A good plan is not enough. Project managers should know how to execute the plan well since dealing with different projects and teams at the same time may trigger some common mistakes. Although these mistakes are easily avoidable, they can make you get off-track and spend more time and money than necessary. Know what these mistakes are and learn how to keep far away from them.
1.) Underestimating the risks and the time frame – The actual project will never be the same as the one you planned. Moreover, there are parts of a project you can’t even plan ahead. Unexpected problems will appear and this may increase the amount of resources (including time and money) spent.
Tip: set realistic goals but also be prepare to a more pessimistic scenario. Have a margin that allows you be more flexible. The bigger is the risk, the larger should be this margin.
2.) Not accepting a problem when it appears – Beyond being prepared for unexpected risks, you have to accepted them when they become reality.
Tip: Review the project and track progess on a daily basis so every time a problem arises, you can quickly react and adapt your plan to accommodate the new variables of the game.
3.) Technical difficulties or lack of the right resources – Not having the right information, skills, people, tool, or even having conflicting schedules can push you away from acheiving or even properly setting your goals. Make sure you have everything you need before starting a project. Do not rush if you are waiting for something that is essential.
Tip: Ask for help - it will make it much easier for you figure out what is missing.
4.) Poor communication with clients and within your team – Keeping clear and honest communication with everyone involved in a project and giving them easy access to information is essential. Otherwise, trying to find a piece of information can be very stressful when you do not know where to look.
Tip: Use a web-based project management software like Function Point. It will allow you to store all the information you need in one place and give clients the ability to view relevant job and project information making your team much more collaborative and productive.
5.) Micromanagement – There is nothing worse than a project manager that does not trust that your team can deliver. Learn to delegate - you can NOT do everything by yourself. Delegation is the only way to keep focused on management of the project and acheiving the main milestones in your plan.
Tip: Do not jump in and take over tasks or items that you have assigned to others. Give your team the freedom and opportunity to show that it can meet your project milestone requirements, but always be avaible when they need your help.
I hope this blog post will be helpful in improving your project management skills. Feel free to leave any comments and stay tunee for more tips on creative management and workflow.