project manager

Project management revolves around maintaining predictability and mitigating risks. No matter what strategies you’re using, your primary task as a project manager is to ensure that your business project will go as planned. The best way to do this is to avoid the common mistakes project managers make as such may creep into your most well-planned projects and can break your success.

Below are some of the mistakes that most project managers make and how you can resolve them:

1. Not Using Integrated Tools

Business projects generate countless documents. They share information, track changes, and require meetings. All of these also require a record of activities that should be kept.

If you use the wrong tools, your project may turn into chaos. However, even when efforts are put into working with good tools, a silo mentality can prevent your team from thinking about how such tools will integrate with one another. So, when choosing tools like project management CRM, ensure they integrate well, so the records are kept and information is accessible by your team anytime.

2. Not Setting Clear Business Project Goals

The other common mistake project managers make is not setting clear goals. Once you forget to set specific goals, it can quickly derail even the most well-planned projects. In fact, inadequate goals or vision is one of the causes why projects fail.

Often, poor goal setting happens when there’s no consensus about the project’s success criteria or direction. An unplanned risk or a change in requirements may also cause projects to have unclear goals.

To set clear goals for your business projects, make sure to:

  • Involve your team members in goal setting. This may also help your remote workers feel connected with your business project.
  • Use records to recalibrate and evaluate goals. If you’ve handled similar projects previously, use their data to check whether your current goals are unrealistic or manageable.
  • Build consensus among stakeholders on the business project’s direction.
  • Ensure that your goals are relevant, specific, attainable, timely, and measurable.

3. Lack Of Visualization

Another common mistake that project managers make is not visualizing the entire process and monitoring the flow of every task. To ensure everything’s going according to plan, it’s crucial to determine which blockers may affect your timeline and track your progress.

With the use of various project management tools, there are various ways to do this. For instance, you can visualize your plans on a timeline or Gantt chart to track whether everything’s going according to plan. Once you pay importance to visualization, you’ll take better control of the process and provide you with knowledge of when you must step in or adjust the course.

4. Being Reactive And Focusing On Urgent Matters

One of the mistakes that project managers make is being too concerned with urgent matters instead of being proactive and dealing with the most essential ones. It’s human nature to respond to issues, requests, and queries. However, seeking urgent or short-term requests may not help your business project progress. To avoid this, focus on addressing the root causes and avoid being reactive.

5. Not Reporting Necessary Data

Any business project may run into a roadblock, and it’s often due to poor reporting. Sometimes, project managers see creating reports as a mundane task and typically forget to include the necessary data. For this reason, it leads to delayed projects and clueless stakeholders.

The best project status report must have the following components:

  • List of high-priority problems that require the attention of stakeholders along with the steps to resolve them.
  • List of risks and open issues, as well as a history of changes.
  • List of upcoming, recently completed, and current milestones along with their estimated and actual finish dates.

Make the status report with stakeholders in mind and keep it as short as possible. A couple of pages must be more than enough. If possible, use visualization and frameworks when prioritizing issues.

6. Focusing Budget Or Scope Over Quality

Typically, project managers get so focused on delivering projects under budget and on time that it becomes easy to value deadlines over the project’s quality. There are also project managers that focus on the deliverables and move to the next step without prioritizing delivering quality projects.

Project managers have to take note from their team and focus on a good process that enables them to deliver quality projects in a timely manner. It means engaging with the team to understand the value of quality deliverables and the long-term impact it’ll have on the project as well as the team.

7. Not Hiring The Right Team

These days, hiring team members isn’t only based on interviews, cover letters, and resumes. To achieve a successful business project, it’s wise to invest effort and time when hiring the right team. Unfortunately, some project managers skip this, and most end up dealing with problematic members in the long run.

If you want to avoid this mistake, you must hire team members who are fit for the job and can do their duties and responsibilities well. To find the best candidates, use a careful and methodic approach and don’t just rely on their resumes or cover letters.

8. Allowing Scope Creep

In project management, scope creep should be taken seriously. If not dealt with, it can turn your project into a failure. A good way to keep this mistake from happening is to make a big deal out of the change requests. Make a process to avoid impromptu change requests and help you analyze the impact on both budget and timeline.

9. Lack Of Communication

Good communication is crucial in any business project. However, some project managers let days go by without communicating with their team or clients. Once it happens, the project may fail sooner or later.

As a project manager, you need to ensure solid communication. If possible, have simple communication guidelines in place such as deliverable reviews and status check-ins. These will help you and your team feel motivated to meet the budget and scope expectations and work harmoniously.


Wrapping Up

Project management is never easy. More often than not, project managers should prioritize careful planning, judicious use of resources, and client management. Also, no matter what project management tools you use, mistakes may happen at any time. So, make sure to keep an eye on the above list to ensure that your business project will sail smoothly and do your best to avoid them.