Why Projects Fail: The Curious Case of the Missing Legs

The origins of Project Management as a science predates the pyramids. Many of the challenges such as bad communication, unclear goals and unrealistic due dates remain the same. Surprisingly these challenges also plague frequently repeated projects. Here’s how we’ve changed that for our clients.

The metaphorical stool for good project management stands on three legs:

  1. The management of time, effort and priorities, usually done through a project management tool.
  2. The management of processes that cover some but not all effort included in the project, usually done through process tools like ERPs.
  3. Collaboration, so badly covered in traditional tools that enterprises feel the need to adopt separate collaboration tools.
This spread of data across so many tools makes life miserable for executors. complicates visibility and hamstrings the potential of AI in the bargain. Take as an example a project to open new hypermarket outlets or quick service restaurants. Business development, legal and finance all play a role in identifying a site and signing a purchase/lease. Tools they use often span collaboration, project management, document management, financial modules of an ERP and many excel sheets and emails in the bargain. Once that is done the teams managing the set-up are on the clock. Now procurement, finance, marketing and others come into the picture. POs and Material Management go through the ERP. Project management is essential. That is just the tip of the pyramid. This stage invariably sees a blizzard of activity across tools dealing with travel, vendor management, content creation and other activities. The clutter gets bad enough to double or triple timelines.

Here’s how we’ve solved this problem with workflow automation:

  1. Workflows extend across processes, tying in activities and dependencies across different functions and processes with activities that are more ad-hoc, tying in with activities captured in process software tools with activities outside the scope of implemented tools.
  2. No-code workflows permit flexibility that ensures that the tool teams work in precisely reflects the workflows they actually follow. This addresses the gaps other tools leave in a way that drives user adoption. Our platform Zvolv can then be integrated with other enterprise tools to ensure there’s no redundant data entry work.
  3. We incorporate standard project management features such as Gantt charts, different types of dependencies, time and resource management etc. but we go beyond that by automating task creation and allocation, delay tracking and escalation and more.
  4. Granular workflows allow us to associate conversations with tasks, stages and projects. This along with powerful document management delivers collaboration on a platter.
Now that your data around processes, time and resource utilization and collaboration is all in one place you can start setting up dashboards and AI elements to get to the next level. The possibilities here are endless. To improve day to day execution you can set up intelligent escalations based on the importance of project stages, their impact on the critical path and the nature of the challenge faced. AI can give you an accurate forecast for your timeline based on the past performance of a process within a certain type of project. Even delays caused by external factors such as vendor response times are tracked and factored in. This enables you to manage the project risk factors in the short term and find areas of improvement for sustained operational excellence. This also makes for an organic way to track personal performance. The need to craft a detailed workflow preempts unclear goals. The impact of scope creep becomes instantly evident and unrealistic delivery dates get caught out very early.

Workflow Automation takes things one step further by identifying prime areas for Robotic Process Automation in often repeated projects. An example is the generation of legal documentation. Customization of a template for an NDA or purchase deed, review, approval and signing can all be much faster with OCR, E-Signatures and other technologies. Workflow Automation enables you to identify bottlenecks and then plug in precise technology solutions to resolve those bottlenecks.

We’ve enabled a wide range of projects across verticals. Feel free to reach out and ask us about how we can enable your projects.