25 Oct 3 Roadblocks That Impact the Success of Projects
It’s not uncommon today for companies to spend a significant amount of time and money on project-based work, often with multiple projects running simultaneously. However, as this trend becomes the norm, we’ve noticed the same challenges are impacting the success of the projects.
In my experience, working with clients across industries, there are three main roadblocks that your organization needs to be aware of before taking on any project.
Roadblock 1: Siloed Project Managers
Separating project managers across departments is a fairly typical practice, especially in enterprise organizations. That may mean that there is a project manager (PM) for the IT department, a PM for Human Resources, another for Marketing, etc. The problem is that these PMs are often not working together as a unit – even for the same project. There is no cohesive plan or process in place to ensure that every department knows what they are responsible for, what the goals are (of the projects in general and for their department), and what the timeline is (again, generally for the projects as well as for their specific piece of work).
For any project to be successful, your PMs need to be aware of the comprehensive project plan and the role that their department will play – and they need to work together to execute the plan as a unified team. When your PMs operate under the same expectations, you’ll achieve greater collaboration and improved efficiency that will have an immediate impact on the success of your project.
Roadblock 2: Project Intake Bottlenecks
This roadblock starts with the identification of a project. Many organizations do not have a definitive answer for what a project is versus a routine work effort. This difference needs to be defined – and everyone in the organization needs to be made aware of it so that they can appropriately plan for the impact a project may have on their day-to-day operations.
This is important because once a project is identified, it needs to be approved, which means that a sponsor or PM needs to submit detailed information about the need for the project and the resources and timeline it will require. For this to happen, your PMs need to understand exactly what the intake process is, what information they need to communicate, and with whom they need to share it. Without this, your team members may waste a lot of time and effort trying to get a project approved, and any potential delay may negatively affect your organization over time (and will certainly waste resources).
Roadblock 3: Communication
Communication can make or break a project, and communication around a project itself is critical. All stakeholders – from the top to the bottom of the organization – need to understand how the project will impact them and the role that they will play in its execution. This should include details about the benefits of the project, the timeline, the resource requirements, the goals, and, depending on the stakeholder, the budget.
A high level of communication from a consistent source within your organization will ensure that all those involved are prepared for the effort. It will also serve to promote communication between stakeholders because they will be more apt to identify process or operational inefficiencies – for instance, a duplication of effort for a specific piece of a project – that will ultimately save time and money and improve the project’s potential for success.
Managing these roadblocks requires structure. It’s really that simple. A consistent approach to project execution, with standardized processes throughout the organization, will foster the visibility and alignment you need to maximize resources, control risk, and complete your project within the projected timeline and budget. We can help you find success and implement a structure that works for your organization. Contact me at [email protected] or 484.383.0606 to learn more.