Most project managers get to the stage where they feel like they are in a bit of a tangle! It happens to the best of us. Everything feels like it has got really complicated, really quick. When this occurs, it is important to find out where you have gone wrong and de-tangle the issue. So, let’s take a look…
One of the main reasons why a lot of projects get in a tangle is because the team has not been selected well. If your team is filled with people that do not have the experience or proven track record to deliver on the project, then it is probably of no surprise that things have gotten a bit out of hand. Unfortunately, you can’t simply start again. You need to find ways to help your team. Make sure they have all of the resources they need, and break up tasks where and when it is helpful.
Another common reasons why things have gotten a bit muddled up is because you have over complicated things. This is easily done. Someone comes up with a brilliant idea, you end up making numerous changes, and before you know it, everything has gotten way too complex. You have probably heard it time and time before, but keeping things simple truly is the best approach. A lot of this will come down to managing scope creep as well. Is there ever a project that goes by without a stakeholder requesting some sort of add-on? If you start saying yes to everything, you will only set your team up for failure, and a very stressful time. From the project management apprentice to the manager with years of experience, it’s always a good idea to learn how to say no.
Perhaps your project has been designed to fail? Of course, this does not mean that you have purposely attempted to fail. However, the project plan may have been insufficient. If you look back at how your project has been planned, you may be able to discover where you have gone wrong. Perhaps tasks have been loaded onto the system without proper consideration regarding project outcomes, as well as responsibility and reporting? This can often happen when things are getting ticked off the to-do list, rather than being completed in an order or a manner that ensures you reach your desired outcome. In fact, unclear lines of reporting and responsibility also cause a big project tangle! If no one is responsible, then no one is going to be taking it upon themselves to resolve things or move the project forward in the correct manner.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the most common project tangles, and how you can deal with them. Rather than panicking, take a step back and determine what has gone wrong. If you find that this is happening project after project, it could be time to go back to basics. Taking a project management training refresher course could be just the thing you need. After all, it is easy to get stuck into bad habits when you have been doing the same thing for so long.