Unfortunately, things aren’t always going to run smoothly for you as a project manager. There are times when things could jeopardise the quality of your project, and the ability to deliver on time and on budget. This is why you need to be able to pick up on any red flags with ease, and you need to know how to deal with them. This is a fundamental part of project management training courses, including the PMP course.
First and foremost, one red flag is when you are focusing on output but not on outcome, you need to be focused on both. It all begins with determining what the project’s outcome should be, and what this project is going to bring to the company in terms of value. Once this has been established, the output is what needs to be considered, as this is what contributes to the bigger goal your company is seeking to accomplish. But, you will miss the bigger picture if you only focus on output, i.e. resources, budgets, and schedules. A successful project depends on a lot more than this, so make sure you consider more.
The next red flag comes when you focus solely on cost without considering value. No matter what project you are in charge of, you should begin by determining the costs that are entailed. Once you have done this, it is up to you to draw direct correlations between what you are spending and how this aligns with the objectives of your business. If you cannot draw enough correlations, the cost may not be worth it, but if you can prove that the cost leads to significant value, you know you are on the right track. Therefore, it is vital to consider both cost and value; if you only look at the former, you could undermine the effectiveness of the project.
Another red flag is a lack of clear communication. This is one of the major errors made in a lot of projects. You should not only communicate continually and clearly when projects are going well, but you can be of even more value to your team when you identify any issues and point them out before they turn into failures. Communicate possible solutions, and you can make sure nothing turns sour. You also need to communicate clearly about the needs and resources of the project so that everyone is on track.
Finally, one of the main reasons why so many projects fail is because the right resources are not in place at the correct time. It is so important to make sure you allocate your team correctly. You can focus on procedure and processes all you want, but if your resources are not used effectively, you won’t have a project at all. You need to know the value that each team member brings to the project, so that you can position him or her correctly.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of some of the common errors and red flags regarding project management, and how you can deal with them to ensure your projects do not suffer.