Industrial Engineering

The Seven Deadly Sins of Project Management

Project Management

Picture source: www.dynamics-consultants.co.uk

BY PAUL ENGLE

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 46 NUMBER 9

 Gopal K. Kapur, founder of Center for Project Management, recently identified seven deadly sins for projects that most experienced project managers will recognize:

  1. Mistaking half-baked ideas as viable projects
  2. Dictating unrealistic deadlines
  3. Under-skilled project managers
  4. Not ensuring solid business sponsorship
  5. Failing to break projects into chunks
  6. Not implementing a robust project process architecture
  7. Not having a comprehensive project portfolio

Project managers who get inspiration without any critical review that would lead to a reasonable chance of success, should gather facts and perform an objective analysis. Other than that, they should wait the opportunity to present their discoveries to the sponsor in private.

Experienced project managers possess a broad range of skills, which relates to implement change successfully. Theoretically, projects could succeed without executive support. Projects require significant resources, which the leadership controls. Accepting a project with little management support is a pending failure.

Many lean transformations have been led by middle management. Most failed until executives realized that their fortunes depended on successful implementation. Once top management implement lean, projects gained resources and momentum.

Standard approach conducted by consultants includes gather information, perform an analysis, develop alternatives and form recommendations. Then, recommendations are presented to management. And to prevent failure, they need to mitigate risks.

Project managers handle multiple assignments, prioritizing activities based on numerous factors. They train to apply processes developed by clients effectively and efficiently. Project risk increases significantly if important documents, meeting, or deliverables were ignored.

Many organizations generate new projects faster than they complete the ones in progress. Developing and reviewing a project portfolio might prevent overpromising and under delivering. We typically recommend each organization form a project management office to coordinate resources and a steering committee to provide oversight. These tools represent important controls necessary to mitigate the risk of under-resourcing important projects.