All project managers and teams go through challenges in the execution of a project. Here are six common blind spots in project portfolio management that you can avoid:
1. Lack of clarity in defining success measures
A common blind spot in the project portfolio management is vaguely-defined measures of success. By communicating the top goals, a project manager brings to light the focus areas for the team/organization/individual. But in the absence of clearly defined expectations, employees could deliver performance levels that are very different from those desired by the project leader. It is important to understand that incomplete requirements are bound to impact deliverables even if you have skilled resources.
2. Doing everything on your own
A lot of project managers and leaders have the tendency to take all crucial decisions or perform all critical tasks on their own, without the team’s input. For instance, not sharing a stressful situation with the team or not accepting help or input from a team member are examples of such behavior. This can significantly interfere with the progress of a project.
3. Under-communication of strategic direction
Often, project managers and leaders end up under-communicating the project priorities and strategic directions. Executives usually have a list of defined organizational goals and priorities. Effective leaders keep these top goals in mind when discussing any project and communicate the same to the project team. This helps in aligning the project goals with the organizational goals and cuts through the input clutter.
4. Lack of adequate knowledge and skills for project execution
Efficient project managers are equipped to identify risks in the early stages of the project and can plan contingencies for them. A common example of such a risk is when a project requires a specific skill set of domain knowledge. This can be avoided by offering adequate training to the employees or team members so that project execution is not hindered
5. Poor management of underperformance
An important skill needed for good project portfolio management is the ability to manage under-performance. Project managers need to be able to effectively deal with poor performers. In most cases, poor performances go unaddressed. This ultimately leads to decreased unit performance and loss of organizational credibility. Sitting and hoping for performances to improve is not a great strategy. A diagnostic approach needs to be adopted to get to the root cause of poor performance so that it can be mended before in good time.
6. Casual treatment of commitments
If you notice that your team members are frequently flaking at work and seem ‘too relaxed’ about everything, it might be time to check if you’re setting a good example for them. Commitments need to be taken seriously as far as project management is concerned. As a leader, you need to make sure that you’re attending all team meetings on time and keeping a micro-level check on task deadlines. This will help keep your team members alert and make them understand the value of commitment in project execution.
Avoid these common blind spots to ensure the successful completion of the projects.