Project delay is a nightmare, always haunting all project stakeholders. Even though almost over 60% of the projects would end up delay, it’s not a lost cause: just with a bit foresight and planning, you can always avoid project delays.
Before you move on to your next step of the plan, take a few minutes and see what you can do to better avoid project delays, starting from the planning stage.
Avoid project delays in 5 steps
1. Clarify the project objectives
Clear project objectives, or missions, are like the map for your project. Without which, your team is very likely going towards constant chaos: you aren’t sure where to go, or what’s the ideal way to get there. Then comes the revises, meetings about re-schedule, and delay…
To avoid project delay, you and your team should set out clear goals for all the team members at the very beginning, with everyone’s role and responsibilities clearly assigned. Make sure your team members fully understand the goals and the overall schedule.
It’s not a waste of time, it’s a save of time.
2. Keep the project deadline realistic
Set the project deadline according to your previous experience and data you have from similar projects, not your imagination, however tempting that might seem on the project schedule.
A realistic deadline that has won the overall consent and understanding from the team is less likely to be a troublemaker than an unrealistic plan that might burn your team out. So, let’s keep it real, and make the right call.
3. Analyze possible risks and make mitigation plans
We could never stress enough the importance of analyzing potential risks and making mitigation plans. To do so, you’re required to get the full picture of the project, and think back and forth about the possible mitigation plans: what resources you have at hand, how you are going to use them wisely, in what ways you can make the best of what you have…
Also, such a risk analysis and mitigation plan protects you from changing your decision in the middle of the project, which could be a huge risk to all stakeholders.
4. Track the progress
It’s never a good idea to check up on your project at deadline. Instead, you should make reviews a regular thing. You can do it after each phase of the plan, and make sure that your plan is going as planned at each stage, and make timely changes when necessary.
It sure does give you a strong sense of security when you have things under your control. And it’s far better to ask questions and fix problems when you still can, than to watch things go spiraling down and can’t do anything about it.
5. Review afterwards
No matter how much you dislike making a review, it’s indeed a great way for you to recap what’s happened in the project: what kept your project from delay, what made it such a success, what can you do to make sure similar projects to be successful as well.
A delayed or failed project makes the review afterwards all the more important: you can see what caused the delay, what could have happened if you’ve taken what sort of precaution… And the best part is, such memories hardly died down, and you’d always keep reminding yourself of them.
As you might see now, unclear project objectives, unrealistic deadlines, and poor team cooperation could mean the downfall of your project. But, there’s so much for you to do. So, take your chance while you still have it, and make a difference in your projects.