10 Project Management Mistakes that could Risk your Job
There are numerous project management mistakes that could risk your job. These mistakes are common with project managers, and put the success of a client's project at a risk. Here, we list 10 project management mistakes that may cause your professional credibility to be tarnished and lead to loss of occupation as a project manager. We also list ways to go around these mistakes.
1. Working without Prior Experience:
One of the biggest project management mistakes is dealing with an inexperienced project manager. Taking charge of a project is hard and requires patience, dedication and some important skills. It can be very daunting, hence it needs project managers who are steadfast and know how to act quickly, in case of any fluctuation in the progress of the project. This varies with the complexity of the project.
Projects with more complex activities and those with more than 10 members require a project manager with experience in matters ranging from conducting meetings to dealing with risks and project's expectation. A good project manager possesses technical expertise in the any technology that is employed by the project.
Do not compromise on the project managers' skills when it comes to executing projects activities. It is important to choose a project manager whose skills match that of the project since an inadequately trained or inexperienced project manager will doom the project success. The bottom line is to hire the relevant people to do the delegated duties, as opposed to micromanagement.
2. Poor Project Scheduling:
Another huge project management mistake is poor project scheduling. Scheduling is important since it helps the project to stay on course and finish on time. Hence, it is a crucial measure for project success. Project managers need to be keen when scheduling tasks depending on their chronological order. They should also ensure that all the project stakeholders stay informed about the project timeline and changes that may occur in the process of executing the project.
3. Unclear Scope:
Another project management mistake that could risk your job is an unclear project scope. Clarity in the project scope is essential to the success of the project in that it allows the project manager to concentrate on the important facets of operation while cutting off unnecessary activities. Unclear scope diverts the focus of the project from its goals and objectives over time.
A good project scope should be carefully planned and should contain the goals and constraints of the project, the resources to be used and whether they will be sourced either internally or externally. Moreover, the scope should be generic and subject to interpretation. It crucial that when creating a project scope, all project team is involved, since they have knowledge and skills that will help to turn around the scope of the project. The project statement agreed upon by the team members will form a basis over which future decisions with regards to the project will be made.
4. Ignoring Team Mistakes:
Ignoring the mistakes made by the team running the project is a rookie mistake that can cause a project manager to lose their job. As human beings, members of the team may err. However, letting mistakes to get overboard can lead to the project ending up as a fiasco, since the team members learn to sweep their mistakes under the carpet. In the long run, it will be the fault of the project manager if the overlooked mistakes were propagated to other areas of the project hence leading to failure.
As a remedy, a project manager should be able to spot the mistakes made by specific team members and deal with them immediately in a diplomatic and positive manner. Failure to address mistakes will lead to a culture where members take mistakes as normal and will no longer care about quality of the job done. The accumulation of mistakes over time will lead to a higher chance of the project being a failure altogether.
To a project manager, the success of the project is a priority. The decisions made may sometimes not get support from all the team members or even a well-run project. It is critical that the project scope be well spelt out in such a wall that it explains how to deal with mistakes. The team members should also be informed about the consequences of their actions.
5. Insufficient Support from the Concerned Parties:
To get the project moving ahead, it is important to look for support from all the concerned parties, starting from the top management to the manual labor employees. The project manager should communicate with every team player about their roles in making the project a success.
The reason for this is that employees always tend to do what they are allocated, or anything that will keep them relevant to the task at hand. They should therefore be aware of the objectives of the project and their progress thus far, not to mention the knowledge of what they are required to do to accelerate the process of realizing the milestones of the project in time.
6. Biting Too Much:
There is a saying that you should not bite more than you can chew. This applies to project management in that there is need to do a few projects at a time. If a project manager drives too many competing projects at a go, there is a high risk that there would be depletion of resources, both in terms of personnel as well as time and money.
The remedy to this is that the project manager should focus on a few simultaneous projects at a go.
7. Insufficient Communication:
Lack of communication between different parties involved in a project can lead to impending failure or poor execution of a project. Everyone on the team should be up to date with the project status and what they are required to be doing at every stage of the development of the project.
A remedy to this is setting aside some time for meeting every week, to ensure that everyone is up to speed with the progress.
8. Overreliance on Optimistic Deadlines:
The problem with providing tight deadlines is that the projection often overlooks the amount of work that is required to be done in order to beat the deadlines. This causes people to feel pressured as the deadlines draw near, which may lead to incidences of apathy where everyone seems to be busy but there is no progress being registered since everyone is burnt out.
To counter this, the project manager should set realistic deadlines which will allow optimum performance among the team players.
9. Using the wrong Team for the Project:
Bringing in a team which does not know the responsibilities or have unsustainable approaches to solving the problems in the project is akin to destroying your credibility as a project manager. The trick is to get a team with the right credentials.
10. Improper Management of the Project Risk:
If there are no measures to mitigate risk that may befall the project, it may lead to the realization of these risks and hence derailing the progress of the project. The answer to this problem is to get enough insurance for different aspects of the project.
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