As a project manager, there are always little hiccups that come along with different projects. Unfortunately, these problems can disrupt the entire project, causing delays and even a total failure in some instances.
The upside is that several of these mistakes are avoidable. Often times, problems can be avoided right from the start as well. Before you start your next project, keep in mind these 5 common project management mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Having the wrong team
Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of the team members for your project? Do they coincide with the needs of the project? If not, you could very easily have a problem on your hands.
An inability to match the appropriate team members with the right project can prove to be very harmful. Instead of choosing people based on who’s available, select people based on their skills and ability. The last thing you want to happen is to discover that your project requires a specific skill that nobody on the team has. Sometimes, it may even be worth paying a premium to get the highest qualified candidates.
2. Hiring an inexperienced project manager
A good project manager is essential. Experience will become an invaluable resource when issues start to develop throughout the project. An experienced project manager will know how to do all of the necessities such as:
- How to run status meetings
- How to develop a project plan
- How to evaluate and manage risks
- How to communicate with stakeholders
All of these factor into the successful completion of a project. This is also one of the reasons why more and more companies are requiring PMP® certifications for every project manager they hire. It proves they have real world experience, and will be able to handle the scope of their work.
3. Setting unclear objectives and KPI’s
Without knowing your objectives, or how to measure your progress, it’s nearly impossible to determine whether or not the project was a success or failure. Every member of the team should be able to clearly describe why you are doing what you’re doing, and what the ultimate goal of the project is. If everyone cannot do that, then there is potentially an issue.
4. Underestimating the necessary budget and time
When it comes to setting a budget and deadline for a project, how much is enough? Setting these numbers up requires more than just making an assumption or guessing. When you seemingly pick numbers out of thin air, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If you’re doing a project similar to something you have done in the past, you may have a better starting point. If it’s a foreign project that you’re inexperienced with, seek help and advice from people that have worked on a project that’s similar. Have data and research to support your proposed budget and time requirements.
5. Ignoring the team
If you are a project manager, one of the worst mistakes you can make is trying to do everything yourself. Always be open to, and encourage suggestions from other members of the team.
After shooting down several suggestions and ideas, team members will become discouraged from giving input, even when it is something that is crucial and necessary for the completion of the project. Involving team members makes them feel a part of the team, and gives them some stake in the success of the project. By ruling with an iron fist, your team members will not feel any responsibility for the project, and you will have to take on the weight of the entire project if it fails.
These mistakes can prove detrimental. Even if they don’t cause the project to fail, they can cause delays and other issues that are completely avoidable.