How to determine if your project goals are realistic

Jordan MelsonThis guest post is by Jordan Melson, Technology Advice.
Everyone has a pretty good mental image of how the workplace looks when an important project is canceled. There are a lot of people running around, notes everywhere, phones ringing and people rushing to and fro between cubicles and offices.
Perhaps your company is experiencing something similar right now. Have you seen your business grow significantly in the last twelve months? If so, it is possible that you are struggling to meet your project goals. This can lead to chaos on a daily level. One of two things could be causing this.
Perhaps you aren’t organized enough to manage the increased responsibility. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be organized. It just means that you have some work ahead of you.
This second possibility is more difficult to fix. There’s a good chance that you’ve eaten more than you can chew right now. Research shows that only 2.5 percent companies complete 100 percent in a given year. You’re not the only one. It’s not easy, fun, nor easy to retake your word. If this is the problem and it is causing chaos in your office, you need to find a solution quickly.
Organization vs. Transparency
Take a look at the current process. Are you able to identify the location of each project? Can you quickly and succinctly identify each stage, who is responsible for the tasks, and where the project will take place tomorrow?
Transparency in project management is essential. The project manager should know the current stage of each project and who is responsible for it. Managers involved in the project also need to be informed. Hidden files, secret passwords, and “he said/she told” won’t cut the mustard. Read some reviews on project management software to find the best solution for you. Watch your workdays return to normal.
If you feel that you are falling behind despite all the above information, it could be because you have set goals that are simply impossible to achieve.
A Methodical Approach
It’s a very difficult thing to discover that your company has taken on more work than it can handle. How can you disappoint clients by exceeding deliverable dates? Who will understand if you miss deadlines? You may have to scale back at times or your entire company will be in chaos. If you are behind on one project, all the others will follow.
If you have a project management system in place, it’s time to dive into your software and see how easy it might be to reorganize assignments. If a few dates can be changed for one team to solve the problem, congratulations and keep working hard to avoid it in the future.
However, if you find that it is difficult for everyone to meet deadlines, you might need to rethink the strategy. Could your teams be broken up into smaller groups? Maybe two people can complete the tasks as quickly as four. If this is the case, you can create a second team, seperate the projects and then rework the deadlines so that all tasks are completed simultaneously. Although employees may not have the support and assistance of other team members, they still have the same amount time to complete tasks.
You can’t create new teams if you don’t have enough manpower. Although change is difficult, it is possible to succeed. Prioritize your projects, and leave the most important for last. This could be clients who don’t give feedback in a timely fashion, clients who are always late with information, or assignments that have low return on investment.
Communication Is Key
Great communication is the only way to reduce costs without compromising the final result. If you don’t communicate with the other person about stopping, you will end up with mixed results.

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