There are obvious risks that could hurt your project. For instance, scope creep can cause the specifications of an assignment to change, meaning you’ll have to adapt your entire production strategy.
However, project managers also have to be concerned about secret dangers. These issues are typically hidden and don’t pop up until it’s too late for supervisors to do anything to stop them, similar to a shark circling its prey. The predator does its best to creep closer and closer, and eventually its victim is completely trapped.
You can’t ever allow your team to be ensnared in the metaphorical jaws of a hidden risk. The following is a look at some of the secret factors that could cause your project to fail.
You’re not spending enough
Many project managers are worried about going over budget. Obviously in today’s economic environment, it behooves professionals to stay within their means and avoid over spending at all costs. However, this approach can lead to some problems down the road. Matthew McWha, the practice manager at CEB, told Harvard Business Review’s Gretchen Gavett explained that failure to spend can be indicative of some issues.
“If you’re not spending the money you should be spending, either you haven’t identified the right things to be spending it on, or people are hesitating to make decisions because the project objectives aren’t clear,” McWha said.
The old maxim “you have to spend money to make money” holds true in project management. It’s unlikely that your company has all of the necessary resources to handle production so you’ll have to invest in new tools, staffing and other assets to complete the assignment by its deadline.
When you’re not spending a sufficient amount, you’re likely setting staff up to fail. Always purchase the tools that employees need to do their jobs so that your project will be successful.
Project managers are more likely to complain about a lack of employees than an abundance of them. After all, more problems seem to be caused when there aren’t enough hands on deck to tackle every little responsibility.
The reality is that over staffing is a huge problem that many leaders have to deal with on a regular basis. Companies may overestimate how many people they’ll need to handle specific tasks, resulting in large teams.
Managers can struggle when trying to work with a large group as there will be a plethora of opinions to consider and strategies to implement. Further, some employees may overstep their bounds and start interfering with their colleagues’ initiatives.
Teams should be kept down to manageable sizes to minimize the number of conflicts. If an enterprise has hired or contracted too many contributors, they should be given alternative assignments so projects won’t be delayed.
The quiet client
Project managers loathe highly communicative clients because it feels like a waste of time to discuss production on a regular basis. Additionally, some stakeholders complain and cause supervisors to regularly update their strategies.
However, that doesn’t mean that quiet clients are any better. In fact, they can present a significant danger to a project.
When you don’t know what the client wants or is thinking, you run the risk of completing an assignment in the wrong way. You may have done great work, but if they client had different expectations, you’ll have poisoned the business relationship and may have to head back to the drawing board.
The only way to combat this danger is to actively seek out feedback and make the client an active production partner. Consider holding a regular review call with stakeholder and ask them to share their ideas and opinions with you and your team.
You have to be careful with this strategy, however, as you don’t want someone overriding your procedures or taking your power. If anything, you want production to become collaborative and include directions from yourself, the client and your employees.
Enhancing communication can be simple. Ensure that stakeholders understand why you want to speak on a regular basis so that they’ll help your staff with the work instead of staying silent until the very end. This is the best way to eliminate the hidden danger that silence usually poses.