Project Management Series
This is the first blog in a series of articles designed to train on probability-based project management. This series well delve into several vital areas of effective project management, covering questions and topics like:
- Why do projects miss their deadlines?
- Why project deadlines are important?
- How to determine project deadlines.
- Probability-based program management methodologies.
- Implementing probability-based program management.
One of the main responsibilities of project and program management is projecting and maintaining a schedule. This schedule provides all stakeholders with an overview of the timeline and when specific elements or tasks are expected to be accomplished. Often, the success of a program manager can be correlated to their ability to accurately forecast and execute the project’s schedule.
Statistics on Schedule Commitments
The percentage of projects and programs that fail to meet schedule commitments varies depending on the source and the criteria used to define success or failure. However, some studies have estimated the failure rate to be anywhere from 20% to 70%.
For example, a 2018 survey by PMI (Project Management Institute) found that 28% of projects were delivered past their original due date. The same survey found that only 24% of projects were completed within their original budget.
It’s worth noting that the definition of “failure” can vary, and what is considered a failure for one organization or project may not be the same for another. Additionally, some organizations may not accurately report project failures, leading to an underreporting of the actual failure rate.
Overall, while it’s difficult to provide a precise estimate of the percentage of projects and programs that fail to meet schedule commitments, it is clear that missing deadlines is a common problem in project management.
8 Reasons Programs and Project Management Miss Their Deadlines
Project management can fail to meet schedule commitments for a variety of reasons, and understanding these reasons can help organizations to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Here are the major reasons that projects and programs often miss their deadlines:
- Poor planning: One of the most common reasons for missed schedules is poor planning. This can include underestimating the time and resources required for the project, failing to account for potential roadblocks, or not having a clear understanding of the scope and requirements.
- Unclear requirements: Another common reason for missed schedules is unclear requirements. Without clear and concise requirements, there is a greater likelihood of misunderstandings and rework, which can cause delays. To avoid this, it’s essential to have well-defined requirements that are agreed upon by all stakeholders.
- Change requests: Change requests or scope creep can also cause a project or program to deviate from its original schedule. This is because adding new tasks or changing existing ones can take more time and resources than originally anticipated. To mitigate this risk, organizations should have a well-defined change management process in place.
- Dependencies: Dependencies between tasks can also cause delays in a project or program. For example, if one task is delayed, it may impact other tasks that were dependent on it. To avoid this, it’s important to carefully plan the order of tasks and to manage any dependencies that arise.
- Risk management: Failing to identify and manage potential risks and obstacles can cause unexpected delays. It’s important to have a risk management plan in place, including contingency plans for potential roadblocks. This can help to minimize the impact of any unexpected events.
- Resource constraints: Insufficient resources, including budget, manpower, or materials, can cause delays. This is why it’s essential to have accurate resource estimates and a well-defined budget in place. If resource constraints arise, it may be necessary to reassess the project schedule and make adjustments as needed.
- Inadequate communication: Poor communication among team members and stakeholders can cause misunderstandings and delays. It’s important to have a clear communication plan in place and to ensure that all team members and stakeholders are kept informed about the project’s progress.
- Technical challenges: Unexpected technical difficulties or roadblocks can cause delays. This is why it’s important to have a plan in place for dealing with technical challenges and to allocate sufficient time and resources for testing and debugging.
How to Organize Project Deadlines
Understanding the major reasons projects and programs fail to meet schedule commitments is key to avoiding these pitfalls. By having a well-planned and well-executed project, organizations can increase the likelihood of delivering on-time and on-budget.
Probability-based program management is one highly effective method of managing projects that utilizes probability and statistical analysis to make informed decisions about the likelihood of success for various project outcomes. This approach can be incredibly beneficial for organizations as it allows them to make more informed, data-driven decisions that can lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness.
Follow for More Tips on Project Management
This article was designed to highlight the importance of program and project schedules. It also covered the major pitfalls that cause missed deadlines. Follow along with us as discuss the benefits, options, and methods for conducting probability-based analysis.
In the meantime, please contact LMS if you have any questions or need assistance with program and project management.