Just like many other positions, project managers get better when they have cultivated skills that enable them to perform their job in a competent manner. Another part of the equation is experience. Inexperienced project managers may make certain mistakes that seasoned veterans have learned to avoid. Learn about at least four of these mistakes that could doom your projects, so you can be on the lookout for them.
The Need for Experience
Everyone has to learn. A project manager will never reach a certain level of excellence unless they cut their teeth on some real projects. What high-level decision makers and business owners must realize is when they need experience and when they can allow a novice to step in and gain knowledge.
A good measuring stick to use is based on the size of the project. Smaller projects provide opportunities for managing teams, dealing with clients and even making mistakes. Budgets are smaller and so are the teams. High-level decision makers or another sponsor can take more of a co-leadership role to assist as much as the project manager needs until they are comfortable. Larger, more complex projects usually require someone who has experience on several projects of various sizes.
4 Mistakes that Doom Projects
Mistakes can be referred to as “speed bumps”. Speed bumps, like the ones in parking lots, are there to remind us to slow down and pay attention to what is going on. Within the project management world, they warn of possible mistakes that can happen and ruin your project. Ruin sounds harsh, but even one unrecognized speed bump can lead to missed deadlines, going over budget, dissatisfied clients and revamping of the objectives and milestones when most of the work has already been completed.
- Ignoring key stakeholders – These are the clients, in most situations. They are the ones who have a vested interest in the outcome of the project. Regular communication involves them as well as your team members and high-level decision makers. Assuming you know their wishes never ends well for your project. Key information could be missed when these people are ignored.
- Creating a plan without any cushion for the unexpected – Avoid tight timeframes. This is especially important in places where tasks overlap with others and more than one person is involved. When deadlines start to pass unmet, team members get frustrated.
- Avoiding confrontation for fear of upsetting team members – As the project manager you have a clear role as the leader. Team members will respect that. Reiterate timelines and deadlines and involve the team member in the resolution process to get the project back on track.
- Failing to complete a project evaluation – To examine a project after completion brings insight that can benefit all team members including the project manager. How did everyone perform? How did you perform?