In the world of project management, there are many ways to go about managing a project you are working on. Getting started in the role of a project manager can be a difficult road to navigate. There are some common mistakes that project managers, both new and more experienced, make time and time again.
To help you be the best project manager you can be, here are some of the most common mistakes project managers make and ways to avoid them:
Absence of Leadership
Establishing a clear and logical team hierarchy, something essential to the success of a project, can be very difficult. For any project management team, there should always be someone at the top who has overall responsibility, as well as different levels of managers who should be defined from the beginning of the project so everyone knows who they are reporting to. A lack of leadership can hinder any project, particularly when roles are incorrectly assigned to individual members on the team. With a strong leader in place, the roles of the team can be clearly identified. When everyone knows their role, their responsibilities, and who they need to report to, the chances of the project being successful is much more likely.
Lack of Regular Communication
Communication is one of the most important factors in successful project management. It tends to be very easy to communicate at the beginning of a project and then stop communicating as the project continues. Without regularly and clearly communicating, the project will unravel. There are many project team members that get stuck in a rut by focusing on their responsibilities too narrowly. Therefore these team members become isolated and end up cut off from the overall sense of the project. A good solution for this is to schedule regular weekly project management meetings and to stick to that schedule. This will ensure everyone stays on the same page and keep the project going at a steady pace.
Not Being Flexible
Unforeseen events and other deviations from the plan are almost unavoidable. As a project manager, you have to learn to expect the unexpected, another crucial element for the success of the project. While you may want to rigidly adhere to your project management plan, you need to prepare for unexpected events as well as new information and suggestions that come up along the way. At intervals you will need to take a step back and get a fresh look on your overall project.
The key to being a good project manager is not to babysit your project too closely. A common project management mistake is treating your job as a project manager like an enforcer and police the team for progress and updates. You need to maintain a healthy level of communication with your team and at the same time, leave your team alone between those updates to work without feeling like they are being monitored too closely. During weekly updates you can continue to encourage them to vocalize any issues or delays in advance. Then you are creating a healthy level of communication as well as not forcing your team to feel micromanaged and become frustrated with their work.
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