project schedule

4 hidden costs of poor project planning

There are some basic things that people will see when they consider the cost of poor project planning.  I would like to suggest that there are more ‘hidden’ costs that aren’t always visible.  In this post I will talk about four hidden costs of poor project planning and once identified you might be able to stop them from occurring with better planning.

Reputation cost

The reputation of not only the Project Manager, but team members needs to be factored into the hidden cost of poor planning.  A project manager can easily gain a poor reputation from bad planning, which will strongly impact on his/her ability to manage other projects, not only within their own organisation, but also elsewhere.

The other costs relating to reputation are those connected to your project sponsor.  Their reputation is also on the line, especially if they have stood up and supported you (as the Project Manager) and the project as a whole.

The other aspect of reputational cost relates to the external customers where you might have asked them to be involved in a pilot phase of the roll out.  The cost of you not delivering here relates to your industry reputation and the cost of them not trusting in what you say moving forward (as an example).

The cost of stress on team members

When a project team has been working hard trying to deliver against a plan that just isn’t working, the cost to their mental health and well being is going to show.  Stress creeps into teams where the project has been running for some time, and continues to fall behind schedule.  This is also impacted by what is seen as poor resourcing, where there are too few resources to cover the workload.

BAU complacency

Here I am talking about the complacency that kicks in with the rest of the business because your project isn’t going to be delivered when you said it would.  The cost here relates to the buy-in required for the changes and what additional support/training/coaching etc may be required to alleviate this complacency when your project finally goes live.

Additional resource costs

Naturally there are additional costs incurred in keeping or bringing in additional resources to do what it needed to bring things back on track, or keep things moving.  This may also be impacted where you have team members beginning to take stress leave and there then needs to be positions back filled to maintain the momentum.

Do you know of any other hidden costs of poor planning?



Written by Karen Munro