The Impacts of Lack of Project Management Processes
As a Test Manager at Olenick & Associates, I’ve worked on many projects, both big and small. There have been projects where processes were followed and projects where there was not much in the way of processes, or processes were not followed. I am a big believer in the idea that more planning at the beginning of the project means the rest of the project will go a lot smoother and faster. In this blog post series I look to enlighten you on the importance of Project Management and how the process is critical to successful testing and project outcomes.
Following rigorous processes is no guarantee a project will not run into problems or issues. No matter how well something is planned, there will always be something that comes up that was not planned for. Therefore, your processes have to be flexible enough to allow for things to happen and adjust accordingly in a way that is productive to the project.
Not following processes, though, is a guarantee for project failure. Never having time to do it right the first time, but always having time to do it over should not be how IT projects are conducted. We have all lived the nightmare project, and have said a project should never be run like that, only to say it again and again. If you have not planned, you have not planned for success. Following processes should guide you through your planning.
The Project Management process is the foundation of the project and sets the stage for all other processes.
I compiled the list below which highlights some of the impacts to a project if there is no Project Management process, or lack of following the process:
- Unrealistic dates/timeline
- Not following/enforcing processes
- Not having enough budget
- Not having enough resources
- Not having the right resources
- Entire team not focused on goal
- Lack of good requirements/design/code
- Ever changing requirements/scope
- Scope Creep
- Test Phase get reduced
- Increases cost to the project
- Increases resource effort for the project
- Reduces overall quality of the project
Worst case scenario: a new system for a program had to be re-written even before it was through testing.
Being in test management, testing is on the receiving end of the outcome of all other project processes. The better the processes and the following of the processes before the test phase, the better the test phase will be and the better the entire project outcome will be. Remember, the proverbial ‘poop’ rolls downhill, so testing knows all about following or not following processes. Testing cannot step out of the way when the ‘poop’ starts rolling, they have to stand there and try not to get run over while figuring out ways to overcome the shortcomings of previous processes.
This list was collected by consultants based on real experiences from projects they have been on. If you want to avoid these types of issues on your next project, then put together a project management process and follow it throughout the project.