Common Issues in Project Management and I can relate to them

We all have been part of projects that are well run, but also we participated in some where everything possible happened that can go wrong. I read an interesting article that listed several key issues that occur in project management specifically related to “designers and developers”. While it is related to designer field, it brought up some key things that I was able to relate to. According to the article, there are 7 common issues and they are:

  • “Your client gives you vague, ever-changing requirements”- Many times clients are not sure of what they would like until certain stages of the project therefore impacting the timelines and eventual outcome. It is important to try and finalize the requirements in order to be able to deliver successful project.
  • “Your client is slow with communication”- Some clients are not very responsive which impacts the direction of the project. In order to overcome this obstacle, it is important to make calls when response is limited.
  • “The project doesn’t start on time”- Sticking to the timeline is important and critical step is start of the project. However, based on the needs of the business, priorities can change and projects can be delayed. In order to overcome this, it is important to do as many things up front in the expectation of the project starting.
  • “You try to manage every project the same way”- Every project is not the same and can’t be put in the same template. It is important to be able to craft the templates based on the projects
  • “The client doesn’t like what you created”- Deliverable is not what the client wants. Important way to deal with something like this is to have communication throughout the project as a critical piece to get desired deliverable.
  • “Your point of contact doesn’t seem to care about your project”- Priority of the project may not fall on the critical list therefore causing contacts to have limited interest. In order to deal with such issue, it is important to spot this occurrence from the beginning in order to address it with proper team.
  • “Too much time is spent solving problems after projects are “live””- If there are major issues as project goes live, there are 2 things that probably took place… not enough time to test or too many tweaks were taking place by the client throughout the project. It is critical to add enough testing time and capture the requirements from the beginning.

In my experience, I had the opportunity to deal with all of the above issues, but there are couple that should be called out specifically. First issue is the need to have set requirements.  Although I am on the business side and can be considered a client, it is important to make sure requirements are set from the beginning. Changing requirements throughout the project not only affects the results, but can bring down team morale and even confuse the team. Second issue is that of communication. It is critical to make communication key part of the project. If the people involved on the project are kept in the loop, it can help with making necessary changes on time and ensuring key milestones are met. If client is kept in the loop throughout the project, it can help minimize the chance that they don’t like the result. Ensuring that requirements are set from the beginning and everyone is kept in the loop will help reach satisfying project results.



4 thoughts on “Common Issues in Project Management and I can relate to them

  1. I definitely agree that the first bullet point can be a project’s death sentence if not handled correctly. Scope creep on both sides can make the project unmanageable and more often than not projects with shaky requirements from the beginning will be at a minimum delayed past the due date but more likely you’ll end up with a dissatisfied customer. We try to standardize as much as we can on the project scope from day one. Before we begin on a medium or large sized project we iron out all of the details with the client and have them agree in writing that any changes to the scope will result in higher costs and/or a delayed timeline.
    You’re right on with the need for continuous, quality communication. Nobody on either side of the deal likes surprises and the only way to consistently avoid them are by keeping everyone in the loop. I like to set a maximum length of time between customer communications on large scale, long timeline projects to make sure that we’re staying in touch. Sometimes we have to “manufacture” updates if nothing significant has happened since the last communication but a 30 second phone call or a few lines in an email can go a long way with an important customer. It’s amazing to me how many times customers can forget about ideas they had come up with themselves and asked us to execute. Plus, there’s no better way to build bonds and great relationships than consistent communication.

  2. I have experienced the situation where problems are solved when projects are live. This is often related to scope creep, but can also occur when there is not enough time spent planning. Measure twice and cut once is a cliche, but like most cliches it is based in truth.

  3. These bullet points occur way too often and in many different environments. A current project in my company was scheduled to start in June, but it is already the second week of July and it still hasn’t taken affect. Clients and counterparts often seem to take their time responding, only in the most time sensitive situations. The issues where the client gives vague and “ever-changing” requirements is unfortunately just a part of the game to be expected. The key is to anticipate and adjust. The comment that I found to be true but the most adverse to the development of new projects is the “trying to manage every project the same way”. A lot of times, the same manager is selected for different projects based off their previous successes, but it is an imparative mistake to use the same tactics for different settings. A manager can use the best technique and proven concepts, but must be able to adapt them to the scope of the current project in order to find success. Great post in all.

  4. I like this post, it brings up a lot of good points in project management. One of the issues I like the most was the issue where the project proposed has ever changing requirements on behalf of the client. Often times the person incharge of something only knows the high level issue, and when they start to dig into the issue the roots of the problem dictate a completely different path…but often people have a hard time accepting that the work spent on a project is a sunk cost and continue the charge down the hill. This goes hand in hand with the client not liking what you created because they didn’t want it in the first place. lol, great article and good points to keep for anyone working on projects.

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