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Why Are My Projects Struggling? Six Basics You Must Never Forget

Does it seem like your projects are becoming more of a struggling mess than a successful endeavor? Meetings have evolved into forums for complaints rather than talking about wins. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Suresh Malladi explains the six basics that you should go back to when a project is really struggling:

  1. Care about your team.
  2. Do not abandon processes.
  3. Make sure senior management commits.
  4. Maintain communication models.
  5. Control procedures.
  6. Document lessons learned.

How to Turn It Around

When a project has been successful in the past, it is because of the people that were working on it. People use to have time during their work day to work on their skills and develop into a better employee, but with an increased project workload, there is less time to develop. It is important for people to have a balanced work life so they remain motivated and do not become burnt out.

Processes help to drive continuous improvements and document which practices worked best. The problem recently is that with stretched resources, the processes are being overlooked and performances are not being reviewed. This leaves a major gap in the learning process because nothing is taken away from projects. New projects may develop problems that could have been anticipated and avoided if only processes were utilized.

Senior management is the backbone of project management. They converse with the outside vendors and retain all of the necessary information that may be needed on the project. Unfortunately, if they do not share this wisdom with the team, the knowledge is for nothing. They should be engaged on the project and review it continuously.

As projects grow and the organization prospers, it is equally as important to develop the lines of communication and define who will relay information to whom. Stakeholders are major people involved in projects and should be accounted for in the communication tree. Likewise, using tight monitoring and controlling procedures greatly helps to identify problems and find solutions; just ensure that they grow with the projects.

Learning from a current project is a great way to develop a better, more successful project in the future. The key to learning from the best practices is to actually take the time to document them. Even under pressure, take a few moments to document.

You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/why-are-my-projects-struggling-six-basics-you-must-never-forget/

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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