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.