No project is free of risk of one sort or another. There are many different ways of them going wrong that you will need to be aware of. As well as the common issues that you will want to keep an eye out for, there are also some unexpected problems that might crop up eventually and completely out of the blue.
If you take your eye off the ball for even a short time these are things that could derail your project. On the other hand, by being aware of them you can stand a far greater chance of keeping the piece of work firmly on track no matter what happens. So, what are the unexpected issues you should try and avoid?
The Loss of an Important Team Member
Once you have a strong project team you will be keen to keep everyone who is in it together for as long as you can. Having easy access to the right mixture of skills is a massive help in running smooth projects with a high probability of success. But what happens if someone leaves the team unexpectedly?
It is clear that there are a number of reasons why someone might leave you during a project, with many of them completely out of your control. They might get the offer of more money elsewhere, need to relocate for personal reasons or leave the role for whatever other reason. There isn’t a huge amount that you can do about this.
You certainly don’t want to stand in people’s way when they plan to leave. Unless you are happy to offer them a promotion, more money or more responsibility, you can’t do much to stop someone leaving. However, if you run a good team it is likely that you know in advance when someone is planning to leave.
You should then get to work on bringing in a suitable replacement as soon as possible. Ideally, the two of them will spend at least a few days together, to ensure a smooth hand-over. If the new team member needs PRINCE2 Foundation or other training then it should be arranged right away.
An Unhappy Stakeholder
Keeping your stakeholders happy has got to be a major priority on any project that you run. Maintaining a good relationship with them is going to give you a far higher chance of things going well during the entire piece of work.
What if one of this is unhappy with what you are doing? In the best case scenario, you simply lose some time explains things and trying to get them back onside. A more serious issue arises when your whole project is halted because someone doesn’t like what you are doing. You will cover this on your PRINCE2 Course.
Of course, the best way to stop this from cropping up unexpectedly is to always be aware of the mood of your stakeholders. Keep them in the loop by talking to them during meetings and by email, making sure that they are comfortable with how everything is going.
A Major Change Request
Could a major change request blow your project off course? This could occur when someone needs the work to take a different course. If it is a big chance then it could render a lot of your work to date as useless.
Why does this happen? It may very well be something outside of your control, such as emerging technology or new regulations that have to be complied with. However, there are some situations in which you might feel as though it could have been avoided. A quality PRINCE2 Foundation Course will cover this.
Did you fail to gather the requirements accurately? Did you not take everyone’s needs an opinions into account? Making mistakes like these means that you are far more likely to be hit with a major change request at some point.