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Project management – good, bad, or ugly?

Leadership, Business Processes 8 Oct . min read

Everybody loves getting their teeth into a good project, particularly when there is hope of transforming an area of the business. But what happens when it goes wrong? What happens when projects go overtime, over budget, people are stressed, and the end result is executed poorly?

Unfortunately, poor project management is a common theme. Recent results from our New Zealand Business Leaders’ Effectiveness insights paper shows that managing projects from concept to review continues to be a critical weakness across all sectors of New Zealand’s business leadership, and risks undermining long-term success.

Early planning and organisation of projects is key to motivating the teams that will be affected, and to creating a culture that supports the project’s success.

However, leaders are falling at the first hurdle, because of poor project management techniques and a lack of research and planning. They are also missing opportunities when it comes to reviewing the success of a project.

Employees report a lack of review process when it comes to seeing how well the actual outcomes of a project reflect the forecasted outcome. They say there is a lack of information analysis and so no actions are taken to try and improve next time.

There is also a difference in alignment, commonly referred to as blindspots, between employees and leaders when it comes to changes only being made after consulting those who could be affected, and effective communication to inform what is required.

However, leaders and their employees are closely aligned in their view there is a lack of project management structure and discipline, which might reflect skill scarcity in the area. That provides a ripe environment for change.

If organisations are going to have the capability to respond with agility and take advantage of opportunities as they emerge, they must support their people to upskill in collaboration and project management regardless of their physical work location.

So, what can leaders do to harness opportunities for improvement?

Here are our top tips:

  • Take the time to assess whether a project has met its objectives
  • Undertake post-project review to highlight areas for improvement
  • Share results with the team whether they are good, bad, or ugly. Owning success as well as failure, will also build a positive culture.
  • Investing in skill development such as collaboration and project management capability for both remote and in-office workers, will help businesses to overcome skill shortages.

New Zealand Business Leaders: Navigating Through Disruption

Want to find out more?  Download our New Zealand Business Leaders’ Effectiveness 2019 2021: Navigating Through Disruption insights paper. 

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Navigating Through Disruption

Lisa Nairne

Marketing Communications Manager

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