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Posted by on Nov 18, 2013

Build Successful Projects by Avoiding Initial Project Pitfalls – Don’t Get Caught in a PM Nightmare

Starting a new project?  Plan early – and plan often – to avoid a troublesome, delayed, or failed project.  Here are just a few tips to get it right from the beginning:

  1. Use Previous Projects and Update Your Plan:  Feds need to take the time to learn from failed projects.  Recently, the New York Times discussed the crucial need for increased agile software development to address IT risks head-on and early.  Take this as a key lesson learned. Increased visibility and its necessary training in agile project management will be fundamental for Federal projects in 2014.
  2. Who’s the Boss?:  Successful projects clearly outline the team, stakeholders, etc. and who will handle what, when, and where.  Large-scale projects like Healthcare.gov have brought to attention when project teams aren’t communicating.  Federal projects see this more and more with the collaboration of Feds with contractors, so ensure all those involved know what’s expected, and keep leadership up to date on all vital details.
  3. Avoid Unclear Expectations from the Start:  A great example is the 2010 unfunded Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) – to shut down data centers.  However, the amount of data centers kept changing, from 432 in 1999 to more than 7,000 in 2013, per OMBNext, FDCCI rolled into PortfolioStat 2.0, focused on optimizing data centers – not just closing them down.  And most recently – The Federal Data Center Consolidation Act of 2013 – sets hard deadlines due to agency issues in actually meeting the initial FDCCI regulations.  So how can the project managers keep ahead of expectations when they continue to change?

These are only three key steps in the developmental stages of building a project.  Click here to see our resource outlining these and more essential tips and tricks for Federal project and program management.

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