Kanban can help you to change how you plan and run projects and provides the best practices out there for managing any project for your business. If you are having project management issues, see how Agile principles and Kanban boards can improve your projects and lead to a better, more streamlined process.
Business owners, regardless of their project management experience, need to be aware of the common signs to ensure that they have a hold of the situation and understand their business projects. The steps to success include being aware of failures and bouncing back from these, quickly. The most successful businesses in the world have suffered from failed projects and project management issues. How you deal in the face of adversity will strengthen your business and your workers. Be aware of the above signs during your project and consider hiring a professional project manager if you haven’t already done so.