Why Project Management Is Difficult

Project Management made huge a leap forward fifty years ago using the Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT). Since that time, information technology has helped to trace projects and supply amazing numbers of details and views. But, projects have settled back to a dismal record of being late, over budget and much less delivered when compared to the original scope. And sometimes they’re even canceled. A report through the Standish Group, a project management research organization concluded, “There is not any reliable way to measure project status until it’s past too far!”

Why?

The project plan has morphed into a project schedule. It used to be that we worked the project plan. Now we work to meet the project schedule. The important words here are “meet the project schedule” Project managers are aware that task durations are estimates. We have an optimistic time, the time most likely and a pessimistic time. We don’t really know how long a task will take.

Then a craziest thing happens. The task duration estimate is created the project management software. At that time, the estimate becomes a duration. The software uses that duration to make a diary for the duties. Each task receives a start date and end date. The start and end dates become “milestones.”

And just how will we work with milestones? We work to fulfill them. We view the finish date as a target. Our effort is to get the job created by that date. Subconsciously, it would be okay to get the task done early, but that’s secondary for you to get it done simply in time.

This crazy thing contributes to counter-productive behavior. If the task is planned to be done by the conclusion date, if you don’t point in setting it up done early. No one expects it or why not be prepared to do the next task. In fact, completing it prematurely . makes it appear that individuals do not know how to estimate. Our credibility reaches stake!

We’ve three choices:

  1. Complete the job and transform it in on the end date.
  2. Take our time and then we finish it around the end date.
  3. Do other items until we’ve just enough time and energy to be prompt about it.

What’s going on?

  • We estimated the job durations.
  • We turned the estimates into firm start and end commitments.
  • We take our time and then we do not get anything done early.

For this reason, Project management software is indeed difficult. If tasks rarely get completed early, and some tasks take longer than scheduled, there is a very high probability how the project will probably be late.

Missing dedication is normally taken personally. The conventional solution is to boost the following estimate of that kind of task. This little additional safety should make a huge difference. But that just moves the finish date and pushes the next task’s start date. Perhaps it just wants a extra. Or simply a little more than that. We refer to this as process “experience.”

To give you an extreme example of where experience takes you, a Fortune 500 company features a task that takes 8 hours and it has been done every day for many years, yet it really is planned at 108 days. This is brought on by estimate creep and shows up in a large number of tasks. With 107 days of safety, they still battle to get it done on time. So much with this solution. The corporation is sophisticated and careful. And usual for many organizations. No one paid any attention to the planned duration until a senior manager asked how this part could take such a long time.

Why don’t we get back to the Project Management software! How does the application turn estimates into fixed dates? Because it is exactly what it absolutely was designed to do. Are we bound to fixed dates? Possibly the move to make is ignore them. As crazy as this sounds, it is the right direction for the solution.

It’s possible in Microsoft Project to blank out your dates over the Gantt chart. The beginning and Finish dates can be hidden.

Think about how tasks will probably be worked if there aren’t any dates! Scary isn’t it?

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February 21, 2012. Project Scheduling.

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