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6 Project Management Mistakes – And How to Avoid Themon 19 September 2016Posted by Andreas Dahlgren
Project Management, sounds easy enough right? Just keep track of the work of a bunch of staff members, communicate with clients and create nice looking report – easy.
Sorry to disappoint, but being a successful project manager takes experience, learning and leadership skills. And this is why quality project managers are few and far between.
Some of the more common mistakes that are made in the realm of project management can be easily rectified however, and both new and old project managers can benefit from analysing the common pitfalls.
Not putting the right person in charge of the project
While the person responsible for any given project can vary, anyone from the CEO to team leaders, the PM role will make sure that it’s the right person driving the project forward.
In most cases this person will be the PM him/herself, but if the driving force is someone else – a senior member of the staff, or a high-ranking manager being especially invested in getting the project done – establishing the person responsible from the start can remove much second-guessing and unnecessary micromanagement. This will make the journey a whole lot smoother.
Not having regular communication
Meetings can be huge time wasters, but having none whatsoever can be equally detrimental to a project. It’s a fine line, but exchanging status updates does not necessarily mean having a meeting; there is plenty of equipment in a PM toolbox that can be used to boost communication and collaboration.
Having each project set up in a team collaboration software such as Glasscubes enables everyone to contribute, hassle-free. Instant messaging, document version control and status updates give both team members and the PM an excellent overview of what tasks need to be focused on, without needing to sit down for an hour in the meeting room.
Learn the importance of internal communication in this article.
Not getting the team invested in the project
The leadership skills of the PM will be clearly visible in this area: getting the team on-board. If the team working on the project lacks motivation or doesn’t believe in the reason behind the project, it will be hard to achieve great results.
Being a leader is more than telling people WHAT to do; it’s equally important to make sure that colleagues understand the bigger picture of WHY they should do the tasks they are assigned. How will completing this project benefit themselves and the company?
Setting overly optimistic deadlines
Having deadlines is a must, but they shouldn’t be an arbitrary date or time. Having realistic deadlines, even when facing pressure from management, will keep the timelines sacred rather than something that can be ignored. If deadlines don’t matter, why have them at all?
This is one of the hardest parts of being a PM, and can be impossible to know if it’s the first project of its type being set up. But with experience and metrics, deadlines can become more and more accurate over time.
Not tracking metrics
Any reputable task & project management software will have metrics that can be tracked. And if you are not using these metrics, you are missing out on valuable information. Not only will you be able to showcase your team’s progress to management, but you will also see if there is any area that requires more support.
If you have several projects of the same type planned, you will clearly see how accurate your estimation on time spent is, which will inform future planning.
It’s especially common for newly appointed PMs to micromanage projects and constantly ask for updates and reports. Doing so does not only leaves the other team members feeling underappreciated, but it also creates a ton of extra work for the PM.
It’s essential, then, to trust your colleagues to do their jobs, and to set expectations early on. If you need information on progress, check the system for available charts and updates to get an overview, saving any questions for the scheduled reporting.
Looking to beef up your project portfolio management skills? Check out these five best practices from veterans in the field.
Glasscubes is a user-friendly collaboration software for teams. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace that improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other.
For more information, contact us by calling +44 (0)20 3274 2310 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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