Has your project management team descended into ‘work hell’?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

It may not happen often, but when it does, do you analyze why your project team misses deadlines?

Harvard Business Review compiled three reasons that assignments so often come down to—and sometimes blow by—the wire, and they're all in some way related to basic human nature:

  • We aren't truly psychologically motivated until the goal or deadline is close
  • Some believe they work better under pressure (even though most of us don't)
  • We fall into the "planning fallacy" trap, thinking we can estimate timelines properly

In addition to the reasons above, a recent survey of workers by AtTask finds a few more caused by poor project execution:

  • Too many interruptions (26 percent)
  • Work priorities change too frequently (24 percent)
  • Unavailable resources (24 percent)
  • Never receive recognition for work (18 percent)

Eventually, these factors contribute to what AtTask chief marketing officer Bryan Nielson describes as "work hell." What are the distinguishing characteristics of the innermost circles of this work hell?

According to Nielson, "poor visibility across teams … too many out-of-sync collaborative tools … [and] a simple breakdown of communications processes." The problems are amplified in a project environment, in which deadlines are tight, team members may be unfamiliar with one another and work can become frantic.

While many projects struggle with these challenges, not all projects are doomed to failure. With the right leaders at the helm, projects can and do succeed.

A project will only be successful if its planning is comprehensive. New Leaf's programs, from the fundamentals explained in "Five Sigma Project Management" to "Managing Risk & Making Decisions" can help your projects move (as Nielson says) from "work hell to hell yeah."

In addition, New Leaf's free white papers, "Good Estimates and Bad Biases" and "Embracing The Dragon's Tail," provide proven estimation techniques that enable you to "build a robust plan…to manage your project more effectively." By taking the white paper post-test, you'll also earn PDUs for PMP recertification.

PMI®," PMP®," and "PMBOK®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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