Poor Project management leads to taking on more than you can handle and drowning in costs, wasted effort and time.
Where I live, the summer weather has come and gone, the leaves have changed color and are already falling off the trees. However my husband and I have started planning for our anniversary trip to Hawaii next year, and so at the moment I’ve got the sand and waves on my mind. All of the islands sound lovely, so while deciding which island to visit, we first tried to narrow the list by eliminating those that might disappoint us the most. Because I’m an IT Consultant, I always have project management on my mind as well, and soon I found myself thinking about all the parallels between a disappointing trip to the beach and a poorly managed project. Here are my top four.
Choosing the Wrong Beach
The very first thing that came out of my husband’s mouth was “It doesn’t matter which island.” Initially, I was in agreement with him. I mean, a beach is a beach, right? With the right attitude one could enjoy themselves at any beach. But then I started thinking about why we wanted to go. Did we want to see museums and local monuments or just the sand and sun? Have nearby bustling city life or just quiet, nature life? Would any beach really do, or did we really want one with nearby cookouts and hiking trails with beautiful waterfalls? Once we established our wants, choosing the island became much easier.
When choosing a project to start it is important to identify leadership’s goals and objectives to assess whether or not this project aligns with them. Not every initiative that sounds like a great idea will make sense for your organization. domain tech info Perhaps there is another potential initiative in the pipeline that may make a bigger positive impact instead.
Failing to Check the Weather First
When planning a trip to the beach, one of the first things you might want to do is check the weather before you head out. No matter how clear and sunny it is at the moment, you still want to know what the meteorologists predict the day’s chance of rain will be. You can use this information to decide if you will pack an umbrella or poncho, or choose another day altogether to hit the waves.
Not knowing what the potential risks to your project are – and failing to have a mitigation plan – is a lot like going to the beach without checking the weather. Sure you could do it, and everything just might turn out fine. But you could also get hit with a torrential storm in the middle of the afternoon, have your sandcastle washed away, have your game of volleyball cut short, or find yourself drenched and shivering. It’s a very good idea to put some foresight into predicting the things that could potentially go wrong and figure out early on how you will avoid or manage them. Otherwise you run the risk of you and your team wasting money, time and effort.
Not Packing a Towel
I can’t think of a more miserable beach experience than arriving without a towel to dry off with, something to sit or lay down on, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion to protect the eyes and skin, and something to wear when leaving. Not packing all the items you will need to make your visit to a hot, wet and sandy locale will leave you uncomfortable and reduce your chances of having a good time.
Sounds familiar? Failing to secure all of the human, material and cost resources you will need for a project you’re engaging could also leave you in an uncomfortable state of avoidable complexity, and a reduced chance of meeting your goals on schedule. There are tools you can utilize to help you better estimate just how much time, money and effort will be required to complete all of your tasks.
Going Out Too Far
Swimming in a lake or ocean is a feasible (and fun!) goal. However, these are large bodies of water, and the amount of depth and strength of the current can vary greatly from perfectly safe to truly perilous. If you’re not mindful to set a mental boundary of how far you’re safe to go before you dive in, you could potentially find yourself not only very far away from the beach, but unable to make it back. If you wait until you are already immersed in the water to try to determine your limitation, you may be waiting too late. You could find yourself already near drowning by the time you realize you’ve gone in over your head.
The same can be said for Project Management. Diving head first into a business initiative without first determining the goals, budget, and what’s in versus out of scope, can be a lot like swimming out into the ocean with abandon. You run the risk of taking on more than you can handle and drowning in costs and floundering against the tidal wave of effort and time required. For more information on project management read Top 3 Things You Need to Simplify Project Management
Follow us on LinkedIN