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7 Common Project Management Mistakes – How Can You Avoid the Early Small Fires!

- By Girish Patil, 03 December 2020 | 5 MIN READ


Succinctly, the project management process means planning the work and then working on the plan. Much like a coaching staff who spend hours preparing winning plans for a game; the team then executes the plans to try to meet the objective—victory. Likewise, Project management involves a process of first instituting a plan and then executing that plan to accomplish the project objective.

Project management is an indispensable part of any organization small or big. The initiating processes determine the nature and scope of the project. This stage is most critical, if it is not performed well, it is unlikely that the project will be effective in meeting the business’ needs. Failure to do it right can be costly in so many ways; at best the project will suffer some minor delays and at worst, the project can fail entirely. Project managers want to make sure they bring their A-game strategy to each project by avoiding these seven mistakes at all costs:

1. No direction

A project with no clear objectives is hard to measure critical performance for success. With nothing to tell if the project is going the right way, failure is likely. Project managers need to come up with clear objectives and communicate to the team so each person in the team knows what they need to do to move the project ahead.

2. Not considering the initiation phase seriously

Before a project is initiated, everyone in the team needs to know what their roles and responsibilities will be. Missing out on the project kick-off meeting for either the team or individual can be disastrous in the long run. Though, many project managers avoid this crucial step, particularly when they are under pressure to produce quick results.

3. Under communication

Poor communication is one of the major project killers – Communication is vital, it is always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Make sure to communicate effectively to ensure that everyone in the team and outside the team is in the loop. 

4. Micromanaging has never been a good idea

Micromanaging kills motivation in team members, by doing this you can even trigger a rebellious behavior. People don’t like working under a microscope. A project manager should always trust the team(s) to do the work – let them make decisions and own up to them.

5. Not doing a risk analysis

It’s never a good idea to skip risk analysis, thinking everything will go off without a hitch. It is purely unrealistic to think that a project will not run into some delays, interruptions somewhere during its lifespan. By doing a risk analysis of things that can go wrong, project managers can plan ahead of unexpected alterations instead of panicking that things aren’t going according to plan.

6. Not listening to team members – You’re not your team!

Project management is pure teamwork where the project manager is the leader. Project managers should open the floor to team member suggestions that could help the project run efficiently. A project manager who rubbishes most of the suggestions from team members will no wonder establish an authority but communicate distrust from his/her team members.

7. Inaccurate time and budget estimations

Time and money are the major resources that are subject to incorrect estimations. Project managers must use a bottom-up approach when reckoning time and budget to not miss the mark. For a project manager who is doing that kind of project for the first time, it will be a good idea to consult others that have successfully delivered in the past.

Finally, Project management is the thin red line between a successful project and a failed one. When blunders are made, the project can be negatively impacted in a major way. If you are choosing a career in project management, be on the lookout for the above-mentioned lapses – be sure to avoid them at all costs.


The Author is a Project Manager in Narayana Group of Educational Institutions, Hyderabad




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