Despite being absolutely required in many circumstances, business projects have a bad reputation. Leaders don't want to have to micromanage employees, while staff members try to avoid the stresses of deadlines. Additionally, IT departments don't have the time to deploy necessary tools, and finance teams lack the willingness to invest in initiatives that don't directly contribute to the bottom line. Simply put, there are a lot of reasons why projects fail.
"Completely failed projects are often the result of business complexity."
In a blog post, Gartner Research Director Darryl Carlton asserted that when there are failures, business leaders usually choose one contributing cause, singling out a "silver bullet" that, when addressed, will never cause a problem again. According to Carlton, that is the wrong thing to do, as Gartner researchers found that completely failed projects are often the result of business complexity. It's not the budget, the team or the leader, but rather the ability to make tasks easier.
If complexity is holding projects back from success, how can businesses remove that trait from the equation? Here are three ways to make project completion less complex.
1. Put all files and documents in the cloud
Regardless of the task, phase or goal of a project, there will be plenty of documentation - from training guides and reports to spreadsheets and so on. The Huffington Post cited the inability to discover project assets and files as the No. 1 challenge that project managers must overcome.
Everyone else is using the cloud for specific tasks, so why not take advantage of cloud storage for project management? This way, employees can store and find all documents and files with ease and from anywhere that has an Internet connection.
2. Create a place to discuss
Projects and collaboration are two sides of the same coin, yet most legacy project management software fail to provide a location or tool that facilitates discussion between team members. In brief, the more difficult it is to cooperate with teammates, the more likely it is that a project will fail.
So, the solution is simple: Businesses need project management tools that give colleagues a single location to collaborate, ask questions and address issues. Again, the cloud is a great place to create this environment.
3. Use a leader, not a manager
The term "project manager" doesn't appropriately define the role of those in charge of projects. Instead, businesses should hire project "leaders," because in an age when everyone can access project management software, there is no need to micromanage processes. In fact, Gartner noted that outcomes are more important that bureaucracy, so letting employees just get their jobs done could be the key to a successful project.