Do you know that almost 50% of the project management companies close within the first three years of operations? Running out of project budget & time, or lack of involvement from the team, are some of the most common reasons behind it.
It is evident how even minor mistakes can cost dollars to projects and project management organizations. These mistakes can lead to delays, budget mismanagement, and in some cases, substantial financial losses too.
This article will discuss 7 common project management mistakes that project managers make and advise how to avoid them.
1) Not Having The Right Leader For The Project
A project manager is directly responsible for the success and failure of a project. Assigning someone inexperienced can be very risky to a project.
Always make sure that the project manager’s skill set is in alignment with the project requirements.
If a project manager doesn’t have the right skills and experience to tackle upcoming issues and surprises, nothing can save a project from being doomed.
Advisable Solution: Try to look for a project manager who has managed a similar type of project earlier and has the experience & skills aligning with the requirements of a project.
2) Not Setting Clear Objectives, KPIs, & Success Metrics
Setting clear objectives, key performance indicators, and success metrics are most important because these are the things that decide whether a project is going according to planning or not.
Just like you can’t build a building with a weak foundation, you can’t expect your team to deliver a successful project when they don’t understand project objectives well.
Experienced project management professionals use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) & DUMB (Doable, Understandable, Manageable, and Beneficial) methods to define clear goals and objectives.
Advisable Solution: Before starting a project, use one of these methods to decide objectives, targets, and KPIs & communicate them properly to team members.
TPC Addition Getting clear KPIs in place and aligning with corporate objectives is very important. I'm currently reading the "Measure what Matters" book by John Doerr (which I will review here on the blog). I was first introduced to the concept of OKR by Peter Kestenholz, who wrote an excellent article about the subject.
3) Not Following A Clear Process.
This process should only be formulated after taking note of team members’ strengths and weaknesses and the project’s objectives.
All the optimism goes to zero when the team doesn’t have a clear idea of where they are going.
There should be a straightforward work process and defined way for everything in a project. As a project manager, you must understand the project’s requirements, make a process accordingly, and represent a hierarchy that shows the responsibility of each member and who they approach when in peril. Also, make sure to set milestones so that the team can understand how far they are to the finish line.
Advisable Solution: Identify your team member’s strengths and weaknesses and develop a strategy that suits the project best.
4) Poor Resource Planning
Poor resource planning is one of the most common project management mistakes that project managers make. Inappropriate planning and use of resources can severely impact the success of a project.
Resources planning and allocation should be done very carefully while taking measures of unexpected events like team members getting injured or raw material prices going up etc.
Most project managers do everything well except one thing! They fail to choose the right team members. If the selected team members aren’t well-casted, the project will probably never succeed.
So choose a team that can deliver expectations successfully and contributes till the very end of the project.
Advisable Solution: Prefer to choose 6 skilled members in your team rather than having 12 inexperienced bunch of people who barely know anything.
TPC Addition At Projectum we found this exact mistake happen very often. And the tools at hand didn't seem to provide the correct user-friendly solution. Initially, Projectum created the Resource Manager application, which turned into Team Planner. Which now is an application used around the world by various companies in all verticals. If resource management is an issue at your organization you might want to look into this website and request a demo.
5) Lack Of Communication With Stakeholders & Team
A project doesn’t go a steady way; there are undergoing developments, changes in deadlines, surprises, and much more. Experts believe that “In project management, over-communication is always better than under-communication.” You need to stay in a continuous loop of communication with your team members and stakeholders to inform them about the undergoing developments and take their feedback regarding the project so that everything runs smoothly.
But still, a lot of project managers don’t communicate effectively with their team and stakeholders; they think that once the planning and initiation are done, they don’t need to check on things.
Advisable Solution: Try to define hassle-free communication channels amongst everyone concerned with the project so that everyone is well-informed of decisions, exceptions, changes, and so on.
TPC Addition The Power PPM solution (or just Projectum as some are starting to call it) contains a Project tab dedicated to Stakeholder management. Have a look at the image and website below.
6) Micromanaging The Team
Projects are done in teams, and having great trust in each other is very important to make the project a success. A good project manager should trust his team members and allow them to make their own choices.
Even in a standard organization, micromanagement always leads to conflicts and a rebellious environment. So, stop becoming a controlling manager; instead, become a leader whom team members can trust.
No one likes working under a controlling person. Always try to create a positive and encouraging work environment.
Advisable Solution: Set periodic check-ins to determine the progress of the project and give your team members the freedom to work in their way.
TPC Addition This brings fond memories back to one of my earliest posts on the blog, Flaw 4
7) Not Evaluating After Project Completion
A lot of project managers don’t bother to evaluate a project once it’s done and dusted. Irrespective of the outcome, reviewing the project once will help you understand and note all the learning points. If the project was a failure, reviewing lets you know what and where things went wrong and how you will handle them if the same thing happens again.
Advisable Solution: keep brainstorming with the team, ask questions, and document what went well and what didn’t. Discuss to find new techniques that could help in the next project.
These were the 7 common mistakes that can severely affect the success rate of a project. Please note them to make sure that you don’t make any of these mistakes in your next project. If you’re an aspiring project manager then refer here to learn how to crack PMP certification. Also, if you have made any of these mistakes, do tell us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!
Guest post author bio
This is Krishnamraj S, Senior Trainer for PMP, Agile, PRINCE2, MS Project, and ITIL, with over 21 years Of experience in project management and training. I’ve trained over 5000+ Professionals across the globe.