5 Mistakes That Project Managers Make
IT executives have tons of projects to manage on an everyday basis. With the added load, come added problems. While no two projects can be exactly the same, the issues that can arise with projects
IT executives have tons of projects to manage on an everyday basis. With the added load, come added problems. While no two projects can be exactly the same, the issues that can arise with projects can be quite similar. Often, projects end up taking more time and more money than expected, even with the help of project management software.
Big projects, especially those with fussy clients can often be very difficult to manage. Constant requests for changes can be overwhelming, and the sheer volume of projects can at times get quite intimidating.
While we cannot tell you how to clean up your projects and make them perfect within a time frame, we can tell you about some common mistakes that IT executives and project management professionals make, even the best ones! Here are some of the common mistakes, and also how you can avoid making them in your career.
1. Learn to break down big projects into small pieces:
Big projects can be overwhelming at times, even for the most competent team. In order to make things seem less intimidating, it is important to break down big projects into small, manageable tasks. By breaking down a near impossible project, each individual team member gets a certain task assigned to them, which seems less intimidating and more manageable. With each task assigned to a competent team member, the task is completed in a much smoother manner without anyone feeling out of their league.
2. Clearly define each individual project:
As we all know too well, no two projects can be exactly the same. However, many managers tend to hand out projects to their teams without clearly defining the goals, challenge and outcomes of the project. Just like any other task in life, it is much easier to go about a project once these parameters have been clearly defined. Create a realistic timeline with your team regarding milestones that you want to reach in the project within a stipulated time. It is also important to define an outcome; a goal that you wish to reach by the end of the project. Talk about the challenges you can face as a team and as an individual, and how to tackle such challenges. Clearly defining these parameters at the start of every project helps you sail smoothly through the rest of the journey.
3. Always use a project management tool:
Many project managers can get the feeling that using a project management tool is simply a luxury and can be done without. However, this is a grave mistake. A good project management tool such as Trello or Asana can help keep your projects on track. Complementary to the previous point made, project management tools make it easier to clearly define each project.
It lets you know at what pace you are moving forward in a project, as well as helps identify opportunities where you can opt for greater efficiency. It also helps you spot any mistakes or shortcomings of every individual project, helping you stay in the right track and steering you in the right direction. Every member of the team is notified upon any changes taking place in the project, so that no errors take place due to someone being left behind.
4. Learn to adjust your game when things go wrong:
Every project manager is well acquainted with the fact that despite all the right tools being used, the best strategies applied and top team work established, projects can sometimes go wrong, or even fail. However, a common mistake made by some project managers is trying to salvage a project that is heading for doom. The fear of failure is real and it is a constant fear in the minds of managers. However, it is essential for project managers to take guidance of a vehicle that provides them and stakeholders with a transparent picture.
If a certain strategy or course of action is simply not working with a project, it is important for a project manager to know when it is time to change path. Giving up is definitely not an option, however, being stubborn with a certain course of action which is not working is also a path leading to eventual doom. Adjust resources, budgets and delivery expectations to complement each project.
5. Keep all lines of communication open:
Lack of good, open communication between a team and their project manager is a sure shot recipe for disaster. The best way to be effective without being overbearing is to master the art of communication; by communicating with the right people! Take advantage of technology; utilize video calling, online chats, and share documents with all team members to ensure that every one is on the same page. Allow each individual of the team to feel confidence to shoot you with questions, queries and doubts.
Avoiding these 5 mistakes can be crucial for your projects as a manager. While these mistakes are ever-too-common, these tips should help you avoid them and help you move forward. In this regard, going for CSM certification can prove to be highly effective, as it will make you a better project manager.