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The (Not-So) Hidden Costs of Bad Project Management

Good Six Sigma project management is, for many companies, the portal to success. Without it, team members would have no direction and tasks left unfinished, or even unattempted. Bad project management can have negative repercussions on the entire project if you’re not careful to avoid errors. But is it that important? In a word, yes. But what exactly are the consequences? Today we look at the costs of bad project management, some of which you might not expect.

Consequences of Bad Project Management

  • Further failure down the line. After a while, previous failures can continue to stick in your team members’ minds. If your project manager has departed, or you don’t provide adequate coaching, then your team will start to become discouraged. Project failure can be difficult to deal with in the first instance, but it can also prevent your team from building on prior successes.
  • Morale starts to deteriorate. Once morale starts to break down, it’s difficult to restore it to what it was. Poor project management can be just as bad as having no project leader at all. When your team loses interest, they start to overlook opportunities for improvement. Furthermore, the bare minimum becomes acceptable, and your project only manages to coast by. This can lead to failures not just in basic Six Sigma principles but also in health and safety. As morale and motivation enter decline, so do your chances of success.
  • Implementation becomes unstable. Bad project management affects the entire project, not just your team members. Teamwork is imperative in Six Sigma. Everything is connected. As such, restoring deployment once deformed can be a difficult task. Getting the project back on the right track is even trickier once you’ve been knocked off it.

Mistakes to Avoid

Project managers rely on critical skills to drive Six Sigma projects forward. But, even the smallest slip-up or shortcoming can have repercussions down the line. Below is a list of amateur mistakes to avoid when it comes to project management, all of which come with their own consequences.

  • Inability to clearly state the problem. Project managers who are unable to recognize and accurately state problems are often unable to cope with the pressures of Six Sigma project work. Strong analytical skills are critical skills for project leaders, but without the ability to recognize problems, your project is liable to stall.
  • Unable to discern adequate data. Valid data is essential to Six Sigma work as it informs effective decision-making. Gleaning accurate data allows you to evaluate your process performance and customer satisfaction.  Your project will be paralyzed without means to acquire adequate data. You have no information on which to act.
  • Hesitant leadership. Strong leadership is a foundational principle of successful Six Sigma. Bad leadership prevents decisions from getting made, which causes processes to stagnate. If your project leader isn’t up to scratch, you’re going to fail.
  • Project unaligned with critical-few business goals. Six Sigma’s aim is to drive improvements in accordance with project and company goals. If your efforts aren’t aligned properly, you’re going to find yourself without direction.
  • In a state of flux. Companies undergoing drastic changes while trying to deploy Six Sigma are likely to be left disappointed. Being in a state of flux is not conducive to good Six Sigma, and this instability will render DMAIC projects useless.

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