Time Wasters in Project Management
Three of the top time wasters in projects can be decreased or eliminated entirely with proper communication and collaboration techniques.
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A project's success stems from a number of things. Among others, it includes sensible planning, professionalism of the team members and individual productivity levels.
Nevertheless, there are certain aspects to almost every project that take more time than planned. This leads to missed deadlines and incomplete task scopes. Do you remember the last time your project met the deadlines? In this article, we are going to discuss three central problems with project time.
1. Poor or Incomplete Specifications
Product specs may cause all sorts of problems. For example, a task may lack a detailed solution and remain unfinished or it may need revision. Among common issues with specifications are the absence of clear metrics and use-cases, unclear goals and blurred timelines.
A typical example of this is when a group of developers gets a task from their PM and start working, however, the result is not what manager had expected. The individual vision of people who perform the task may vary from the manager’s one. It is the problem of poor specifications. The best practice is to make a checklist for specifications; that will save time on writing specifications and will improve the accuracy of execution as small details will not be missed.
2. Lame Communication
Communication is the core of efficient work, though sometimes it takes too much time to talk. Reasons behind that vary greatly. It may be poor specs (as discussed above), or it may be long meetings without a clear understanding of why or what we are discussing. A solution is simple: meetings should be pre-planned and they should have a distinct goal. Set objectives from the start.
Means of communication matter, too. Imagine if half of your team is using Slack, while others prefer Skype or even writing e-mails. Hence, the information gets lost or misinterpreted because of order inconsistency. Eventually, the team loses the full understanding of the situation. Mistakes occur, and nobody knows who is responsible for what. It is essential to pick the right tools and encourage all of your team to use them. Don’t underestimate internal communication.
3. Workflow Chaos
It is important to manage tasks and to track progress. Without the right tools, it turns into an agony. For example, a team may use a number of separate Excel charts to keep track of their projects, or apply a dozen different software tools. This leads to confusion, data misinterpretation or inconsistency, poor data visibility.
The problem can be addressed in a bunch of ways. Some dev teams choose a bug tracker like Jira to manage their scopes and track progress. Others implement the Kanban system and stick post-it notes on a board. Another convenient way is to use a time-tracking software. In addition to submitting hours, it allows assigning tasks to your team, follow progress and compare estimates with the real time spent.
To conclude, we must admit that it is entirely in the hands of a project manager to make things work. That is a simple thing called a job description. There are many aspects to this problem of wasted time in project management, this article covers only the top three. If you figure those out, things will definitely turn for the better! Guaranteed.
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