No matter how much experience you have, when it comes to projects you will often make a mistake, that’s a fact.
In this chat we want to address some bad practices or mistakes that appear in dealing with IT projects. True, there are many others, we can’t cover all these possibilities in a single text but is a warning.
And although we refer to essentially the management of IT projects, nothing prevents also serve for other types of projects.
Incorrect estimate/project planning
A very common mistake depending on many factors not always a solution at hand. For example, a customer with no clear goals, no official specifications, technical inability to set goals too optimistic or risky (surreal delivery times, reduced staff, unfulfilled tasks, zero quality management etc.).
In the case of this item we know that the sky is always the limit.
Bad distribution of roles in the development team.
This error is usually present when assign roles for availability and not competence.
The risk of delegating an inappropriate person for the job increases as higher is the level of responsibility of the same. A person can be excellent in a function or task and bad in others, so stay tuned.
Some simple measure can perhaps reduce this problem, for example to assess the professional profile of your employees carefully, keep in mind that as a project becomes more critical, the greater should be the empowerment of the managers, engineers, analysts, programmers, etc.
Assume instead of prove.
Dealing on the projects you should have maximum certainty. It is a classic fact that many managers when don’t have the information or it is incomplete assume they know. This is more dangerous to decide in uncertainty.
In the case of ignoring the essential factors, inquire them and formalize them. Get specific, realistic and measurable objectives of the project, time to start and delivery, available resources (technologies, budget, and personnel), requirements specification, risk, among others to prevent surprises or not if they occur, are limited.
Plan does not include all those responsible.
At this stage you should include all employees responsible for the project. In the case of missing responsible for the accuracy of the planning will be affected and this may hinder the understanding of the schedule and setting of targets.
This is particularly delicate in the case of directors. So it must have complete description of the roles of each team member in this project, design of the program, its phases, activities and tasks, the resources required for each activity, a good communication plan and risk management and the visible support a the least one of the company managers.
Embrace many tasks at the same time.
Be multitasking is today an advantage, mainly in terms of qualification. However, assume many tasks/projects concurrently can make the lowest performance and turn a brake for the whole team.
But then what should do for that not happen?
Well, in case of proven damage to productivity, reduce projects / tasks open at a 25% -50% (WIP – Work in Progress) is an alternative, you can also (if there is no other way) pause or even shut down some projects / tasks to keep open several that are never completed (question of priorities), using agile methodologies that save time without losing quality finally use quantitative methods of planning and control to enable a better distribution of work.
Lack of communication.
Communication is essential in a project. To establish communication is elemental needs a transmitter, a receiver, a message and a protocol.
The absence of these causes confusion, apathy and disorganization and to avoid this some initiatives are very important, such as planning meetings and most important interactions (so there is no loss of time with endless meetings), establish the standards, protocols and technologies to communicate.
Also ensure that any team member involved in the project meet the planning and means available to it, not rely on the software to implement the project, personal contact is often necessary.
Not knowing how to say no.
A project manager may be able to have all the data and tools needed to develop a good plan, manage it, ensure follow-up and achieve a good product.
However a personal characteristic of yours can place to lose the whole team, which is not able to say no. If a manager says no doesn’t mean that it is negative, saying not means that if recognizes the context, conditions and requirements and what is requested cannot be delivered in a timely manner.
Involves a good knowledge of the project and the team, the capabilities and estimates and what you want, what quality level you want to achieve.
Here we have the application of the previous item carried to the extreme, we refer to use the “no” in excess and not adapt to changes properly.
Many managers follow blindly the initial plan, underestimating communication, ignoring suggestions and criticism, forgetting to oversee the mechanical team and adjust your attitude and the plan to the inevitable changes that arise.
This type of manager will never be leader: little by little will feed the antipathy, fear and apathy of its staff members. Your projects can only be met if you have excess resources or a development team of extreme quality.
Too much macro or micro-management
Control freak, unplanned checks, integration solutions off schedule. These problems are usually quite common for managers without much experience or ignore the current tools of control and integration.
The micro-management is negative for the project and fatal for the whole team: not opens space for the development of the employees and nor for the initiative of these and generates widespread discontent.
These are just some of the mistakes and bad practices common in project management, of course there are many others that are out of this list and do so much damage to the project and the team.
What do you think about the issue? What others practices were left out? Do you agree?