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A company can not develop and become more profitable by placing all its fate in old business ideas and practices. Its management has to experiment with new concepts in order to adjust to the ever-changing market. Products and services can then be made based on those ideas. Sounds simple enough, but the reality is far more complicated. One thing is to come up with an idea, but an entirely different thing is to make a project around it.
Things can become so out of hand that only a third of all projects make it out of the production cycle on time and with an initial budget. This happens because of mistakes made by inexperienced project managers. We offer you 5 common management problems that arise from neglecting certain areas of project planning. After overcoming them you will be able to effectively manage projects.
According to several research papers of the American Project Management Institute, one-third of projects fail because people who develop them have no clear vision. It’s one of the most common management problems. That is why it's vital to have a picture of what you are trying to achieve, how it will benefit the company and why customers would want to use it. Otherwise, any further work will be rendered meaningless.
Let’s take as an example a small mobile app company that wants to expand into mobile video games market with a puzzle game. In this case, the following things would likely be discussed by developers:
What are our target age groups?
Should we make a 2D or 3D game?
How many developers are we going to need to work on various aspects of the game, e.g. mechanics, levels design, concept art, sound design, etc?
What kind of game engine we should use and will we have enough money to get it licensed?
How much will the game cost for the customer?
How much of our profit will go to the company that made the engine?
All these questions have to be discussed during initial and subsequent company meetings. Managers and employees should agree on the best way of reaching project goals and the estimated time it will take to make this happen.
When you plan a project, it's important to understand what the final result will look like. The is one of the biggest mistakes made by managers. Managers are responsible for making a list of requirements for the project and giving it to employees. The list should include the following information:
The number of employees required for different stages of project development
Criteria for evaluating the quality of the project and its components
The principles of dividing the workload among workers
The project schedule
The list of objectives the project will achieve for the company
How often will the project be altered
Initial budget size
This list also has the final product that will be developed. In case of a mobile video game, these can include concept artwork, audio samples, code for various elements of the game, for example, mechanics, physics, visual effects animations, etc. Each listing must include an approximate release date.
Deadlines are one of the common management problems that emerge during project development. A good manager has to stay in touch with his team and ask for updates on the progress within each team. Are they meeting their deadlines or do they need more time to do everything properly?
Some unexpected thing can pop up and the entire thing will have to be delayed. Should you fail to make the necessary calculations, you will be at risk of constantly postponing the deadline. In order to avoid any future problems, it is best to meet with every staff member and evaluate with their work in time.
In theory, all your plans would surely fall into place every time, but in reality, any project can be subject to delays, missed deadlines, sick employees and other unfortunate events. Having a proper risk management program cuts the potential of project failure almost in half. This process is not that hard to undertake but does require outlining many factors that could go wrong when working on a particular project. Your list of risks should include such events as:
Failure to meet deadlines
Working on additional features outside of the original project scope
Project scope alterations. Changes in project goals, deliverables, tasks, costs, and deadline
A project manager’s task lies in risk evaluation and establishment of their impact on the project. For example, you can make sure to appoint a deputy project manager who will able to replace the head of the project and continue working in his absence. You can also experience technical difficulties, such as an abrupt shift in used hardware or software that may require hiring additional employees. A contingency plan has to encompass all possibilities of things going wrong for the project.
There is no better way to ensure a steady workflow than by scheduling your team. The timetable has to provide clear information about the workload and deadlines. All schedules should allow some flexibility in case of unforeseen circumstances. If anyone working on a project has to take some time off in case of an illness, a family matter, an injury or some other circumstance, they can do so in reasonable terms. In that case, there has to be someone to replace them in case of an emergency so that the pace of project development can be kept up.
It is vital to give your team members the same flexibility when suggesting new ideas to project managers that will benefit the project in general. Currently, there is a variety of solutions that make project management easier. These include Social Shared, Wrike, Slack, Procore and many others.