Project Management needs to be errorless and there is no denying the fact. But unfortunately, you cannot avoid mistakes. It is not just about having a bunch of team members, having a conversation with the clients, and making colourful reports. The reports have to be errorless and there are certain ways in which these mistakes can be avoided. Let us get to know these mistakes and how they can be avoided.
Having An Incapable Project Manager
The role of a project manager tends to be indistinct and filled with buzzwords like – “has to be a team player”, “should possess a proven track record”, “should be result-oriented”. But, how this mishmash list of basic skills fit in what exactly your team wants to achieve?
It is not mandatory if someone was a successful project manager in his previous projects makes him the right fit for another project. The teams should sit together in the initial phases of the planning process to finalise the ideal skill set and qualities they think are perfect for the project at hand. This will certainly come handy in spotting a project manager who is capable enough to understand your goals, challenges, and strengths.
Keeping The Whole Project Plan In Your Head
You may think that the project is not that tricky and complex and you don’t require any documentation for the same, thinking you can do all that in your head. Unfortunately, this is not practically possible, even if you do remember everything; it is undoubtedly one of the most stressful and most complicated ways to get the task done.
Moreover, you are not able to show the project plan that is there in your head to your project manager, customers, and to the team. But, this is where a Gantt Chart can come handy and it helps in showing who will be doing what and when in an easy manner. A Gantt Chart is used for the following activities –
Identifying and reporting issues
- Allocating resources
- Displaying the milestones
- Establishing the initial project schedule
- Controlling and communicating the schedule
- Monitoring and reporting progress
Absence Of Clear Communication
The worst case scenario is when HR is busy working with Excel, the marketing department is operating with mind maps, and each team has its own mode of communicating. The obvious result of all this chaos is that the
project communication being unproductive and processes of the project are incompetent. So, it is important that clear communication processes are maintained amongst the different teams along with varied streamlined project processes.
Not Engaging The Whole Team
The project managers with years of experience, strong personalities, and comprehensive understanding of the project tend to forget that their team also have some ideas. Your team might also have some creative ideas, and knowing their ideas is also important. You might be missing out on some imaginative ideas which may come handy in getting things done in a project.
There is an obvious solution i.e. to involve your team as much as you can and get their inputs at different point in time in a project lifecycle –
- In the initial stages when you are listing out different tasks required in a project
- While planning, having the right order of the tasks that needs to be done in a project
- While framing a plan to cut down the risks in a project
- While creating a rescheduled plan and while integrating the change requests in the project
Absence Of Transparent Objectives And Improper Success Metrics
Not many projects fail owing to the inappropriate skill set of the project manager. It is because there was no clear objective and success metrics that can make out whether the project was a success or a failure.
As a project manager, you should ask yourself what does the project do to the business of delivering? This is indeed a difficult question and to find an answer, it requires more thought. As and when you will have the answer, you will be in a better position to relate to the project and integrate metrics that actually makes sense and work towards it.
The industry experts commonly use the acronym called as DUMB – doable, understandable, manageable, and beneficial. You need to ask yourself as what you are doing and the reason you are doing certain things in a project. You can also ask the customers to assist you in defining the success metrics for the project.
Resisting A Change
You should take your project as a living thing instead of a stationary schedule. It is important you are flexible and adaptable if something doesn’t go as planned and to adopt new strategy accordingly. A capable project manager is always open to new ideas that help in making positive changes in a project. You should take your time to assess the successes and failures and see what improvements can be made.
So, above-mentioned are the six common management mistakes that affect the projects. Such mistakes can be easily avoided with effective planning, observation, and clear communication.