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Common project management and team collaboration challenges

Project Managerment ChallengesThe research on traditional information technology projects is chilling: between 25 and 75 percent of projects are over budget and past deadline. One study reported a 28 percent success rate—a 72 percent failure rate.  

How many non-IT projects are late, over budget or fall short of objectives?

Add yours up and you’re likely to find between 25 and 75 percent suffer one or more of these shortcomings. These faults might not always cause damage to your project, profits or reputation.

But more often than not, project difficulties put you and your organization at risk.

Chronic project mismanagement is particularly a concern when customers perceive all providers in a given area to have similar technical capabilities. To compete, you could lower prices. Or you could gain the reputation for more consistently meeting deadlines, budgets and goals—before another company does.

Every project is different

For many service providers, no two projects seem to proceed the same way. These variances—some foreseeable, some not—create difficulties you must overcome to reach your goals.

ProjectChallenge

Discussion

Cost over-runs

It’s one thing to go over budget because you discover new benefits or savings mid-project. It’s another if the cause is poor project preparation or communications. The worst scenario? When you are unable to track costs until after the money is spent.

Missed deadlines

Deadlines are missed for the same reason projects go over budget. There is an important difference: you can exceed budget to meet a deadline. But when a project is delayed, costs are almost certain to increase. And while people might not understand whether a project achieves objectives, everyone understands deadlines and budgets.

Constant changes in scope

Most projects require frequent adjustments. Problems occur when lack of systems and procedures make it difficult to routinely respond to and accommodate change.

Little or no time and money near project end

The precursor to missing deadline and exceeding budget. The same causes apply: inadequate or missing project preparation, communication systems and methodology.

Unrealistic schedules

Chronic difficulty meeting deadlines is usually the result of poor pre-project planning procedures and communication.

Team unsure of roles, tasks and schedules

When people are confused and messages missed, projects quickly derail. Communication systems with receipt verification can expose misunderstanding and lapses.

Poor internal communication

Effective project communication requires systematic shared access to key information.

Poor customer communication

Projects and relationships suffer when clients feel out of the loop or staff is unable to give timely updates on costs and project status.

Limited access to project files and information

When work descriptions, schedules and other documents are inconvenient to access or horded, project management requirements go up and productivity goes down.

Wasted efforts

There can be many reasons results are not achieved or a team pursues unproductive activities. Real-time project tracking and open communications help maintain progress.

Too many project meetings

Without effective communication systems, teams must resort to a large number of productivity-sapping meetings.

Employee turnover

Miscommunication, uncertain responsibilities and low productivity lead to the defection of valuable team members.

High learning curve
for new employees

When key project details are stored in the head of someone no longer on the team or is otherwise difficult to access, new staff takes much longer to be effective. 

Lack of accountability

When people are uncertain about their responsibilities or can hide from them, tasks fall through the cracks and work goes undone.