The project manager is one of the most reputed designations in every industrial sector. Whether it is the IT industry, retail, or manufacturing, project managers take the responsibility of finishing every kind of project with success and delivering the best-in-class products and services. Companies pay high salaries to project managers since they know that such professionals are the backbone of every complex project they take up. There are many issues a team has to face while working on short-term as well as long-term projects. Given a highly skilled project manager, these issues are solved effectively and companies get the desired results from that project. But what if project managers commit some mistakes?
The prestigious Project Management Institute (PMI) releases its Pulse of the Profession report every year. According to the Pulse of the Profession 2020 survey, an average 11.4 percent of investment is wasted due to poor project performance. Moreover, the companies that undervalue project management as a strategic competency for driving change reported an average of 67 percent more of their projects failing outright. If you wish to know the amount of financial loss, here’s what the Pulse of the Profession 2018 survey mentions – organizations worldwide waste $1 million every 20 seconds, which amounts to roughly $2 trillion wasted annually. This alarming fact evidently points to the need for highly skilled project managers for every organization.
You can now understand how much a mistake by a project manager can cost. Managers tend to make mistakes when they are not properly trained. If they invest some time in a valuable project management course and gain the right skills, they can avoid making huge mistakes. This article lets you know what are the common mistakes project managers usually make and how can they be avoided.
Five Common Project Management Practices
Whether you have recently stepped into a project management role or already have some experience in the field, you should be aware of these mistakes and how they hamper the overall productivity of the team.
Poor resource management
When the project manager takes ownership of a project, he divides the assigned work among his team members. It is usually seen that these tasks are handed over without checking the skill set of each member. This results in members getting tasks for which they don’t have enough qualification or expertise. As such, team members face difficulty in completing those tasks on time. Apart from technical expertise, project managers often overlook the personality, soft skills, and values of team members before deciding their work. This step is important to ensure better team collaboration and increased productivity.
Ambiguity in project goals
Before starting any project, the project managers have to ensure that the project goals are clearly defined and the team members understand them appropriately. Often, project managers fail to do so and team members have confusion regarding what is expected from them. Lack of transparency regarding these goals do not make the team members feel involved in the project and their deliverables fail to meet the desired outcome. Bringing clarity at a later stage hampers the team’s motivation and causes delays in the project.
Not taking regular follow-ups
Once the tasks are assigned to the team, it is important for project managers to check with the team members regularly and understand if they are facing any issues. Lack of communication between the team and project manager often leads to chaos and poor performance. Team members lack a sense of accountability and do not complete tasks on time if consistent follow-ups are not taken by the project manager. On the other hand, conducting too many meetings is also not recommended, or else the team members feel burdened.
Ignoring risk assessment
Risk analysis is something that many project managers do not take as a priority and sometimes skip it entirely. When project managers fail to take into account the situations where the project may deviate from the plan or unexpected changes coming up beforehand, they end up making wrong decisions. A risk mitigation strategy should always be developed so that the team members can follow effective steps in case a risk event occurs. In fact, the PMI has asserted in its popular PMBOK Guide that conducting a risk analysis is crucial during the planning phase of the project lifecycle.
Wrong time and budget estimations
This is one of the critical mistakes project managers make. Proper planning is required to decide the budget required for the project and to decide deadlines for the deliverables. Project managers who avoid using the right strategies and tools to clearly make cost estimations often find themselves in situations where the entire budget is exhausted even before the project completes. Similarly, realistic timelines need to be fixed for every task, the delay in which even results in more spending.
Avoid These Mistakes with Proper Training
Mistakes occur throughout the project lifecycle by project managers as well as project managers. However, we can reduce them by giving proper project management training. Especially for project managers, there is a industry-recognized credential called the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification which makes them capable of handling simple to complex projects and bringing them to successful completion. Offered by PMI, this certification helps professionals gain a thorough understanding of project management and all of the phases of a project lifecycle. You’ll also learn how to avoid the above mentioned and other mistakes and do not affect the progress of your project.
Achieving the PMP certification requires dedicated study and passing the PMP exam after becoming eligible to apply for it. There are some reputed training providers whose courses are aligned with the syllabus covered in the PMP exam and teach you everything from scratch. Learning from the industry experts will ensure that you have an in-depth knowledge of all the important project management concepts so that you can pass the PMP exam in a single try. Thereafter, you will become a successful project manager and make minimal mistakes in all the projects you handle.