or no deadlines
|Without good or compelling reason(s) being articulated
||Are people just lookiong to justify bad managment practices?|
||Without reflecting changes in the budget, timeline, or the project scope
||Are people trying to hide a lack of discipline in really deciding what they want built, integrated, or constructed? Is there an effective change management process?|
|Final decisions are not being made
||Is this because there is no clear ownership or is no one stepping up to the plate to make the important decisions?
||Is there enough information to make a decision with any degree of certainty?|
|Project completion is stuck at 90 percent done
||There has been no corresponding change to scope, budget, or timeline. There is a lack of continuous progress regardless of the percentage complete.
||Can you relate completion percentage to interim, measurable deliverables? Can each team member accurately articulate the "estimate to complete" for outstanding tasks?|
|No problems being reported
||No deliverables are being signed off either
||Problems and issues are normal on projects. Does the team have a handle on the true requirements? Is there an agreed on acceptance management process?|
|Lack of key project deliverables
||A good rule of thumb is to produce measurable deliverables during frequent intervals to allow tracking of progress and reduction of risk. Relying only on a major deliverable at the end of a long project (anything over three elapsed months) is an enormous risk, which should be mitigated by interim delivery points.
||Are deliverables being created but without explanation on where they are going to be used or how they are going to influence the final result? This is a serious waste of time and can ruin the motivation of the project team.|
||People issues and interpersonal tensions are overwhelming the project schedule. The extended project team members do not appear to put the interest of the project ahead of their personal needs.
||Are too many personal needs of team members being sacrificed for the project? Is there a risk that key people will leave the company before or at the conclusion of the project?|
|Excessive quality problems
||This is even after testing cycles (for example, unit functional, system) have been completed and a test plan has been executed
||Begin the project with a clear definition of the quality expected, number of errors that are tolerable, and the tests required to prove that the solution is acceptable. Is there an effective quality assurance process in place?|
||Constantly hearing the terms "will find this out", "we are assuming", "to be determined", or "to be confirmed". Each of these terms are imprecise, making accurate planning impossible
||Not every unknown can be identified, but the plan should be robust enough to accommodate surprises by identifying clear check points. There is a danger of analysis paralysis if you try and go too deep in this analysis. Is there an effective risk management process in place?|
|Lack of management reporting tools
||Specifically a lack of an integrated project plan that is being used regularly to track progress, as well as clear communication channels to all the team members.
||Is there too much overhead involved in complying with management reporting? Conversely, are people just trying to document and report everything to protect themselves? Are project status reports fact-based or opinion based?|