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Common Project planning mistakes to avoid in 2017

By Eric Mongare

Construction planning is one of the elements in any project and any blunder that is always made here can result to a negative impact.

Most of the statics show that: projects fail, and often drastically due to some of the obvious blunders that are made by project managers.

Therefore Project planning and scheduling are integral to the success of a project. Whether you’re using Gantt charts, the critical path method, or planning out your sprints, these project management mistakes will be a death sentence for your project.
Below are some of the common mistake to Avoid at all cost.

 Don’t define your project’s purpose

The Project Management Institute notes that ineffective communication leads to project failure one-third of the time. While project managers should have a clear communication plan in place while the project is ongoing, the first step in the entire project itself should be establishing the project’s purpose and goals, and communicating those to the team.
Managing Projects writes,

“Don’t be fooled! Before a team develops a schedule, members must have established an understanding of the project’s purpose, agreed on goals, selected the best course of action for achieving the goals, created a comprehensive work breakdown structure, and assessed project uncertainties.”

Make sure that you communicate with your team why the project is important, how it will help the company, and what the goals are before even starting the scheduling process.

 Avoid establishing requirements.
While the vision for your project may be dead-on, it’s important to finalize what requirements should be included in your planning process.

Many, including Duncan Haughey from ProjectSmart, believe that project managers should get a written statement of requirements from the customer. He writes, “This document is a guide to the requirements of the project. Once you create your statement of requirements, ensure the customer and other stakeholders sign-up to it and understand that this is what you have agreed to deliver.” Doing so pushes scope-change risks onto the customer and off your team.

Of course, if your team is Agile, you may struggle with establishing requirements early on. But with that said, having a starter list will provide a broad outline for your project as it progresses, giving structure to scope and project planning.

 Being rigid
Maybe you’re a Scrum guru and refuse to set eyes on a Gantt chart, or maybe you don’t want to hear any more excuses for why a project can’t be delivered. Either way, being inflexible—whether it’s to a specific methodology or to hearing feedback you’re not partial to, is an undesirable personality trait in far too many project managers.

When making your project schedule, know which project management method you anticipate using and what you’re requirements are. But allow space, if you can, for some off-the-books improvisation. Few projects go exactly as planned—give yourself and your team the flexibility to adapt to unforeseen problems or unconventional project approaches if needed.

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