Many people don’t realize that project management includes an effective time management, planning, organization and so much more. There are a lot of components to think about and a lot can go wrong. Mistakes are there to be made. We’ve all experienced it at one point or another, right?
In an ideal world, there are no challenges and every project you make is a success. But, you guessed it right, we aren’t living in an ideal world and mistakes are inevitable. But, what if you could have an insight into what mistakes you should avoid at all costs to prevent to prevent your business from going dead broke?
That’d be awesome, right?
While we cannot argue that avoiding these specific mistakes will be your sole ticket to skies, it will surely make a difference. We can generally see project managers fall into somewhat the same traps over and over again. Those mistakes end up costing them big bucks. Here are 8 of the biggest you that could potentially ruin all the fun for you.
Agreeing to Optimistic Deadlines
As a project manager, you have to keep good relations with your stakeholders and clients. But there’s a thin line between good relationship keepers and people pleasers. The latter group tends to make this mistake once too many and if you find yourself saying “maybe” or “I will try” too often, maybe it’s time to stop before it’s too late. Sure, this strategy will gain you a few points with the client, but in the long run, you are likely to underdeliver more often than not.
And you’re making your team miserable and under stress. It’s time to start setting realistic deadlines and seek to build relationships through different means. In the end, your clients will respect the honesty and safety you create and you’ll have plenty of time to get things done properly.
Unable To Stop With Micromanaging
A lot of project managers have this petty habit of wanting to be in control of everything and all the time. We say habit, because, even if they knew it’s bad habits are hard to get rid off. Micromanaging causes a lot of problems and conflicts within a team. If you let somebody in your team, it means they deserved it and have the skillset to do things right on their own without anyone blowing on their necks.
Micromanaging is ruining the trust of your team, and can even lead to ‘mutinies’ and serious lack of motivation. You’ll be better off by giving your trust to your people all the way, and it will pay off!
Poor Risk Assessment
When you’re on the roll with your projects, it’s only natural to get a bit cocky. A lot of PM’s get that overpowering ‘nothing can stop us feeling’. Generally, it’s a good feeling. But, this is where mistakes tend to happen. We stop thinking about the possible risks and even tend to neglect them and make false assessments.
This can massacre your entire plan and create big and unnecessary costs. Going the other way and being overly careful and overestimating risks is just as bad. Assess risk carefully, discuss them with your team and create a plan to mitigate them efficiently is your top priority here.
Not Breaking Projects Into Small Pieces
Many project managers screw it right from the start. This mistake will be the leading cause for bad projects, overstepping deadlines and ultimately lead to high costs. We already discussed this a number of times, breaking up your projects into series of doable tasks will make things all the easier for you and your team. This is the essence of success and team satisfaction. So break your projects down and assign them to the right people.
Forgetting About The People
Sometimes we are too concerned with deliverables, quality, costs and forget about the people who are doing all the work. Managers who tend to micromanage, miss the big picture of importance that the people have. Also, these problems may arise when we don’t define team roles and responsibilities.
As we already said, you have to leave micromanaging everything, but moreover, you have to give your team space and make sure they understand their roles. This will make them periodically report to you themselves. And this goes for all the people involved.
Failure To Adapt
Today we see things change on a daily basis. The same can be said for the project management. Being passive, reluctant or sloppy when things go south can make serious budget holes. No matter how hard we try, things will eventually go south. It’s at times like these you need a strong and agile team who can adapt fast and resolve all the problems.
Your reporting should be true and transparent. The quality information that’s delivered fast and timely is the key element here, so make it a demanded element of your methods.
Not Using Project Management Tools
A lot of tools these days are so advanced and can beautifully depict your projects it’s a shame not to use them. It’s important to remind yourself of where you are and if you’re on the right track, traveling at a good pace. Moreover, project management tools are so versatile and you can easily document changes and situations that happen and see those critical paths that will help your decision making.
If you’re running a small team and business, a lot of tools offer free versions for starters. Make use of technology before the missed opportunity starts drilling holes in your budget.
Forgetting To Evaluate Completed Projects
We all like to finish our projects as soon as possible, get it over with. But, the finishing phase of your project should be everything but fast. We all have to learn from the past, but if we fail to create learning points and bases, we’re down for it. All projects, no matter how big or small should be evaluated at the end, with learning points that happened down the road extracted.
If you fail to do this, there will be no learning curve and you’ll find yourself making huge mistakes without even realizing you’re doing them. So take the breather of success and jot down what can be improved for the future.
That’s all folks! We wish you the best success with your projects and don’t let the small mistakes become big problems.
Josip is an aspiring content marketer and an outreach specialist at PointVisible and freelance writer at Teamweek. Other than marketing, he likes to grab a good book and read about different leadership ideas and styles.