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10 Project Management Pitfalls To Avoid

(a) Scope Management: All projects whether small or large should have a clear well defined scope. The scope definition should also be included while assigning work to various sub contractors or vendors liable to supply products / services. Lack of clarity in scope between buyer and seller and the associated vendors, suppliers, subcontractors affects the overall project health.

(b) Change Control: All out efforts should be made to document all project change orders. A comprehensive log for all the changes made in the project should be maintained and updated on a regular basis. Changes made in the project should be incorporated in the project status reports. All change orders should be approved and only then should be acted upon.

(c) Contract Management: All team members should thoroughly study the contract and implement the provisions stipulated in the contract. Selection of various equipment, piping invoicing of achieved project milestone etc should be made only after understanding the provisions in the contract. Whenever a section of the contract is contentious, approval on deviation sought and retained for use at a later date.

(d) Construction Management: Best practices should be adopted for storage and preservation of the material at site. This is particularly more important for projects where the delay in commencement of construction activities is inevitable. Equipment stored should have proper identification mark on them and should be traceable at a later date. Frequent checks should be undertaken to ensure that the equipment are in good health and fit for future use.

(e)  Cost Management: A clear well defined scope and a proper change control procedure can help a great deal in controlling the project cost. Unwarranted expenses like frequent travel to site or frequent inspection and expediting visits to various vendors should be avoided as far as possible. Project cost status should be made an integral part of project status reports. Tools like Earned Value Management is an effective tool to control project costs

(f) Project Planning: All team members should participate in planning process. When a wbs component is assigned to a team member, that team member should undertake complete planning of the assigned task. Plans should be broken down into weekly or daily activity schedule. These schedules should be monitored with respect to planned and actual quantities achieved at the end of the day. Plans should always be updated so as to account for the current state of the project. Project team should adopt established planning methodologies and tools.

(g) Vendor selection: A critical process where proper due diligence is not given due to various reasons. Projects have a great deal of dependence on vendors and therefore right activity should be out sourced to the right vendor. Whenever the capability of vendor is doubtful, the activity should be outsourced to an alternate vendor or an alternate vendor should be in a position to deploy his resources and take control of the situation.

(h) Document Control: A very common problem sighted on various projects is that various teams/departments refer to different revision nos of important documents. A great deal of caution should be exercised in release of documents, their storage, retrieval and distribution. A document log can be of great help and can ensure that all project stake holders have the latest revision nos of the documents. An audit of documents at various locations can also help in ensuring that all stakeholders refer to a common set of documents.

(i) Integration Management: Project requirements are never stated in one place. These are spread across various documents like contract, technical specification sheets, client comments on drawings or data sheets, various change requests, minutes of meetings, etc. Project team should strive to ensure that all project requirements are integrated into basic project documents like process and instrumentation diagram, general arrangement drawings, project bill of quantities etc so that all project stake holders are on one common platform. Project review meetings can be used as a platform to discuss all requirements and verify if all requirements have been incorporated.

(j) Communication Management: It is estimated that a Project Manager spends 80% of his time on communication. However other project team members should exercise caution and strictly adhere to the communication matrix adopted for the project. Unauthorized personnel should refrain from communicating the project status to project stake holders.


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