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How to be the world’s worst Project Manager

Posted on May 30, 2016 4:00 pm;

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By Rebecca Langdon


Unfortunately some Project Managers just don’t have what it takes to be successful. In fact some

Project Managers are so bad they could compete for the world’s worst Project Manager. Whilst I am

writing this blog with a level of jest, these negative characteristics and traits are too often exhibited

by PMs. Here are my top 5.


1- Alienate resources

The Project Manager has responsibility to manage a number of resources within the Project. Being

rude, withholding information, or micromanaging, will very likely lead to alienating those resources

and making them less likely to contribute in a positive way to the project.


2- Not learning from past failures

Everybody makes mistakes and a key way to improve is to learn from those mistakes with an aim not

to repeat them. Avoid being closed off to learning from prior mistakes, or thinking that you are too

perfect to make a mistake in the first place!


3- Keeping key milestone dates to yourself

This is one of the worst mistakes, and is one of the quickest ways to cause Project failure.

Communication of key milestones to project resources and stakeholders as far in advance as

possible is of primary importance.


4- Ignoring key documentation

Project Managers have a set of key documents which should be created at the correct points in the

Project. The PM should be creating Project Initiation Documents, a RACI, risk register, meeting

minutes, and many other artefacts. The PM’s job is to create these documents, and if they don’t,

they are not doing their role properly.


5- Being lazy and negative

Being lazy and negative are not good traits for any professional, however it is particularly damaging

when a Project Manager displays these characteristics. A Project Manager has lots of balls to juggle,

so being lazy won’t work. Within the project scope the Project Manager will need to manage a

number of resources. If the PM is negative, that will undoubtedly permeate the project team, and

undoubtedly set it up for failure.


These are my top 5, and unfortunately the list could go on. I am sure you could think of many more

examples of bad traits you have seen in other Project Managers - by recognising those you can use it

to avoid falling into the same trap! Set yourself up for SUCCESS!

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