As Halloween creeps up, we asked our project managers at Incremental what would make them turn in their graves. If you can avoid these 5 horrors in project management, you should have a scarily successful project hex-perience…

1 – Beware of over-promising… and underdelivering

Managing customer expectations is critical to avoid disappointment in project management. This means not making phantom promises that cannot be delivered and being terribly truthful with customers about what can be achieved in a given timeframe. In doing so, escape the grim consequences of underdelivering on a project and capture the trust of your clients – avoiding the pitchforks coming out!

Microsoft Azure DevOps is a fang favourite amongst Incremental’s project managers, as this platform provides Agile planning ghouls. For hex-ample, Azure Boards tracks all ideas from the beginning to the end of the project, creeping everyone updated on any code changes. With built-in Scrum(pkin) boards, this tool can aid team sprints, stand-ups and planning meetings, ensuring expectations can be appropriately managed at every stage of a project.

2 – Ghostly silence between parties

Poor communication can cast a shadow over a project and can result in an early death for the project as a whole. Therefore, it is crucial that no one is ghosted, and a regular point of contact is made to ensure that no one is left in the dark. Follow-up screamails should be sent after meetings to creep everyone on the same page, providing all parties with a record of what has been spooken about.

Power Platform combines Power Apps, Power Automate, SharePoint and Outlook to create a holistic project-tracking solution to keep everyone in the loop:

  • Power Apps provides an interactive interface that allows team members full visibility of all project statuses.
  • Power Automate uses a review process throughout different stages of the project’s lifecycle, using automation to notify users when a review is required.
  • SharePoint provides an area to store all project information, and SharePoint libraries provide a platform where documentation and lists are easily accessible for team members.
  • Outlook sends a screamail when a review is required. This lets users approve the project – giving it the ghost ahead.

3 – Scope-creep

One project management nightmare is scope-creep, which means extra functions or features of a product are added to the project, outside of the agreed-upon scope. This can be because of a boo-rly defined project scope, showing the importance of having project discovery as the initial stage of a project. By doing so, what lurks inside and outside of scope is crystal clear. If the customer wants more work done because, for example, a priority was missed, a change request system should be in place to accommodate this to stop the project from getting out of con-troll.

4 – Budget drain(ed of life)

Another fear factor for a project manager is when the project budget has been drained of life. This can be a direct result of a poorly defined project scope, or a timescale overrun due to unforeseen (or mysterious…) circumstances. To escape this horror, project managers should make sure that the project scope is clearly defined from the very beginning. As aforementioned, if there are any requests for additional work, they must go through the change control process to be evaluated – this prevents any unapproved tasks from creeping up on you.

Customers should also be made aware of any risks of time overrun that the project could be haunted by, to forecast any additional costs that may carve into the budget.

5 – Messy acceptance crit-eerie-a

A final dreaded horror in the realm of project management is unclear acceptance criteria for building the product. The absence of defined acceptance criteria can cause a monstrous misunderstanding of the build task, and result in a product fit for the graveyard. To prevent this, from the get-go, the customer and project teams should be on the same (spirit) level of understanding to manage expectations and deliver a fangtastic product.

Don’t be ghoulish! Take these spooky suggestions into consideration to eliminate any project demons from rearing their ugly heads – and run a spine-chillingly smooth project in the process. Incremental is a Microsoft Partner with a wicked reputation in digital transformation projects, so don’t be afraid to get in touch today to find out more.