For any business to work, we need to have a proper handle on exactly how workflow operates. This requires an understanding of all aspects of particular projects. By doing so, we facilitate clear dialogue, engagement and understanding. This means we produce the best outcomes and results. This is where project management comes in – but it also, we should consider where it can fail.
Why project management?
It’s important for us to understand precisely what we mean by project management. As Investopedia notes:
”Project management involves planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event or duty toward completion. It typically involves a one-time project rather than an ongoing activity…”
With this we can see that not only do we almost always use project management, but why it must be done well. Even if we don’t call our processes leading to completion “project management”, the point is, we’re still doing it. That means we should be doing it correctly – failing to properly manage projects means we fail our business. After all, no clients will want to work with companies who can’t deliver.
The question is how can project management fail us?
Different forms of failure
The first way teams often fail is due to not communicating or having the right information. As Josh Bersin in Forbes notes, modern teams tend to engage on multiple levels with multiple teams.
“People operating in teams and small groups have to work with other teams, and they can’t do this unless goals are clear, overall financial objectives are well communicated, and people know what other people are working on.”
Project management then fails when we aren’t providing teams with the right information or how their work fits into a broader context of the business.
Second, project managers might not have the right balance of strict versus relaxed. To lead requires a proper balance of both traits. If we’re too lenient this could mean our staff’s laziness isn’t addressed and deadlines are missed. If we’re too strict our staff will be more worried about their stress, than getting the work done. Careful balance is required by project leads.
Another way projects fail, often stressed in project management training, is by having impossible time goals. We promise clients projects will be done within an estimated time that doesn’t take into account reality, but only our hopes. This frustrates everyone: workers, clients and ourselves. Reality must lead our management, not hopes or dreams.