Few Common Causes of Project Bottlenecks

Here is a dialogue between us:

Me: What is the likelihood of your project finishing on time?

You: It depends on the probability of finishing the critical-path tasks on time.

Me: How can you ensure they finish on time?

You: It depends on finding and eliminating bottlenecks.

Me: How can we eliminate bottlenecks?

Don’t worry; I am volunteering to put my 2 cents on sharing the common reasons for a project bottlenecks.

Let me know what do you think?

Few common reasons causing bottlenecks in projects:

Lack of proper planning and coordination

Project Managers often overlooks contingency plans; resource planned leave and critical dependencies during the planning. Usually, project teams work in silos and uncoordinated work increases work in progress (WIP) queue. It reduces team efficiency and can create multiple bottlenecks due to uncomplete task and resource dependencies.

Priorities change

Businesses operate in a dynamic environment. As a new BAU issue arise, management often deploys project resources to the immediate problem. Then the project resources become a bottleneck.

80/20 rule

Often, 20% of the project resources (The Experts) delivers 80% of value. Many projects (or BAU tasks) are dependent on their availability. Hence, they become a bottleneck, delaying the overall velocity of the project.

Uncertainty due to technical issues

Software product quality, performance, infrastructure-related issues can take significant time to resolve. They become a bottleneck if we do not proactively handle them.

Decision making

Consider the time it takes on decision making for signing contracts, project documentation and change requests. The delays in decision-making often becomes a key source of project bottleneck.

The essential point is that bottlenecks can be anywhere. It is the joint responsibility of the project team to find and eliminate them.

Reference:

Critical Chain: Project Management and the Theory of Constraints by – Eliyahu M. Goldratt

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