In times of chaos, and uncertainty posed by the Coronavirus Pandemic, some project managers seem to consider limiting authority to only those at the very top, with perhaps only a few individuals making crisp, accurate project management decisions in a crisis situation while completely hunkered down within their offices. There is an unfortunate tendency for too many people to want total control of every aspect of a business or project, and to resist the development of software development capabilities to help make progress. It’s unfortunate that this tendency is not tempered with an awareness of the inherent risks of such over-reaching project management policies. For if unchecked, these tendencies can lead to major project delays and the undue frustration of both employees and management.
Many project management decisions are made on a daily basis and must be reviewed and evaluated in real-time. The need for effective project management decisions cannot be overstated. Today’s project managers need all the information they can get their hands on to help them make sound project management decisions. The potential for mistakes, miscommunication, and other forms of errors can be minimized when data is available beforehand for analysis.
One of the first steps in creating a good plan for project management decisions is a solid foundation. This basis should be a well-defined and predetermined process that takes into account the current requirements, budget, and capacity of the company. The resulting product needs to be clearly defined in terms of both scope and deliverables. A plan should be able to be modified or changed when circumstances require it without having to re-design or rewrite the original framework.
As mentioned earlier, some project managers may attempt to use the Coronavirus Pandemic as cover for overly-ambitious project planning. They do this because the original strategy was based upon a robust, detailed framework. Unfortunately, this framework contained assumptions about how best to deal with the worst case scenario, which resulted in overly optimistic conclusions about project management decisions. Because of this, some project teams made substantial deviations from the original strategy. As a result, projects were delayed, which resulted in a loss of time and money. To avoid such a situation in future, project managers must have a good understanding of the assumptions that they are using and the reasons for those assumptions.
The decision making process also involves information flow. Each part of the project team collaborates in carrying out its responsibilities. Project managers are responsible for ensuring that all team members are reporting facts and figures in a timely fashion. Communication provides the link between the data gathered by the various team members and the decision-makers. When information is not properly communicated, project managers risk making poor project decisions that will cost the company more than the benefits.
Another key factor in a project manager’s responsibility is stakeholder relations. This encompasses interactions with both internal and external stakeholder groups. Stakeholder relations are important for project managers to take into account when making decisions. By engaging stakeholder groups and listening to their views, project managers can learn new ways to maximize the benefits of their projects.
Communication is another key factor in the project management process. Team members need to understand the direction and expectations of the team, the reasons behind the project goals and objectives, and how these goals and objectives are being met. Separate teams can only work productively if all members of the team understand the overall goals of the project and how they are being met. In addition, all team members need to be committed to the implementation of the decisions that are being made. A project manager needs to have confidence in his or her decision making and able to trust the judgments of each team member.
A final factor that contributes to project success or failure is the involvement of each team member in the decision-making process. Each team member should be included in every step of the decision making process. The implementation of tools that allow for „crowd voting“ on critical issues will help to reduce the time required to make decisions. Likewise, the use of feedback mechanisms such as white boards will help to reduce the number of contentious meetings that can lead to decision-making paralysis. Implementing some of the tools used in crowdsourced decision-making might help to ensure that the decisions are made in a timely manner and with greater efficiency.