By Rebecca Langdon
You will not be surprised for me to tell you that Project Managers make mistakes – of course they do – they are only human. These mistakes are unfortunately fairly common and simply having awareness of them can make it easier to avoid.
- Mismanagement of project scope
Whilst project scope should be clearly defined at the beginning of a project, we recognize that project change may be necessary. However, there should be a clear change management process in place which is carefully reviewed for dependencies. One of the most common mistakes is allowing additional requirements to come into scope causing scope creep, when proper due diligence has not been completed.
- Mismanagement of resources
A project will usually have a team of resources, some fully assigned to the project and others who work on it part time. Within that team you will have a mix of skill sets. There is usually scope throughout the life of the project to vary the profile of the resources. The first mistake PM’s make is to not optimally use the resources they have, and the second mistake they make is to not review the resources they need periodically against the plan and adjust accordingly.
- Lack of feedback
If a team is to evolve and become more productive, there should be an environment where feedback can be shared and there is a process for learning what went badly, and what went well, and embedding that into future processes. This is something sprint teams are very good at as they incorporate this into their process via retrospectives. If a culture of feedback is not developed there is no environment for growth.
- Poor communication
A Project Manager is there to manage the team, and a key part of that is to ensure that there is the right type and frequency of communication both within the team and to stakeholders. Surprisingly, one of the most common mistakes made by PM’s is either not communicating themselves and/or not ensuring communication within and outside of the team.
- Bad attitude
The project manager is there to manage, but this does not give them carte blanche to go on an ego trip, with it being their way or the highway. Project Managers should be collaborative and encourage input and discussion.
Being a Project Manager is all about coordinating a set of resources to achieve a particular outcome. It is a role where if the basics are not done right, the project will quickly be impacted. It is however a really interesting role, and one that you can gain an accreditation in called the PMP.