Prevent Project Failure with this Free Statement of Work Template (SoW)

SoW

I once lost $45,000.

What makes it worse (or perhaps better?!) is that it wasn’t my money.

It was my previous employer’s.

I was managing a website build for a big client and was under huge pressure to meet a tight deadline. So, as many do, I decided to start the project before the Statement of Work (SoW) was signed by the client.

This was a big, expensive, mistake to make.

It cost an additional $45,000 to re-work parts of the build that the client had verbally approved, but hadn’t legally signed off.

Ouch.

(Despite what you might think, this isn’t the reason I don’t work there anymore!)

According to research, 37% of projects fail due to a lack of defined and approved project goals and objectives, which come with a Statement of Work (SoW). This causes around 80% of organizations to spend at least half their time on expensive rework.

Not using a Statement of Work – SOW during the project initiation is a major cause of project failure” – 4PM, Statement of Work – SOW

But what is a Statement of Work (SoW) and how do you create one?

All will be revealed in this Process Street post, as we go through:

If you’re in a hurry, grab this free Statement of Work Process Template now, and catch up with the rest of the post when you can:

Click here to access the Statement of Work (SoW) Process Template!

Otherwise, keep reading and we’ll go through this template, in a little more detail, later.

Let’s get into it!

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How Scope Creep Negatively Impacts Project Success (& How to Fix It)

scope creep

There’s nothing more frustrating to a project manager than witnessing the slow, painful death of a healthy project to the beast known as scope creep. When last minute changes transform their straightforward, A-to-B project plan into a sprawling mess of up-ended sprint plans and gold-plated feature requests, branching out in all directions with no concern for time or resources.

In one extreme example, the head contractor for the extension of a city library ended up actually suing their client in a scope-creep induced rage, claiming that their almost 55-week delay was a direct result of the large number of last minute changes.

In order for a project to be successfully completed on time, the project manager and their team need to agree on a clearly defined project scope before getting started.

However, life isn’t so straight forward and changes to the project will inevitably need to happen.

But additional problems can arise if the changes aren’t dealt with properly.

Scope creep can quietly sneak its way into your project and set your team down an unproductive and self-destructive path, wasting your company’s resources, missing deadlines, weakening team communication and, ultimately, ruining any chance of your project’s success.

So what can you do to avoid this fate, and overcome scope creep once and for all?

In this Process Street article, we’ll be covering everything you need to know scope creep–from what (and who) causes it, to how to manage it, even in an agile environment where change is embraced.

We’ll be covering:

If, however, you’re struggling with planning your own projects and want a quick solution, grab our free Project Request Form Template below!

So, let’s get started with the basics!

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What is Scrumban? The Best Parts of Scrum and Kanban

scrumban
507 blog posts.

That’s how many items our team has created, edited, and published since implementing Scrumban.

Before we set up our system, we were mostly scrabbling to get items together from week-to-week, without knowing what we’d be working on next.

Now, we’re always 3 weeks ahead of our publishing calendar, have built our blog to over 130,000 subscribers, and have expanded our team by over 300%.

That’s why we here at Process Street will take you through this (practically new) method for managing your team and projects.

We’ll cover:

If you want a sneak preview of how we’ve deployed Scrumban, I’ll give you a hint. It’s got something to do with the Sprint Planning checklist below (which you can grab for free!)…

Let’s get started!
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How to Use a Project Tracker to Keep Projects Profitable

project tracker

🟢✅ Bonus material: Project Management Template + Checklist to keep on top of your projects

I’ve got bad news.

Statistics show that no matter how hard you try, your project is probably going to fail.

To be a little more specific, only 2.5% of companies complete their projects 100% successfully.

Failure is an unavoidable part of any project process” – ProjectManager, 5 Notorious Failed Projects & What We Can Learn from Them

Yet the cost of project failures is staggering. Failed IT projects alone cost the United States around $150 billion in lost revenue and productivity. And it’s frightening! Failure scares us all.

But, the good news is, failure, and how it affects you and your project’s overall success and profitability is controllable. If you can catch, or even predict, failures early enough, you can execute damage control measures and prevent them from completely derailing your project and its profitability. You can even use them to improve your project.

How can you catch or predict failures early?

By using a project tracker.

A project tracker is a snapshot of your entire project. It gives you and the project team a clear picture of how the project is performing, where the weak spots are, and which areas need the most attention.

Let me explain this concept further by taking you through the following topics in this Process Street article:

Let’s get going!
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Visual Management: How to Communicate Effectively with Your Workforce

visual-management

Click here to visually map and improve your business processes now!

Did you know that visual information is processed 60,000 x faster than text?

This explains why the average person remembers only 20% of what they read but 40% of what they see. This also explains why most companies use a form of visual management to communicate with their employees.

Let’s do a little test to see if people, in general, respond better to visual cues than text.

