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How to Avoid Project Delays

In all aspects of project management, unexpected delays are one of the most common problems that seem to be hard to overcome. Some are caused by bad planning, unclear deadlines, and overbearing responsibilities. Time is not the only enemy but it does drain resources and affects the bottom line. However, delays can be minimized through the use of CPR: Communication, Progress, and Responsibility.

Communication 

In many instances, the cause of delays is when project managers or team leaders cannot communicate well with their subordinates. When roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined and understood, one is unable to achieve the expectation set forth to them. Having a clear direction will less likely cause major setbacks. It is more evident if the member is not given or assigned to multiple tasks beyond the scope of his role. It would allow the member to effectively focus on the task assigned and not steered away from it when given unexpected tasks.

The member also has to analyse the project and communicate with the team leader when there are questions. Project managers’ and leaders’ role in creating a friendly atmosphere where members can rely on them to guide them in doing the job is crucial. It sets the tone of their work. When a member feels supported and guided, they perform better.

Progress 

When roles are assigned, expectations are set, achieving goals is next. The key to smooth-sailing work is when everyone knows when to get the job done. It gives everyone a time frame where they could delegate and scatter the achievable goals. It is not to compress everything and everyone for a limited time. To achieve this, schedule planners are the best way to go! 

A project schedule is a document that details the project timeline and the resources required for each assigned task. When tasks, activities and the various phases of the project are clear, it is easier to keep track of everyone’s progress and hold each individual accountable. It is also important to consistently remind and be mercilessly meticulous in tracking the progress of the work. Doing regular follow-up keeps everyone abreast and on their feet.

Responsibility 

Everyone has a role to play. Each member has an integral part in achieving the success of the project. Thus, when planning projects, it is best to foresee the possible hindrances that could happen and build some contingency into the schedule. One of the causes of delays is when a team leader doesn’t know the availability of their team members. It is a setback when the member one’s looking for is not available because they are either on vacation or busy with other projects. It is the responsibility of the project manager to track the availability of its members and keep them on track. 

Another major cause of delay is when scheduled meetings are pushed back due to unavailable meeting rooms. The cause is a manual error. To avoid this, project managers resort to room booking systems. It is through this method that double bookings and unexpected room cancellations are prevented.

Project delays can be avoided through careful planning. The success of one’s project is determined by the meticulous tracking of the progress of the tasks assigned. Issues and small delays are inevitable since there could be unforeseen events that could contribute to such. However, there’s always a way to prevent these and more from greatly affecting the project. After all, as they say, success is the residue of planning.

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