The Most Common Project Management Mistakes

Limited visibility, communication gaps and unclear goals are the three biggest causes of project failure.  And most of these arise because of simple and common mistakes that can easily be avoided. Let’s review them in detail.

  1. Not Understanding the Goals

One of the most common reasons that projects fail is unclear goals. Every single member on the team must know the primary goals, the outcomes of achieving them and the manner in which they contribute to success. If the team doesn’t understand why a project is being done in the first place, they likely won’t produce the required results.

Project managers often use the DUMB method, an abbreviation for Doable, Understandable, Manageable and Beneficial, for defining project goals. And this is done before the project officially starts.

  1. Not Following Clear Processes

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) lists down 49 processes. While you don’t have to use all of them, use at least as many as you can so that your project stays on track. Understand the project needs and requirements, and accordingly, figure out processes that you should use.

  1. Not Planning Resources Efficiently

Resource usage is one of the most influential factors for project success. But unfortunately, many managers don’t consider members’ expertise, strengths and weaknesses thoroughly when assigning tasks.  A team that doesn’t have the required skill set is actually a risk for the project.

So ensure that you build the right team, and when you do, assign them tasks through an efficient task management tool. In case, the right members aren’t available, you can even consider delaying the project if that allows you to meet the deadline comfortably.

  1. Not Communicating Effectively

Team communication is essential, but so is stakeholder communication. Understand their needs and accordingly, plan a communication strategy for them, containing stakeholder information, preferred communication medium and frequency.

  1. Not Using a Work Management Software

Project management tools increase productivity and efficiency, allowing all deliverables to be completed in a timely manner. The main purpose is to help you with project planning, execution, and monitoring. Regardless of the complexity levels or the duration, these tools allow you to track progress and ensure that resources are being used efficiently. So project communication is streamlined and visibility is increased.

Figure out the best project management tools for your business and needs, and then educate your team on them. They must be aware of all main features and benefits so that they utilize the software effectively.

  1. Not Managing Scope Creep

Scope creep is a common cause of project failure. Generally, it is initiated through a minor change request, which keeps on growing bigger and bigger. Some of the changes might be absolutely essential, but they should all be managed through the integrated change control process. Also, involve stakeholders in the planning process, sharing progress and asking for their feedback regularly.

All of the mistakes highlighted above can be avoided by coming up with a detailed project plan, formulating a communication strategy and using collaboration software and task management tools.