Monday, April 15, 2013

Six Project Management Blunders to Avoid

Today, we work in a world that is highly dependent on transparency and shared responsibility. These days, project management is as necessary a skill for virtually anyone in agile business. But, according to, there are six common project management mistakes that you should keep from getting in the way of your project success.

1. Too many projects
It may be tempting to create a great team, build a schedule and push project after project through a smooth assembly line-type process. But juggling so many projects at once puts quality at risk. According to Forbes, “Our brains just aren’t equipped for multitasking tasks that require brainpower. Our short-term memories can only store between five and nine things at once.”

2. Lack of clarity
One of the biggest culprits is one of the easiest things to avoid: ambiguity. Lack of clarity leads to miscommunication, misdirection, repetition, missed deadlines, and eventually failure. If you’re creating the outline, be clear in your directives. If you’re handling just one piece of the puzzle, ask questions and be clear about priorities.

3. No credit
When someone works hard on a project, exceeds every expectation, drives a project forward, comes up with great ideas and beats deadlines, they appreciate being acknowledged. Since we’re all acting as PMs, it might not be clear who’s responsible for doling out props, but we all are. If someone helps you get the job done, letting them know you appreciate will retain their support.

4. Wrong focus
We know times are tough, but times are always tough. There is never extra budget, there’s not more time and everyone is too busy. But every ideal circumstance in the world won’t save a project if the wrong person is managing it.

5. Workflow inconsistency
Different departments approach projects from different perspectives. The tools necessary to completing projects can change frequently and quickly. If teams aren’t kept up to date with different approaches and changes aren’t communicated to key players, structures dissolve, time is wasted and frustrations explode. 

6. Too late for risk management
Starting projects is all about setting goals and planning the steps to achieve them. Gathering resources, mapping out assignments, and analyzing budgets are all priorities on the to-do list. While there’s some discussion of roadblocks, they’re not always assessed. Before a project ends up in crisis, consider who has a stake in decisions and who has the final say over changes. It is key to develop contingency plans, and cushion resources to lessen the impact of any potential mishaps.

Want to learn more about project management? Project World & World Congress for Business Analysts (PW&WCBA) blends practical learning, skill building, big picture thinking and leadership training for a holistic approach to developing managers into leaders without the commercialism that you experience at other events. Whether you are looking to sharpen your toolkit, grow as a leader or benchmark against peers by swapping stories of success and failure, PW&WCBA is comprehensive enough to deliver it all.

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