Project Management

12 Good Reasons You are Struggling with Small Projects

Hey, champ, cheer up. Challenges can crop up in even the smallest projects, and it does not make you any less of a great project manager. Harry Hall writes about the twelve reasons you might still be struggling with a small project.

A Dozen D’ohs

  1. You think small projects are simple.
  2. You don’t have a project charter.
  3. You are applying the wrong level of rigor.
  4. The project sponsor is invisible.
  5. Your team has been poorly staffed.
  6. You are not performing project risk management.
  7. You are not performing change management.
  8. You are managing a project no one cares about.
  9. Your project team is too large.
  10. You are using the wrong tools.
  11. You are managing too many projects.
  12. You have not identified the important stakeholders.

It may sound counterintuitive, but there is not necessarily a direct correlation between project size and complexity. Regardless of project size or time constraints, you should develop a project charter, because you never know when a stakeholder will flip the table on requirements. Likewise, you need to track risks and accumulated changes to keep scope in check. That being said, only do as much planning as the situation really requires; use your intuition.

If your project sponsor is flighty or non-existent, actively seek out a new one for the good of the project. Along those lines of indifference, Hall has this to say about helming a project no one cares about:

Projects are selected arbitrarily in informal environments. The project does not align with the company’s strategy. The team knows the project is a low priority and give it little attention. This is a management issue. Management should establish a project selection committee that reviews project requests for strategic alignment.

In the rare instance that you are actually given too large a team, carve a core team out of it that represents primary stakeholder groups. Use a basic tool like Excel or Trello to keep track of everything. For even more insights into how to pick up the pieces of a faulty project, you can read Hall’s full post here:

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