Projects are an integral part of staying lean, efficient, and ahead of your competition. Often complex in nature, they involve a variety of moving parts kept running by dedicated and agile team members towards an end goal. As a project leader, you focus on planning, execution, team performance, and ensuring any risks and issues are anticipated and mitigated early.
So why do so many projects fail? Let’s take a look at the top five reasons.
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Oftentimes projects can be a reactive and not a proactive exercise. You’re handed a vision and a goal post and told to run. It is important to pause and take time to solidify the foundation which your entire initiative will rest on so your team can hit the ground running on day one.
If you can’t measure it, you’ll never know where you stand. Projects have so many different ways to analyze progress revolving around quality, cost, and time. With an abundance of data, it’s imperative that teams clearly identify and set the appropriate success criteria, definitions, and benchmarks at all levels of the initiative to ensure clarity and a unified way of determining if and when course corrections are needed.
Organizational structures can be complex and politically challenging. Everyone wants to do their best, but if they don’t feel invested, things can slip through the cracks. Setting clear and defined roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures goes a long way in ensuring every team member is empowered to make the right decisions in a collaborative environment.
Accountability can be set with:
The game of telephone is a risky one – especially on larger initiatives. You often get one message spliced into multiple flavors or a melange of messages colliding with each other to create confusion and delay. It is imperative to define a communication plan and strategy for relaying critical information to the right parties at the right time via the right channels. Doing so will ensure a singular voice and proper direction in moments of challenge and success.
Successful project communication includes:
Management isn’t just about the task, it’s about the team, and more importantly the people. Oftentimes leaders forget that without a motivated and empowered team, nothing moves forward. Focusing on removing roadblocks while fostering an open and respectful environment for ideation, collaboration, growth, retrospective, and task ownership are what keep teams performing efficiently and calmly even through the roughest waters.
To be a servant leader, one must focus on: