5 Silly Project Management Mistakes to Avoid



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: March 5, 2021

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Project Management is no piece of cake. It is not easy, or simple. The increasing wastage of funds (12.2% in 2016) invested in projects is a small testament to the hurdles faced in this tumultuous process. There are a million different factors that affect project completion. This is why it isn’t something that companies should take lightly.

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83% of senior executives attest that their organizations fully understand the value of project management. However, there is always room for project management mistakes, especially rookie mistakes which you’re warned about in Project Management 101.

Common Project Management Mistakes to take care of:

These simple project management mistakes continue to take projects down with them, and it’s exactly why you should be on their lookout, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem.

1. Not Establishing a Proper Communication Framework

30% of companies felt that poor/inadequate communication was one of the primary reasons their project failed. Clearly, despite all the advancements in communication technology, ineffective communication takes place on a daily basis in business. For collaborative project management, bad communication leads to bad collaboration which, you guessed it, leads ultimately to project failure.

What project teams should do, right from the outset, is define an appropriate communication framework that effectively brings all team members on board and helps them stay abreast of all the developments. Collaboration tools such as Trello or Basecamp, not to mention the most important tool in your arsenal: project management software, will help keep everyone on the same informed, connected, and on the same page.

2. Poor Resource Matching

When selecting members for your project teams, do you seriously consider whether a member has the appropriate skills to justify her role on the team? Or, do you simply make do with whoever is available? You’d be surprised to find how many organizations, faced with time and financial constraints, prefer to go the second route. When something so crucial is not done right, in the initial stages of the project, you can expect a multiplier effect of sorts that will carry over into the later stages of the project.

So, avoid this at all costs. It doesn’t matter how short on time or money you are. Steer away from selecting your project team in this manner. Everyone will be saved a lot of trouble and disappointment when the project does not fall through just because a team member clearly did not belong on the team.

3. Hiring Inexperienced Project Managers

In line with the previous point about getting the right people for your team. The right project manager is essential to the success of the project. There’s a reason project managers command an average salary of $80,854 in a year. Whether your organization is hiring internally or externally, project managers handling important or long-term projects for the firm must have a good deal of experience under their belts.

More importantly, the person chosen for the job should have relevant experience in order to understand and overcome the challenges associated with a specific project.

That is not to say that junior project managers should not be given a chance to shine. In fact, they might end up overshadowing the main project manager. But before the less experienced PMs are finally allowed to leave the kiddie table, they get to learn the ropes of the job under the guidance of the senior project manager, gaining valuable insight and knowledge.

4. Failure to Manage Change

Change is inevitable. And sometimes, it comes without any warning, at the drop of a hat. Your organization should be equipped to manage changes in project scope, instead of being rigid regarding every single point decided upon in the planning stage. Obviously, preventive measures should be taken to begin with.

Something as simple as investing in a good quality project management software has you covered on so many grounds, including change management. Defining the scope very clearly and outlining the changes that are most likely to occur in the course of the project is also recommended in order to have a rough idea of how to go about change management in case anything crucial actually undergoes a significant makeover.

5. Micro-management

Nobody likes a micromanager. More importantly, micro-management is counterproductive to productivity. Micromanaging would not only cause resentment and potentially, conflict, between the team members and the manager, but it would also slow things down.

Team members want to feel valued for their contributions towards the project, for the specific skills that they were chosen for. A micromanaging project manager comes across as being incompetent and unwilling to fully trust the employees’ abilities.

The project manager should focus on the big picture, and on keeping various stakeholders sufficiently updated about the project while having faith in the team members to deliver. If any snags do come up, they can be discussed in detail to find the right solution. Remember that your team members do not need to be babysat, they need a manager.

Bottom Line

There you go some basic project management mistakes that anyone who’s going to be part of a project in any role should be wary of. The simplest things might often become the biggest pain points at a later stage in the project. It’s best to take stock of them in the planning stage so as to avoid problems from the outset.

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