There’s no doubt that project management can be difficult – the complexity of projects means that even the most experience project managers have a spanner thrown in the works every now and then. Although it will be impossible to prepare for every single issue out there, there are a few common mistakes that can absolutely be prepared for, and knowing about them is half the battle. In this article, we take a look at a few common project management mistakes to get you prepared for the worst.
The most common project management mistakes
Although a diploma in project management can go a long way in preparing you for certain aspects of project management, there are also quite a few things that can happen unexpectedly that no one will have adequately prepared for. While this can be good, in the sense that blame isn’t necessarily placed on you for the issue, it will be your responsibility to deal with it in the best way possible – and how the project continues will be entirely dependent on your performance. Some of the most common mistakes that project managers might face can be traced back to assigning the wrong people to do the wrong things – sometimes it might be the case that the project manager may have even be assigned to a project they weren’t suited for. Although learning on the job can be an inevitable part of work life, in the wrong situation it can spell a disastrous turn for the project. Similarly, trying to get the most out of a project that has inadequately been assigned resources and skills can make the project impossible, rather than ambitious, and it’s a good way to waste a lot of valuable time and money very quickly.
Communication is everything in project management
Effective project management is all about delegating, and while it might be tempting to do everything yourself – whether it’s related to issues with trust or superiority – doing so will quickly run any project into the ground. Good project managers take all of the ideas and feedback of their teams on board, rather than just ignoring them, as contributions help reveal issues that may have been overlooked earlier. If a project manager stop listening, their team stops communicating. This leads us to our next point – effective communication, such as not pointing the finger when something goes wrong, can mean healthy projects don’t develop into toxic ones overnight. As part of this, deciding to not run regular meetings can spell disaster for the team, as everyone knowing where each other stands can help give a much more accurate picture of the project overall. The most important way to introduce this idea is with a kick-off meeting, as this ensures everyone knows where to start from and has a firm grasp on their role and responsibility.
Project management requires skill
Project management can certainly be difficult, but preparing for these common mistakes can ensure that projects are less likely to spiral out of control. There are of course other things to consider – such as managing scope and budget – but by first having a firm understanding of your people, you should be able to at least circumnavigate some of the more damaging areas of project management.