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Apr 24, 2020

Project Management: Expectation vs Reality

Articles, Blog

Written by Jason Grant

What makes a successful project?

A successful project depends on many factors. These factors include: the people who work on a project, the management of a project, the tools used for a project, and the person who coordinates the project.

We also need to bear in mind here about other important factors that come into play such as finances, deadlines and technology. In most cases, our expectations towards project management is far different than reality – meaning that at times project management can go all wrong. We will dig deeper to why that is below.

Projects need to be managed

The definition of a project is a task with a beginning and an end. The fact is – projects need to be managed. Recent statistics show that the person who is coordinating the tasks whom posses the knowledge and skills in managing people can greatly increase the profit, speed, implementation and very importantly, fit the adopted budget of that project.

A statement by The Project Management Institute said that companies who make good use of the help of an experienced manager during project management lose 27 times less money! Let’s divide this statement into two groups:

 

Those who use appropriate tools and knowledge

 

Those who have no appropriate tools or experience

The Comparison

The comparison, conducted in 2017, shows that there are big differences between the two groups shown above. Companies who make use of project management methodologies along with all possible tools complete 88% of projects on time and 90% within the set budget! If an undertaking fails for some reason, the loss which the enterprise suffers fluctuates within 14% of the entire budget.

In the case of second group, the statistics showed that only 24% of projects are finished on time, 25% within the set budget, and failure of a project brings losses of 46% of allocated funds. The differences here are dramatic and it really showcases how vital good task management is.

Project Management: Expectation

Project Management: Reality

Most project managers expect good delegation of tasks and resources so that the workflow goes smoothly for everyone. Here are a few examples of how managers expect to start a project:

  • Money + Time. If the client’s priorities are affordability and speed, the project manager will budget fewer hours into completing the work, and those hours will need to come from junior resources that come with a lower rate for their time. The client needs to know that for a quick turnaround, they are going to sacrifice some quality. 
  • Time + Quality. If the client’s priorities are speed and high quality work, then the project manager needs to increase the sales rate, and draw from their pool of contractors to immediately get additional resources on the project. The client needs to know that a shortened project timeline equals an increased project budget. 

  • Quality + Money. If the client’s priorities are high quality work and affordability, the project manager needs to set the expectation of a longer timeline. They could use junior team members to do the initial work, and then have senior staff review and polish. The client needs to know that high quality work is more affordable if it doesn’t have to be delivered quickly.

The ideal scenario for project managers running a project is for each team member to be well-prepared in order to control the flow of the project – making sure to avoid tight deadlines and pitfalls which would cause stress, discouragement and possibly failure amongst the teams.

 46% of organisations do not notice or appreciate the value of a project manager – this is why they forget about them in the process of implementation and, instead, just point to the use knowledge of people who do not have appropriate or in-depth experience in this field. We expect that the project will be implemented on time, will not exceed the set budget, will not use more than the assumed quantity of resources. The truth is, this is what happens in a lot of companies. However, many organisations encounter problems which not only influence the implementation time, but also implementation costs – which frequently threaten the entire company.

So, what is the reality in most companies? Where do problems and mistakes occur?

First of all, we forget that in an organisation, a lot of actions take place at the same time meaning more than one task is being performed in different units. Thus meaning that it is not always true that every unit knows who is engaged in projects in other departments. It can be most commonly due to the manager having to coordinate an undertaking by a dozen or so people from different departments. At the same time, these people are delegated to other tasks and work at several projects at the same time. Such mismanagement of tasks will lead to a very destructive effect on the success of a project.

Another problem is access to necessary data and information for each team member. Another is the lack of tools to manage the project, even those simplest ones, can really slow down communication in a the group. The bottom line is that, unless the lower-tier employees do have to know all information connected with project implementation, the higher-tier managers or the project manager must possess this knowledge.

The most important aspects for the team are: milestones, budget and available tools at their disposal. The flow of information between individual units is extremely important as well. It is also vital for the employees to have clearly defined and measurable goals – as this will result in them knowing when and to whom to report completed tasks to and when the deadline is. 37% of projects fail due to a lack of clear and measurable goals which could be enforced by strong, effective leadership.

 Conclusion: Synergize through better control, management and teamwork

Having realistic expectations versus an unachievable idea is part of why a project manager is important to your project and to your team.  Sometimes, a client may want something that is not realistic. For example, the client may set goals far too high with far too short notice. Even if the task is possible, presenting to the client the costs of doing it may help them realize that this isn’t a feasible or realistic idea.  It is important to always provide the project manager with your wish-list first, and then determine if your wishes are realistic and achievable.  Don’t be discouraged if you can’t have what you want, as with some creativity, adaptability and a positive mindset you will most likely still be very pleased with the results.

How we manage a project at 7 Peaks is vital. Many unique tasks were concluded successfully without exceeding the deadlines and the budget. This means that the main strengths of every project are the people, ideas and teamwork through effective control and management. Mix these strengths up all together and you’ll surely have a stronger strategy for success.

We at 7 Peaks are working on various projects ranging from web applications & mobile applications to design to marketing and more. Learn more below to see how we can help you.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”

– Kenneth Blanchard

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7 Peaks Software

The PARQ (West Wing)
7th Floor, Unit 8-13,
102 Rama IV Road,
Klong Toei, Bangkok 10110