Meeting deadlines is the essence of successfully conducting modern business. In this increasingly competitive world, companies that do not meet delivery deadlines risk their continuity.
Project management success comes from setting up an efficient and effective processes and workflows for collaboration.
According to a survey by the Project Management Institute, organizations are wasting $97 million for every $1 billion invested due to poor project performance.
Another study by the PMI showed that the presence of a project management office on average helps improve delivering the project on time. However, the mere presence of a project management office does not ensure that delivery deadlines are met.
To ensure that your project team meets delivery deadlines, steps should be taken to avoid the following three mistakes:
1. Over commitment
Successful project completion depends on committing to completing the project. Commitment would depend on many factors like a clearly-defined timeline, adequate budgeting, and a clear project scope. The main reason why project teams fail to meet the delivery deadline is that these key aspects of the project are not clearly identified.
Committing to a project involves establishing a realistic timeline, delivery date and project scope at the start of the project. This is because the project timeline is devised keeping in mind the deadline of the project whereas a clear project scope protects the project from being delayed because of scope creep.
Without a set deadline, clarifying the project scope or agreeing to an unrealistic deadline provided by the client would result in over-commitment.
A PMI survey showed that project managers with poor performance experience 46% budget loss due to failed projects. As a result, these managers are only able to complete 24% of their projects on time and have a 68% chance of experiencing a scope creep.
To prevent over-commitment, you need to ensure that the deadlines set are realistic. Similarly, a set deadline is crucial for project completion as without a fixed deadline the customer can demand the completed project at any time and-being unprepared for it - the project team would fail to meet this deadline.
The same would happen in the case of an ambiguous project scope: the client could keep changing or adding to the project scope after the project has begun.
Clearly, projects that entailed delivering more than the team could handle would not be delivered on time. It is crucial to monitor that the project requirements are realistic and attainable in the given timeline to ensure that project is completed on time.
2. Not resolving issues on time
Once the project has started, the project management office is responsible for resolving any issues that arise in a timely manner. The issues and risks projects have to face can vary from the expected like team members going on leave to the unexpected like a team member leaving the firm.
The project management office analyzes project risks at the start of the project and devises a plan to resolve these issues efficiently and quickly. However, it is essential that the issues should be resolved.
While it is easier to put aside any unforeseen problems that arise, failure to tackle these issues might result in the project not completing on time.
The presence of a strategy for resolving unexpected issues would help the project team deliver projects on time. Furthermore, it is important to encourage communication and collaboration to resolve issues.
Encourage team members to report issues as soon as they arise so that they can be resolved just as quickly. Project management software like nTask can be used to improve communication and collaboration.
3. Communication Failure
Project communication starts from the moment the project is conceived and ends at the moment the project ends and consists of project planning, sharing of information between stakeholders - basically the whole communication network.
Communication’s importance increases once the project starts. This is because communication clarifies what are the responsibilities of each team members and what the project timeline looks like.
Communication failure occurs when information is lost, misunderstood, shared late, not at all or too many times.
Most of the time, people use email for communication and collaboration. Keeping track of important information shared via long email chains might become difficult for some people, especially when working on large projects.
According to a study, 57% of projects fail due to breakdown in communication. Also, virtual teams identified long email threads as the second biggest challenge to communication.
Communication failure increases the chances of project being delivered late. A project management software tool can be used to ensure that important project communication is located in one place where every team member can access them at any time.