For any project manager the thought of projects going over-budget or over-time can be a constant nightmare in their-day-to-day work.
Project delays can be hazardous to a project and therefore require careful forward planning to reduce the risk of delays.
Before you start your next project, here are four key steps that we recommend you take:
- Set Objectives
- Without clear objectives in place, you will have little indication of the path you should take. You need to establish and document clear objectives before commencing a project and constantly re-visit where you are going and why to keep your project on track.
- Know Your Resources
- Uncertainty in resource availability can cause all sorts of issues for a project manager, which will inevitably lead to a project being delayed where the resource demand and capacity are not aligned. It is important to know who is working on what in a wider scope, as well as their determined capacity to work on your individual project.
- Recognize Risks
- It is important to take the time to do this analysis before you even establish a deadline. In doing so, you may identify an issue that you need to account for when setting a realistic deadline.
- Manage Expectations
- At times it is an unrealistic deadline that causes project delays rather than other contributing factors. If you have a deadline that is unrealistic, your project is doomed to fail right from the start.
After completing these four steps, you will be well on your way to successfully completing your project on time.
For additional tips and insights about project, program and portfolio maturity, consider these additional resources:
- Eclipse Video: An Introduction to Project Portfolios
- PMO Toolkit, our guide to help you identify the strategies, processes, and software needed to establish and mature a successful PMO.