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Top 5 Tips for Screwing up Project Planning

If you saw a project manager setting up for failure by not planning, would you try to intervene? In a post for PM Hut, Martin Webster delves into this phenomenon of poor project management decisions that lead to a project’s demise.

After working in the business long enough, it often becomes easy to anticipate when an impending failure is about to take place. It is vital to speak up, because it is far easier to fix a problem from the beginning rather than getting started and having to amend everything after a failure has occurred. So why do these failures even happen?

According to Webster, there are five ways in which project managers inadvertently set up their project for failure:

  1. Fail to plan
  2. Mixing up what it means to “schedule” and “plan”
  3. Estimating the level of work
  4. Make assumptions
  5. Not involving the stakeholders

The number one most important aspect of a project is to adequately take time to plan, and yet, an alarming amount of project managers fail to do so. Pretending to plan does no good for anybody. Investigating what to anticipate in terms of adversity is crucial to ensure success. Additionally, keep in mind that scheduling is not the same thing as planning. The project plan paints the big picture while the schedule helps to show managers how all the integral elements fit together.

No one knows how well an individual works except that individual. Project managers often make the mistake of thinking they know how to estimate the level of work someone will need to exude. The bottom line: they have no idea. Project managers too often assume they know it all. They are not clairvoyant and should not act as such. The only beneficial assumption is to think a project may be arduous.

The stakeholders are the very essence of the business. They know what they want and they may even have advice on how they believe the project can get there. A simple conversation with the stakeholder can even help to appease the other four mistakes. Involve them from the beginning and continually make an effort to include them.

You can read the original post here: http://www.pmhut.com/top-5-tips-for-screwing-up-project-planning

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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