4 Red Flags to check in Project Planning

4 Red Flags to check in Project Planning

Red Flags in Project Management usually refer to risks in the project. Red Flags are easier to view in project planning than other project phases. Red Flags usually exist in the project irrespective of the project type, complexity, industry, or size and even occur often in the project. These red flags tend to increase the downstream risks in the project.

SEE: Why you need a Project Management?

You can reduce risks in your project only by identifying and addressing the red flags on time. Following are the four issues that can prevent the red flags to occur and even increase chances of the project execution.

  1. Inadequately defined project objectives
  2. Irrational timelines and budget
  3. Lack of qualified team members
  4. Undefined expectations

1. Inadequately defined project objectives

Inadequately defined project objectives can lead to numerous risks to the project irrespective of the size and complexity. In the project planning phase, you need to determine all the project objectives and define clearly. In case, if you do not find the project objectives or not defined appropriately, the project will be probably result in failure. Project managers must define each project objective clearly in the planning phase and map it to corresponding business goals.

2. Irrational timelines and budget

Too many projects are still executed with irrational timelines and budget. You need to spend sufficient time for project planning to analyze requirements, cost estimates, and resourcing. Without sufficient timeline and budget, project risks probably occurs that severely influence the project outcomes. You can build contingencies and realistic buffers to avoid unfortunate risks in the projects. Projects that span over a year can lead to have an increased probability of more risks and costs.

3. Lack of qualified team members

Lack of qualified team members in a project can drive a project to fail with severe risks. You can hire team members based on the qualifications and previous experiences. Without adequate knowledge on the project, team members will not make the project to a successful one. Each team member must have the right experience, skills, and knowledge for completing the project tasks and perform meaningful contributions in the project. Each of the team members has to dedicate enough time without being overloaded.

4. Undefined expectations

Undefined expectations will result even smaller projects to a huge chaos. Defining expectations does not rely only on the project manager, however to entire team members, customers, and project sponsor. Clear expectations must be defined and all information must be documented appropriately with knowledge.

TechRepublic reveals a few tips for dealing with project planning risks:

During the project planning phase, red flags will occur even no matter how well you plan. These tips will ensure addressing the most critical project planning risks:

  • Identify the potential red flags in the project
  • Estimate impacts for those red flags in the projects
  • Develop a mitigation plan for each issues to reduce impacts
  • Determine the risk score before and after mitigation during risk management
  • Collect feedback and suggestions from each stakeholder in the execution phase

These red flags not necessarily occur in every project, however, the project will be a successful one if these four red flags are properly addressed in the planning phase of the project.

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