3 Problems That Lead to Late, Over-Budget Implementations
These Common Project Management Flaws Can Derail Any Business Goal
Problem #1 – The lack of detailed deliverables
Businesses face complex and challenging goals every day. They provide complex services. They fulfill difficult product orders and support. To execute on all these things, the success is in the details. It’s easy to oversimplify. It’s easy to forget that projects require set-up processes, approval processes, project manager oversight and many other tactical attributes to be successful. Many companies set a very high-level goal – too high level – and lack the detailed scope of work required to achieve their goal. It’s not always the case. Yet, taking steps to ensure deliverables are pre-built for a project will often eliminate this issue.
We suggest following best practices wherever possible. When it comes to our business products and services, we’ve built pre-defined (templated) deliverables for each offering. This provides us a model for each of our deliverables, eliminating the possibility that we hadn’t planned enough in the details for each deliverable to be successful. At SMB Suite, we follow a defined methodology.
Creating deliverable templates for your project will help reduce the likelihood of poor or over-budget execution.
Problem #2 – The lack of an objective project manager
Picture a major, ongoing project, but everyone involved has either consulted or is responsible for execution. There’s not a project manager who is responsible for the oversight of the work. This naturally creates a problem. Someone always needs to operate as a sort of outside authority to help provide objective management. It’s key that the project manager is not actually performing the work.
From our point of view, SMB Suite makes sure that there is a dedicated project manager assigned to any project that is not responsible for the tasks. An important point here is that the person needs to have enough authority to be able to direct resources, i.e. change the deliverables schedule, reassign task priorities, make connections and communicate with clients.
Ensuring there is a project manager who is not responsible for the work will increase the likelihood that the project will be done correctly, on time and on budget.
Problem #3 – Scope creep
Scope creep is typical in scenarios where customers request work, or consultants ask for work, outside the defined deliverables during a project. It can also come in the form of requests for additional functionality that wasn’t originally planned for or included in the budget. Other examples include adding wish list items instead of needs within the budget or deliverables. Scope creep is common. It’s easy to expand on deliverables going over budget as a team goes further into a project and is developing the full spectrum of tasks to initiate new tasks. Scope creep can have huge consequences.
SMB Suite follows a methodology that provides customer sign-off at every stage. This means we don’t move forward with a project until we get approval from the customer at every major stage of the project. This ensures that the project stays on track and doesn’t balloon into more and more tasks as a result of scope creep. Seeking approval throughout milestones during a project ensures the project doesn’t move in the wrong direction, and issues are addressed proactively.
We use a “fixed bid” model for our product and service execution. This means that we have created a pre-packaged solution where there are fixed deliverables (see problem #1) that prevent scope creep.
Ensuring that the customer approves the project deliverables to their satisfaction at every stage of the project will help reduce the likelihood of scope creep and ensure a successful project.