Posted on June 27, 2012 ยท Posted in Management

There must be a specific roadmap for the success of the project as well as clear and realistic objectives. Any sort of mistake in this regard would ultimately lead to the failure of the project.

Before starting any project, the project manager has to prepare documents clearly defining the scope, objectives and boundaries of the project. He has to clarify about the things that are out of the scope of the project and the things that he is going to deliver at the end. Moreover, the project manager has to consult with the client and finalize these documents.

Defining project scope accurately has another important dimension. If the scope is described properly, it becomes easier for the project manager to make a perfect planning for the whole project activities. The approximate budget can be anticipated, milestones and deliverables can be properly defined, a deadline can be proposed. All the team members know what their responsibilities are, and when they are needed to finish their tasks. The project will go on smoothly.

Moreover, as a project manager, you have to be confident about the necessity and outcome of the project. You need to be sure whether there is a real need to complete the project, and whether it will be ultimately profitable or not. High level of market research and competitive investigation has to be carried out before initiating the project. Without being confident enough about the worth of pursuing the project, you should not start the project activities at all.

In some cases it has been found that completely vague scope and objectives are defined for the project. The project manager may not be totally involved in the process when the scope and objectives were confirmed. This will ultimately result in project failure.

In my project management career, it was quite a bitter experience for me when I took over the charge of a project in its middle stage. I found that the budget was running out, the deadline was getting nearer, and the team members were absolutely perplexed about their progress. After analyzing thoroughly, I identified that the main reasons behind this severe situation were poor scoping and unrealistic objectives. The milestones and deliverables were not set properly, and proper research and brainstorming were not done while defining the timeline and budget for the completion of the project. Without finding any sort of better solutions, I had to stop the project in order to prevent the project from being a total failure.

The project manager has to ensure about communicating with all the key stakeholders if he/she wants to define the project scope and objectives properly. If the project manager finds that the stakeholders are not particularly eager to participate in the process, he/she should try to convince them about the necessity of their active participation for defining the project goals and objectives. He should make them informed about the fact that jumpstarting a project without appropriate brainstorming will surely lead to project failure.

It is also necessary for the project manager to inform the project team members about the goals and objectives of the project, so that they can align their goals with the project goals. In every project activity, the manager must ensure that the team members are following specific guideline previously set by the project manager. Failure in this regard will result in dire consequences.

In certain cases, the project manager, after a certain period of time, start to feel that the project scope and objectives have been poorly defined and need to be modified immediately. In this emergency situation, he/she should consult with all the stakeholders of the project, specially the top management and the project sponsor. The project manager has to convince them about the necessity for redefining the whole project objectives and goals. Failure in this regard will make the project an unsuccessful one.

In short, the project manager always needs to be proactive. Before defining the project scope and objective, he/she should complete the groundwork and always give proper importance in this matter. A thorough market research has to be done to identify the project worth. The deliverables should be finalized so that the team members become certain about the things they need to do and the deadline for finishing all the tasks. The resource requirements and the budget must align with the definition of scope and objectives. If the appropriate attention in this regard is not given, the project will surely fail.

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