Fixing a broken project

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in technical SEO and Content Marketing.

If your team is doing too much overtime, you are continually receiving ad hoc requests or even requests for status updates then your project management process may be broken.

Project management is no longer just about getting the work done but about how it is done.  If your process is not streamlined and optimised your project team can burnout. This results in a drop in productivity, individuals or work arriving late or simply not at all. All of this can be detrimental to your organisation.

It is important, therefore, for project managers to be able to make sense of any data. And to communicate efficiently and effectively and also to collaborate with the members of their team in order to get work done on time.

Here we will look at how it is possible to fix a broken project using existing a newly-developed project management skills to your advantage.

What are your team working on?

In the modern work environment, it can be the case that your team are not all based in the same office, or even the same country. When this happens, it can be harder to know what part of a project each individual team member is working on, but not impossible. Communication, something all project management courses you attend will remind you of, is your strongest weapon in ensuring that you are kept abreast of project developments.

Good software that allows team members to update their progress and keep all communication in a central place is therefore a necessity. If everyone keeps their progress updated, it will be possible to see potential issues such as deadlines being missed and adjust your project plan accordingly.

Ad hoc requests

Whether these come in the middle of the project or towards the end, last minute request can cause significant disruption to your project. They are often time consuming and can detract from the task at hand; this can ultimately make it difficult to stick to deadlines, particularly when they are tight. Excessive ad-hoc requests are often the cause of a broken project.

In a modern work environment, it is necessary to be prepared for every kind of eventuality, planned or unplanned. Even when you have a great project plan in place work doesn’t always go to plan. You don’t have to comply with ever ad-hoc request that you receive, and it’s important to set boundaries that are clear in order to standardise the request management process that you follow. The right software will help you to do this.

Too many tools

Software is great when it comes to tracking your project and ensuring that everyone is kept up to speed. But when you have too many tools that are not connected it can be all too easy to lose track of one vital issue and that can lead to a broken project. Emails are the most commonly used tools when it comes to sharing information, but it is important to know who needs to see the information. Sharing it with too many people can result in distracting individuals unnecessarily and can have a negative impact. If files can be shared within your software this makes sense, then they can be seen by those who need to access them and are kept in a logical place. Likewise, if messages can be sent this way it keeps them in one easy to access central location. This means that when a problem arises it can be seen quickly and fixed sooner rather than later.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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