How to Avoid Project Failure: Effective Scheduling

project failure graph crashing to the groundBenjamin Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail “. Diligent planning is essential for any success in business. This is particularly true for projects, especially complex ones with many stakeholders, dependencies and tight deadlines.

When tracking multiple projects, it is all too easy to lose focus and the overview of important milestones. The result is chaos.

When You Stop Controlling Deadlines, They Start Controlling You

According to a study by McKinsey & Company at Oxford University covering 5,400 large-scale IT projects, large projects run 45% over budget and 7% over time and deliver 56% less value than expected, with 17% of projects going so badly that they threaten the existence of the company.

Why Projects Fail

The natural question is: Why do so many projects fail – despite the best intentions of stakeholders?

Poor project planning and scope creep are on the top of the list of reasons for project failure. Project managers either do not have an overview of all the tasks and milestones or changes are made to the schedule which were not accounted before the start of the project. Among the top 10 reasons why projects fail are also insufficient communication and ineffective management.

Without clear communication of goals and objectives to all project members, important deadlines and other project information are simply lost. The result is confusion and chaos.

What Do All of These Reasons for Project Failure Have in Common?

Projects fail when project managers do not have a clear overview or visualization of their project. They need to fully understand the different tasks and steps necessary to successfully complete a project.

Avoid project failure by having a clear overview of the project stages and a clear, central exchange of information.

How Do I Avoid Project Failure? One Strategy Is to Use a Project Management Software

Project management software is a great way to not only document but also plan and review projects. In a 2014 survey conducted by InformationWeek, 53% of respondents said they used project management software to keep on top of their projects’ progress.

An important aspect of project management software is the ability to display Gantt charts to visualize and track a project’s progress. Humans are visual creatures. About 90% of the information we process is visual. Therefore, Gantt charts provide a great way to visualize the deadlines and relationships of project tasks.

OpenProject

Gantt Charts in OpenProject

OpenProject is a leading web-based open source project management software tool. Among many other features (such as issue tracking / management, time & cost tracking and meeting organization), it allows users to easily create timeline reports / Gantt charts.

In addition, users can automatically show the differences in planning between the current version and the original state in planning. Vertical planning elements can be displayed to signify blocking elements (e.g. vacation, server maintenance) across the entire task spectrum. In order to display the progress of complex project hierarchies, OpenProject allows users to display Gantt charts of multiple projects in a single, central project. This provides a very easy way to show the progress of multiple projects in one place. – A great way to provide managers with a dashboard overview of multiple projects.

Project Collaboration

To End

To learn more about this and other OpenProject features, take a look at the OpenProject website page or check out our OpenProject software review.

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.

Learn more about monday.com

2 ClickUp

Visit website

ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

Learn more about ClickUp

3 Smartsheet

Visit website

Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.

Learn more about Smartsheet


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