High-performance teams consist of individuals or members with different sets of skills. Aside from delivering excellent outputs and producing extraordinary results, they are also able to meet deadlines effectively and efficiently. They know how to save time and money. They are an adaptive group of people who can navigate through pressures, crises, changes, and unforeseen obstacles as they finish projects before the set deadline.
Meeting project deadlines is important to keep projects going simply because it boosts the morale of the team while giving a good reason to continue the project as it produces results. However, meeting the project deadline is a lot easier said than done. There are various factors why teams miss deadlines, but there are also a lot of project management tools and techniques that are proven very helpful to help teams meet project deadlines.
Why Teams Miss Deadlines
60% of project managers today run anywhere between two to five projects. Having to juggle multiple projects can be a huge challenge, but it can be done. The first step to becoming a more effective project manager who meets deadlines and achieves project goals is to determine why projects fail to meet the requirement. Here are some reasons why teams miss deadlines.
Lack of clarity
Clarity is very important because it helps the team move as one unit towards a specific goal or objective. It is also important for the individual team members as they do their task management that is pertinent to the project. Where there is less clarity, there is much confusion. And where there is too much confusion happening in the team, eventually, they will not be able to beat the deadline because they do not know where they are going or what every member is supposed to do.
Lack of accountability
Accountability is simply knowing who is responsible for what. Accountability and ownership share a mutual relationship with each other that if accountability within the team is low, you will sense that there is also a low sense of responsibility. And when team members do not own the project or feel that they are responsible for the project, it is no surprise if they will not own the deadlines that they have set.
Lack of structure
If clarity helps in determining the direction and accountability refers to every person’s contribution, structure helps in the team’s execution. A simple and functional structure would help people identify who’s who in the team. It basically means that if you need your teammates’ help with accomplishing a task, structure helps you know who to go to for help and valuable insights. If there is no structure, people would not know who to talk to in order to keep the project running.
Tips for Better Project Management
Great project management can do a lot for an organization. For one, it can help save a lot of resources. Up to 11.4% of a company’s resources go to waste because of bad project management. So when you’re able to do project management better, you can save money and resources.
So how can you manage projects better and prevent project delays and failed projects? Here are a few tips for better project management.
Use only one project management system
You can find a lot of helpful project management systems online. But do not get too excited that you would use two or even more project management systems. It will place unnecessary burdens on your team members and, most of all, instead of simplifying your work, it will make it more complicated, causing your team to miss a project deadline.
When you use too many project management systems or switch between options too often, you can overwhelm your team with having to learn or maintain so many systems. To maximize execution and lower learning curves, choose a project management system that you will stick with for a long time.
Train staff on program management system
When you roll out a project management system, ensure that everyone receives all necessary training to learn the ins and outs of the project management system. Consider using a learning management system or LMS tool to store up on-demand training tutorials or videos that your staff can watch again and again in case there are some features or parts of the project management system that they need to review. There are many LMS solutions you can use for this use case. Here’s a list of learning management systems you can use for your project management training.
Shoot for full project management system compliance.
Full compliance should be the goal when using any system. That’s because everyone works better together when they’re on the same page. A project management system exists as a central command point for all project operations. It’s a place to give task progress updates, upload files, leave comments, and so on. When everyone in the team or company is complying with the usage of project management software, their ability to beat project deadlines would increase. Without total compliance, project management tools will lose their effectiveness.
Set clear expectations
Some of the basic expectations are determining deadlines or putting a specific date on the deadline. Having a clear deadline would help members navigate through the possible delays of a specific project. The frequency of reporting must also be clear to all team members. This should not be perceived as micromanaging but rather simply managing people’s expectations. Lastly, the set of deliverables must also be clear because each deliverable would affect the time sensitivity of a specific project, thus resulting in missing a project deadline.
Have regular cadence meetings
Cadence meetings are routinary meetings that concern operational matters. The best project management software allows you to not just miss your meetings but also make sure that your meetings talk about the most important things. When you have regular cadence meetings, there will be a low chance of not being able to meet the deadline. Conducting cadence meetings not only helps the team beat deadlines but also develops a rhythm that allows them to work more effectively.
Communication is very important in making sure that your team beats the project deadlines that have been set. Every member or employee has the tendency to forget some of the details of a specific meeting for a certain project. In order to prevent people from forgetting their tasks or their assignments, there has to be regular communication within the team. Doing so reinforces clarity, thus increasing the efficiency of the team to meet project deadlines.
There are a lot of project management tools that would help you communicate regularly and effectively with your team members. Generally, when you are using project management software, it can positively affect your team’s ability to efficiently accomplish tasks.
Get a qualified project manager
On top of using project management tools and techniques, your team must have a qualified project manager who would oversee the progress of every team member in terms of accomplishing their tasks.
A project manager is not only helpful in keeping a project running but also in making sure that projects are done on time. In the hands of a qualified project manager, project management tools and techniques do not become tools for micromanaging but for proper management.
Beat the Deadline, Get More Done
With the use of modern project management tools and techniques, your team can prevent exceeding or not hitting the project deadline. These various project management tools can help in ensuring that teams can experience peak performance as they effectively accomplish their tasks, goals, and objectives.