Look at these two depictions of a traffic light below.

One is a sentence describing a traffic light, and one is an image of a traffic light. Both traffic lights are on different colors:

1. The traffic light is on red.

2.visual-management

At the end of this Process Street post, we’ll see which color traffic light you remember! No cheating mind!

In the meantime, I’ll take you through the following topics to explain what visual management is and how you can use it to effectively communicate with your employees:

Ready?
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How to Write a Proposal and Get What You Want (Free Templates)

how to write a proposal

✅ Bonus material: Simple Proposal Format Template + Checklist to help you get started ASAP!

A proposal has a lot of different purposes, but there’s only one good way to write one: the way that pulls together all of the information in a concise and persuasive way and helps you get what you want … whether that’s a whole new software system, or just a tweak to your marketing strategy.

This Process Street article isn’t about a business proposal — also known as a quote — but instead about the document required when formally pitching an idea for action and execution by managers or department heads.

To explain how to write a proposal document and get what you want, we’ll go through the following:

Let’s get started.

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Checklist Dashboard: The Best Way to Keep Track of Your Team with Process Street

Checklist dashboard

Imagine your business is a car.

Whether it’s a new, sporty little number or an old, cumbersome hatchback, aside from an engine and four wheels, what does it need to run smoothly?

A dashboard.

A dashboard will advise you to slow down when you’re moving too fast. It will tell you when more fuel is needed. It will alert you when there’s a problem.

A good dashboard will save you heaps of time, effort, and money, while you’re under the hood, trying to work out why you’re not reaching your goal quickly enough.

Lucky for you, Process Street has just the ticket.

Our checklist dashboard has been designed and built to give you an instant snapshot of your team, or company’s, performance so you can stay on track and reach your business goals.

Want to find out more?

Join me on a journey, where we will accelerate through the following topics to get you up to speed with the checklist dashboard and how you can use it in your business:

Buckle up and put your foot down! Let’s go!

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14 Best Online Team Management Tools for Productive Teams

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This is a guest post by Nandini Sharma, an Assistant Marketing Manager at ProofHub – a leading collaboration software. With years of experience in marketing, she has found some amazing ways to reach a large audience and create a connection.

Boosting team morale and productivity could be considered as the number 1 goal for every project manager.

The term team management isn’t just about allocating tasks to be checked off by your team before the end of the day. Key factors that contribute to the concept of effective team management are teamwork, collaboration, and recognition. Without them, a company’s overall performance is at risk. This is where team management tools come into play.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard a project manager tries or how many expensive tools she/he invests in, something or someone is often left behind. And here in-lies our problem…

…and where there is a business-related problem, there is a Process Street solution.

You see, not all team management tools are meant for you. Without the right approach and the right tool, your chances of keeping each team member productive and satisfied, are next to impossible.

You need to find a tool that works best for you and your team and you need to find it soon.

In this article, we will explain the importance of effective team management. We will then present you with our 14 top team management tools so that you can find the right one for you.

Click on the relevant subheader below to jump to that section. Alternatively, scroll down to find the information you need to evaluate the best team management tool for you.

We’ll start with the basics of team management.
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Knowledge Management: How to Stop Making Mistakes and Losing Customers

knowledge management

Business is forever changing and evolving. The things you need to do to stay up to date can be daunting but the alternative is falling by the wayside.

Plus, when 78% of millennial customers won’t give you a second chance, your day-to-day interactions count more than ever.

That’s why you need a solid knowledge management system. It’s the only way to reliably manage the resources available to your team and make sure that everyone can perform to the best of their ability.

So, today on the Process Street blog we’ll be covering:

Enough dawdling – let’s get started!
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The 21 Best Free Project Management Software (And Why They’re Great)

project management software

Ah, the days before I started using project management software.

I don’t miss them.

70+ hour weeks of pure stress and disorganized skitting from task to task, unable to focus on the things that mattered when they needed to get done. It was a lesson hard-learned but one of the most valuable I’ve ever had the misfortune of going through.

So I’ll save you the trouble and show you the best free options on offer.

You don’t need a massive budget or a lot of experience to get the most out of these apps – hence why they’re the best free project management software. Most have paid plans but all are functional with the free version and all will help you and your team organize your projects and get things done on time and to a high standard.

I’ll be covering:

  1. Process Street
  2. Agantty
  3. Airtable
  4. Asana
  5. Avaza
  6. Backlog
  7. Bitrix24
  8. FreedCamp
  9. HiTask
  10. KanbanFlow
  11. MeisterTask
  12. Paymo
  13. Pivotal Tracker
  14. Podio
  15. TeamGantt
  16. TeamWeek
  17. Teamwork Projects
  18. Todoist
  19. Trello
  20. Wrike
  21. Zenkit

Enough talk – let’s get stuck in.
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