A professional business is only as successful as the projects they do for their clients. Whether they are short or long term, making clients happy is the focus of the company. If projects fail, the business can lose their source of revenue. This, in turn, can end the business.

As your company continues to grow, the risks that come with not managing it effectively do as well. Right now is when you need to focus on avoiding three deadly project management mistakes that managers continue to make!

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1. Failing to effectively communicate with clients

According to the results found in a recent study conducted by Accelo, communicating with clients is one of the most important influences that determine whether a project will be successful or not. Over 90% of the participants believed that e-mail is one of the top communication methods to be used while working on projects. The reason this may be the case is because many companies don’t have access to project management tools or softwares that provide them with alternative options. Therefore, they are left with less effective choices such as e-mail.

Solely relying on e-mail is stifles productivity because it creates silos between teammates. Project members have more difficulty quickly communicating with one another because e-mail is built for communication amongst only a few individuals, making it hard to share important information without creating long chains of communication.

As your team begins to grow and you have more work and projects in your hands, it will become increasingly problematic to try and keep track of all of the information being passed around and ensure everyone is aware of even the smallest project details. The solution isn’t to completely replace e-mailing. You should integrate a project management software that will work side-by-side with e-mailing by providing teammates with an alternative platform they can use for immediate communication and collaboration, saving e-mail for less urgent work.

2. Ineffectively tracking your budget

While the logical choice would be to connect a timesheet with your project management software to prevent this from occurring, only 30% of managers choose to do so. That’s right, once again Accelo found that approximately 69% of companies are left in the dark by manually calculating the time and budget needed to complete a project. This can easily lead to long delays and financial catastrophic failures for projects.

Even though this may seem to only impact individual projects, it has the potential to do damage to the entire firm in the future. Projects will need to be consistently monitored with the help of a project management tool. It’s important to understand how your budgets are impacting project success and whether or not the project is profitable. Knowing this information will be extremely beneficial when planning sales approaches for future projects.

Since payroll is one of the biggest expenses for most companies, losing track or creating an inaccurate picture of employee resources and time can be catastrophic. As a project manager, you have to make sure you do not take on any new projects or clients without knowing how much staff you have. Employees can easily end up overworked and stretched to their limits, missing deadlines and exceeding budgets.

3. 3. Not managing all projects- even the short ones

For the most part, professional services have relatively short projects that need to be done. The majority can often be completed in under 3 months. However, this creates a common misconception that short-lived projects require less effort and have a small impact on the company if they fail. In return, over 27% of service projects end up going over budget. And since Accelo found that the average profit margin of firms is approximately 15% per project, this would mean that failing at a single project could wipe out all revenue and profitability for that company for an entire year. All in all, the business would need to then have two successful projects in order to make up for the money lost in the unsuccessful one.

All growing businesses need to take a step back and re-evaluate their project management team. See if any changes need to be made and consider implementing new technology into the business to help ensure success in the long run.

Related blogs on ITM Platform:

The Monte Carlo Method in Project Management

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Three disastrous project management failures

The project in the face of adversity: what should a project manager do?

What is the Virtual Sock Management or Periodical Online Management?

 

Isidora Roskic-Blogger ITM Platform

 

 

 

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post-it in columns on a dashboardAs we have seen, the project life cycle comprises the set of phases into which a project is organized. Depending on the organization in question and any overlapping between phases, various types of project life cycle can be defined: predictive or classic life cycles define the product and deliverables at the start of the project; iterative or incremental life cycles adopt an approach that gradually increases or expands the product in steps; and adaptive or flexible life cycles develop the product through numerous iterations, with the scope for each iteration only defined at the start thereof.

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Predictive, classic or planning-focused life cycles

Predictive life cycles (also known as classic or planning-focused life cycles) are those in which the scope, deadline and cost are determined as soon as possible in the project life cycle and efforts are focused on meeting the commitments established for each one of these factors.
These projects are normally organized into a series of sequential or consecutive phases, where each one is focused on a specific sub-product or activity. Normally, the work undertaken in one phase is very different to all the rest and so the project team will vary according to the phase under way at any given time.
From the start, project management focuses on defining the scope and drawing up a detailed plan of the necessary activities. From there, work is focused on following the plan. Any project scope change must be managed explicitly and usually leads to a review of the plan and formal acceptance of the new plan.
Predictive life cycles are chosen when the product to be delivered is well-defined and relatively extensive knowledge exists on how to build the product. This has traditionally been the most common work model but does not necessarily suit the circumstances of all projects and organisations.

Iterative or incremental life cycles

Iterative or incremental life cycles are those in which the activities of the project are repeated in phases or iterations and understanding of the product by the project team increases in each one. The iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles that successively add functionality to the product.
At the end of each iteration, a deliverable or set of deliverables will have been produced. Future iterations may improve said deliverables or create new ones. The final product will be the accumulation of functionalities built up during the various iterations.
Iterative or incremental life cycles are chosen when it is necessary to manage vague objectives or considerable complexity, or when the partial delivery of the product is key to success. This type of life cycle enables the project team to incorporate feedback and gradually increase the experience of the team during the course of the project.

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Adaptive or flexible life cycles

Adaptive life cycles, also known as change-focused methods or flexible methods, respond to high levels of change and to ongoing participation by the interested parties.
There are two basic models for this type of life cycle, those focused on the flow (for example, Kanban) and others focused on iterative and incremental cycles (for example, Scrum). Very clear limitations are set on the concurrence of activities (Work in Progress) for the former and on very rapid iterations (between 1 and 4 weeks) in which the work is done for the latter (Sprint).
In flexible models, the overall scope of the project will usually be broken down into a set of requirements or projects to be undertaken (sometimes called Product Backlog). At the start of an iteration, the team defines the functionalities to be tackled in that cycle. At the end of each iteration, the product should be ready for review by the client. This type of life cycle requires teams to be highly involved and the sponsor or client to provide constant feedback.
Generally-speaking, flexible methods are chosen in environments that change swiftly, when the scope is unclear or when the value contribution is highly variable and with highly involved teams.

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