Project Issues Every Manager Should Prepare For

861513_interviewDelayed Project Launching
The date on which a project must start should happen on that date otherwise timelines and deadlines will be affected. If it cannot be met the deadline should be moved or additional resources are to be added in order to compensate for the crunched timeframe.

Failing to Report Critical Problems at First Notice
Some members who noticed some discrepancy on the data they are working on may fail to report it to the project manager. They will just wait for the other to notice it and at that time it may already be irreparable. Another reason why a member may fail to report critical problems is they may think that they can resolve it on their own and asking help may seem the person is weak.

There are many ways to address this problem, first is to inform the team that they shouldn’t be resolving issues all by themselves. Inform them that it is a team effort and failures and successes of a project is the result of teamwork. Two heads are better than one as the old saying goes, so it is best to inform every one of any problems encountered on its onset.

Critical Members Leaving the Team
Members of the project who have significant share on project load leaving the team is a disaster. The project will have delays while searching for a replacement. Sometimes these critical members of the team have skills that are rare that is why they are important.

If instances like these are not included in projects plans it is important to have a list of contractual specialist who can give their expertise while you are searching for a replacement. It is also advisable to assign an assistant to one of your experts so the assistant can at least take over when the critical member went on AWOL. The assistant has more knowledge than the rest of the team to take over what’s left to do. It is also advisable to know all the details of the task of your critical member to lessen the learning curve needed on taking over.

These issues are much better included in contingency plans on the project management plan.

Photo courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/

Published in: on November 18, 2008 at 3:37 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

Writing a Project Plan

A project plan is similar to a business plan. The plan should cover all nitty-gritty details of the project. This plan is crucial to the success or failure of a project.

Writing an in-depth project plan is a skill that anyone can develop. As you write more and more project plans you will find it easier to draft a plan and the fewer mistakes you will make.

Start with a draft of all the headings of your plan then expound on each heading. Your headings can be the following; description, who are involved, design details, materials, supplies, tools, schedule, workday instructions, financial plan, workers, safety, contingency, tasks and the list goes on. Think of all the aspects that your project will involve, do not try to think hard, and just write down all possibilities. When you are giving further details on your headings this is the time to eliminate topics that you believe are not necessary.

Developing the details of your heading should also be done in the same manner as writing down your headings. Indicate all details even if you feel it is not necessary. You will later on drill down the details to the most important information that you will need for the project plan. Do not discard all your draft ideas; it may be handy when finalizing your project plan.

Below is a simple and effective heading for a project plan.

PROJECT GOALS
Indicate what you want to achieve for the project, this is a way to measure your success or failure.

DELIVERABLES
Indicate in detail what are the tasks involved in achieving your goals. This is a way to establish control to the project by mentioning specific tasks to be completed by each member.

SCHEDULE
A project will never run forever so a well-thought out schedule should be put in place. A project schedule should indicate the due dates for your deliverables.

SUPPORTING PLAN
Indicate members of the project. Point out how communications will be conducted. Show also any difficulties you think will happen and mention how to handle it. Provide structure to the project by work day plan, and task allocation. Put a way to measure quality in the work being done.

The outline mentioned above is the most common points to put on a project plan. Every project is different so additional details needed for your project should be added. Managing a project can be really complicated at times so it is best to use a project management software to aid a manager.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 3:41 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,