There are no two identical projects, at the same time all projects seem to suffer of similar problems.
Even the best project manager can, in case of important tasks, particularly long-lasting or if subjected to continuous requests for updates, fall into common errors that could lead a task to fail.
These frequent mistakes in managing projects can be avoided if you make a continuous analysis of your way of work and team health.
Commons problems, faced by every manager, can be grouped into 5 different types:
Mistake #1 Wrong Planning
The most common mistake in managing a project and certainly the one with the greatest impact is the wrong planning.
Starting from an in-depth analysis of your own internal processes is crucial. A correct identification of the activities, their duration, the dependencies and the effort that each of them requires will help you to identify a realistic task end date and to avoid critical stages. Tasks that start with a wrong planning, often too optimistic, generally suffer of great delays and frustration for the whole team.
A typical example is to repeat the error of selling a product at a certain cost, maybe to be competitive, despite the fact that it uses more resources than expected, so, without having a clear idea of how much it costs to your company. The solution could be to use a Gantt chart tool and templates that you can refine over time, this will help you improving your analysis, step by step. Ask your resources to describe in details the work done to create a knowledge base on which you will be able to make predictions increasingly consistent with reality.
Mistake #2 Priority Vs Emergency
As a project manager, you should have always clear the progress of your activitites, which are in late and on which you need to focus on your energy. Instead, your resources often find themselves involved in multiple tasks, with different managers, different habits, which make their organization very complicated.
Clearly highlighting their priorities is essential to ensure that they do not work by emergency, simply supporting the most demanding or pressing project manager. The analysis of priorities must be done with all the managers working with your team. The choice must be made by mutual agreement and respected by all without interference, the list of priorities consulted by the team must be valid and always updated.
Mistake #3 Broken Communication
Mistake #4 It’s Your Responsability
The responsibility is certainly on the project manager’s shoulders and for this reason you could often make the mistake of not trusting your collaborators always wanting the last word on every decision. It is actually known that delegating phases and therefore making the team responsible increase productivity significantly, the only precaution to be taken will be to have a solid communication with frequent meetings in order to recognize immediately if a phase is late or on a wrong path. Trust your team, it is the basis for the success of every project.
Mistake #5 Paper Management
We often underestimate how a project management software can help a work group to manage activities. A common mistake in management is to rely on a simple list of excel, maybe not shared, absolutely not usable to increase the productivity of individual resources, an aid that in reality turns out to be ineffective and obsolete. The latest project management software includes advanced features that drastically lighten people’s workload. A tool like Twproject, for example, includes interactive Gantt, prioritizable to-do lists, task chats and customizable dashboards. Features that will help you solve each of the problems listed above.
Probably reading this post you’ve found yourself in one of these descriptions, I hope not in all of them 🙂 however, do not miss the next 5 in-depth post in which we will analyze one by one these errors with practical suggestions to avoid them.