Some organisation’s projects have been unduly criticised for being poorly planned and managed and having unrealistic cost and time projections assigned to them.

Here I highlighted the most apparent mistakes in project management!

1.   Ineffective Communication:
Support from Stakeholders and Steering Committees is absolutely crucial to a project. This can only be achieved if communication is effective and appropriately targeted. Meet regularly, always keep them in the loop with quick and precise updates, have easy to read project reports and a well communicated share point of information.

2.   Matching resources to the wrong projects:
The matching up of resources to projects is one of the most important elements within project management and is viewed as being a critical stage for success. The matching process should ensure that the resources skills and/or abilities are able to reach the expectations set.

3.   Project Manager lacks the necessary experience required:
 Controlling the project is hard and it’s even harder if the project manager doesn’t have the experience to put behind the project. Experience in running project status meetings, managing risk and dealing with the project stakeholders are very important for the successful development and execution of a project.

4.   Project scope isn’t managed well:
It has been noted that at times there does tend to be no set procedure in place to manage a change in scope. A project manager should have a process in place if a change in scope is being made. This process should follow a set criteria for example: The individual that is requesting a change in scope needs to give details on the changes that he is proposing, from there the project manager needs to examine the impact that this change in scope will have on the budget and time constraints and then give his backing of the change in project scope.

5.   Poor scheduling:
A schedule is there for a reason and that is to ensure that a project doesn’t overrun and have a knock on effect on the subsequent projects. However this situation does find itself arising if the project manager sets unrealistic time schedules against projects. To avoid this domino-effect outcome a project manager needs to set the time schedule that will ensure there is enough time for the project to reach its defined goals whilst ensuring quality.

6.   I am the boss:
Not advisable for a project manager to go on a power trip and discourage his project team from making suggestions, however this situation does happen in organizations. Team members are probably the most aware of impending challenges or issues with a project through their day-to-day, hands-on involvement. By practicing the notion of “I am the boss” the project manager could ultimately end up with the project failing.

7.   Underestimating:
It is very important to start as you mean to go on when managing projects. By this I mean to have enough resources, time and budget assigned to a project before it gets off the ground. You need to be realistic in your thinking and ensure that you are not underestimating your needs from the get go.

8.   Overlooking Smaller details:
At times the smaller details within the projects can be overlooked and focus is put solely on the bigger ones. These smaller details could cost you and should be as important to the project manager.

9.   Ignoring problems:
Ignoring problems will only make them worse, so it is advisable to make room for these problems and develop a practical solution. It’s very easy to put off dealing with difficult issues, leaving them for another day, as project managers we shoud ‘eat that frog’ and tackle important problems head-on.

10. S.O.S:
If you don’t know something it is important that you ask for help. When you are project manager for a $1,000,000 project you need to put your ego to the side and call on someone. You are not expected to know every detail about everything, so don’t be afraid to stop and ask for help. Overconfidence could severely damage your reputation and your project.

11. Being a yes man/woman:
You don’t always have to say yes, saying no every so often is allowed and acceptable. A project manager and team members need to know when enough is enough and say no! Nobody can be expected to do everything they are asked. Work hard and concentrate on what you’re able to do.

12. Not implementing and following a process:
Having a process in place will give you structure and organization and decrease the chances of projects ruining into risk. Being aware of what needs to be done in order will ensure that the project is well executed.

13. Not dealing with mistakes:
Projects go wrong and sometimes fail; this may be your fault however it is important as a project manager to not dwell on the past and have it affect your current projects. You need to forgive yourself, learn from mistakes and ensure they won’t happen to subsequent projects.

14. Not knowing your team:
You need to know the experience, background, motivation, culture, etc of your team members especially if you deal with global programs where "merging cultures" is important. One needs to be a program leader in addition to being a program manager

15.  Lack of appreciation:
All project team members work very hard to meet deadlines and milestone dates. Don't forget to celebrate your team's achievements. Have a morning tea or Pizza and Drinks on a Friday after work. Any celebration will do, but do it!

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