Common Project Problems & Causes

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Common Project Problems & Causes by Mind Map: Common Project Problems & Causes

1. PROBLEM: squad overruns a deliverable deadline

1.1. The squad(s) who is responsible for delivery is not able to deliver the agreed outcome (deliverable) before the deadline


1.2.1. The estimates of the squad were not used to inform the deadline A. The leadership team set the deadline disregarding/rejecting the estimates (or misunderstanding them) This highlights a disconnect between the leadership team and the squad No estimates were required The leadership team was happy to spend a set amount of time/money to see what outcome the squad could achieve without the overhead of the estimation activity B. The estimation process took place too late (after the deadline was set) This highlights a process problem (or a problem adhering to the process)

1.2.2. The estimates of the squad were too small for the amount of work actually required to deliver the outcome The squad underestimated the work they needed to perform (REQUIREMENTS) C. The squad didn't take enough time to elaborate the work, factoring in the full breath and depth and the knowable risks There was inherent uncertainty around the exact nature of the work to perform at the time of estimation and as such some of the guesses were too optimistic The squad overestimated their work rate In other words, the work to perform might have been sufficiently well understood, but the rate at which the squad is able to work was overestimated The squad overestimated their work rate (CAPACITY), due to unplanned: The squad underestimated the difficulty of the work (SKILLSET) P. The squad gleaned new insights into the problem or solution space (after the deadline was set) that were not discoverable upfront (unknown unknowns) Unknown unknowns cannot be anticipated based on past experience or investigation Examples This points to the value of an experimental approach where important/critical assumptions are challenged early as a means to derisk a solution as soon as possible The "reset" button for replanning should be hit if the deliverable's baseline is expected to be significantly impacted Q. The leadership team decided to change the desired outcome without resetting the deliverable's baseline The "reset" button for replanning should be hit as the baseline will be impacted

1.3. Risk management: We should look to understand which ones of the above variables could cause a deliverable deadline to be overrun before they occur and mitigate them according to our risk appetite

1.3.1. This form of risk management should be baked into the standard process for each project