As a newcomer to the world of Project Management you will, of course, do everything you can to avoid making the common mistakes that can beset a novice PM. If you’re lucky, you may well have the experience of a Project Manager mentor working with you, that you can refer to to help you to avoid making the common PM mistakes. However, if as a novice Project Manager you find yourself working on your own with minimal support – what are those common PM mistakes that you really should avoid?
Management mistakes to avoid.
Don’t try and be too tight with the deadlines you set, your maxim should be to succeed – which could be seriously hampered by setting time-lines that are too tight and lead to shoddy work or failures. Along a similar line, always be prepared to step back and evaluate how well the project is progressing. If you spot any issues then adjust the plans for the next stage to accommodate them. The next two mistakes to avoid follow on from each other. Firstly you mustn’t become involved in trying to micro-manage everyone and everything but, at the same time, you do need to ensure that you can effectively audit the whole project. Finally here, don’t become over reliant on your PM software tools. PM software is very useful – but at the end of the day all sorts of things can, and will, happen to disrupt the smooth running of your computer models. So, always be prepared to rely on your intuition and not fall in to the trap of believing everything that the computer tells you.
People mistakes to avoid.
Always make sure you have the right person for any particular job. One of the cardinal errors for the PM is to appoint someone to doing a job that they’re not really up to. Also, if you can’t motivate people you’ve made a serious mistake in taking on a PMs role, if you can’t get everyone working with enthusiasm and to maximum efficiency on the project – it’s time to go. Similarly, you must be able to communicate effectively with all levels of staff/personnel you work with. Having poor inter-personal skills is a serious defect and mistake for the PM. Remember too that the project isn’t yours – but belongs to the excutive(s) that you’re working for. So don’t forget to include them in the ‘ownership’ of the project and keep them fully informed about any developments. Finally, regarding people mistakes to avoid, never forget to congratulate your staff and be appreciative of their work when a task is going well or is completed.