[Article] – Most common problems that Project Executives and Managers face (2/2)

[Article] – Most common problems that Project Executives and Managers face (2/2)

  • Carrying on the project, regardless of the warning signals

Surprisingly we see this happen too often. No one likes to admit making the wrong decision, especially when there are political, emotional, financial or cultural implications involved in changing direction. Ignoring warning signals instead of taking a corrective action could lead to project failure, not to mention personal failure.

  • Unclear scope, little upfront definition, no system in place to manage the “scope creep”

When the scope is not clearly defined up front and there is no procedure in place to manage changes, it is inevitable that the project will take a life of its own and expand until it explodes. Among the associated problems that we see many executives face are unscrupulous contractors taking advantage of the lack of scope definition and turning them into “cash cows” by translating the scope to their advantage.

  • Aggressive (over-optimistic) timelines and budget

Unrealistic deadlines and over optimistic cost estimates always result in missed delivery dates, poor quality, low morale, cost overruns, and a loss of respect for organizational leadership.

  • Not having a consistent Project Management methodology, resulting in ad hoc practices

Lack of a consistent and repeatable Project Management methodology, or not having a PMO (Project Management Office) in place has been one of the main reasons of project failure, and it often results in increased project initiation time, a long learning curve for project team members and additional time spent to reinvent processes and templates for each project.

In subsequent articles, I will address some clever, some surprisingly simple and some more complicated solutions we helped create for clients.

For more information on how The Mentor Group can help turn your project challenges around, or to arrange for a complimentary coaching discovery session with me, you can contact us at Coaching@Mentor-Group.org, or send an email to my personal email address msypsomos@mentor-group.org.

[Article] – Project Executives, don’t despair! These project pitfalls are all too common, expensive and..…. solvable (1/2)

[Article] – Project Executives, don’t despair! These project pitfalls are all too common, expensive and..…. solvable (1/2)

From my personal project coaching experience of over 20 years, and our coaches at The Mentor Group, the following are the most commonly recurring problems we hear from frustrated and often stressed project executives asking for our help. There are many dimensions to these problems and varying degrees of severity based on each situation, the particular industry, demographics, culture and size of the clients company among others, but nevertheless they surface time and time again.

As Project Management Coaches, we spend as much time as necessary with each executive or project manager in order to thoroughly understand the issues which very often extend beyond the technical, and well into interpersonal challenges; we then work closely with them and empower them to develop their own solutions, which will address their particular situation. The results have been nothing less than spectacular and surprising for the clients in all cases. We have been getting immeasurable satisfaction helping these executives who have reached their wits end and feel they have run out of options, to consistently turn failing projects around, make better and quicker decisions and in general getting unstuck and create amazing value for the company and themselves.

Before going further, it will be appropriate to clarify that the definition of “Project Executive” has a wider meaning here, and includes anyone who makes project capital related decisions, assigns and often manages project resources and is responsible for “Go/No Go” decisions at project phase gates. As such, it includes people from the President to C-Suite Executives to Project Managers.

Here is the list, in no particular order:

  • Assigning the wrong person as the Project Manager

The too common problem of the “accidental Project Manager”; often assigning individuals as project managers simply because of availability, without considering skills and expertise, results in the Executive having to personally babysit the new project manager and spend too much time in solving day to day project issues.

  • Indecisiveness or poor decisions

Very often we have traced project failure to poor decisions made at the initiation phase and phase gates’ “go / no go” points, or slow decisions resulting in missed opportunities.

  • Not getting buy-in and support from key stakeholders and the project team

Too often projects are doomed to fail, as lack of support from stakeholders contributes to difficulty in acquiring funding, resources and support on key decisions and an overall increase in a variety of risks affecting the project in a detrimental way.

  • Lack of communication – Unclear Roles and Responsibilities – Inadequate status updates

The impact of less than adequate communication, which includes having unclear roles and responsibilities for the team members and decision makers, inadequate status updates, etc., leads to inability in keeping stakeholders engaged and the project teams are confused and often de-motivated. Unclear accountability between individuals results in duplication of effort, work that is delayed or incomplete, lack of commitment and potential conflict. Inadequate reporting reduces the opportunity to raise issues in a timely manner and it often creates lack of trust.

Michael Sypsomos

To see the remaining problems and how we address them...
Project Executives, don’t despair! These project pitfalls are all too common, expensive and..…. solvable (2/2)
Partnership Agreement with Ingenious Simulation Co., Ltd.

Partnership Agreement with Ingenious Simulation Co., Ltd.

On Friday, 29 January 2016, The Mentor Group International Ltd. and Ingenious Simulation Co., Ltd. signed a Partnership Agreement at The Mentor Group’s headquarter office in Bangkok, Thailand. This partnership is for the co-development and application of the Project Management training simulation board game “The Prime”. This game is designed to be an integral part of The Mentor Group’s Project Management training workshops which are offered to the construction industry and is expected that it will greatly enhance the practical side of the learning.

In the picture from left to right are Stephen Vianelli, Sorawut Pairojkul, and Michael Sypsomos of The Mentor Group, and Sotas Jaroenchaiyapongs and Sornkanok Apichanapong of Ingenious Simulation.

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