Ten of the Biggest Mistakes Made by Project Managers

No matter who you are or what your profession is, everyone makes mistakes. A mistake in some professions can be as simple as re-making a meal. It can make the difference between saving a life or losing it. A project management error can be serious depending on the industry or project. It can lead to lost time, money, or even trust. There are simple solutions to the most common mistakes made by project managers. If you are wondering how to avoid future mishaps and scratching your head, keep reading.
1. Expectations that are not managed properly
It’s okay for you to spell things out. (Explain your intent. It’s easy for project managers to assume that their clients or team know exactly what’s within their scope and when it will be delivered. We have project plans and scope documents to communicate these things. Unfortunately, many project managers find these documents are not always sufficient. Talk about them if you want everyone to expect the same things. This is the right thing to do! Talk about scope, deliverables and timing early in the project. This will allow you to set expectations and you’ll need it to continue. You’ll be in great shape if you have an open and ongoing dialogue about the project.
2. Communication problems
It’s okay for you to interrupt the project silence. (Just have a valid reason. Do you want to ruin your project’s timeline, budget, and morale. Talk to no one. Communication is key to any successful project. If you don’t communicate with your clients or your team for days, or if you don’t at least facilitate good conversation, your project will go off the rails. Solid communication is key to avoiding awkward client deadline talk. You’ll feel more engaged if you have clear communication guidelines, such as regular status checks-ins, deliverable reviews and team temperature checks. This will make it easier for you and your team to work together to meet budget and scope expectations.
3. Allowing scope creep
It’s okay to let some scope slip from time to time. (Just make sure you have a good reason and a limit. We’ve all been there. A new feature appears and it seems great. Your client wants to revise your design because they aren’t happy. We let things slide, and suddenly you’re over budget. It is important to control scope creep from the beginning. Be clear about the reasons for your project’s budget and follow it. If you let things slip, inform your client and team about it. Don’t let it happen again. You want more tips on how you can avoid scope creep? You can find Chapter 4 in our Guide to Project Management.
4. Relying too heavily on tools
Tools are wonderful! They do a lot of work for us and make our plans very readable. You’ll fail if you rely on these tools to do the job of a project manager. You can do the job that any tool can. No function can replace the hard work required to create a plan, track a budget, and report on your progress. Because you are a good project manager, you can think critically about the long-term trajectory of your project. You can identify risks and take steps to mitigate them. You use tools to organize your thoughts and provide quick access to reports.
5. Being impersonal
It’s okay for you to be yourself. It’s boring because you never get the chance to get to know them. Maybe it’s because they don’t have personalities. It’s how it feels to work with someone completely unrelated. One argument could be made that if someone isn’t comfortable with you, it will be difficult to work with them. Be yourself, be friendly. You will enjoy getting to know yourself.