With project management, it’s all in the project planning techniques. You will need to prepare to adapt your schedule as things move along – obviously you can’t control everything (and everyone!) and things rarely go to plan but setting off on the right foot will ultimately give your project the best chance of success.
Here are 5 of the most commonly made mistakes to be mindful of so you can begin to brush up on your planning techniques:
The end is nigh
The most important and surprisingly overlooked question in many project managers courses is when will the project need to be delivered? Poor project management is missing deadlines and trying to pin the failure on someone else because the ultimate responsibility rests on you. Strategic planning involves knowing your deliverables and being able to lead properly; communicating a sense of urgency to your team members who should have clearly defined roles.
The temptation to micromanage
There is nothing worse than a boss who is always looking over your shoulder and wasting time on trifling details to make you feel inadequate, mistrusted and unappreciated. As a project manager your job is to be an effective leader and this means being able to let go where necessary and trust your team to do their work. Perfectionism and project scope creep are two of the biggest headaches to threaten your timeline and the atmosphere of the people you work with.
Refusal to use planning tools
We live in the modern age of technology and it is vital to use planning aids to keep everyone and everything on track. If you don’t have a sense of cohesiveness then how can you expect people to know what they are doing and when? A good planning tool enables everyone to literally work from the same page with just one glance with adjustments made when necessary. This cuts out a lot of unnecessary time that can be wasted by people endlessly coming to you regarding the status of the project thus adding to project creep and rising frustration amongst your team. The right tool is an essential part of the right project planning techniques.
Calling endless meetings
You do, of course need to relay important information to all those involved with the project and it’s also important to speak up if you don’t agree with everything the client has to say. After all; you ARE the project manager and you should be qualified and experienced enough to point out any flaws but there is no need to constantly hold meetings when there is nothing new to say.
Not having empathy
People are not machines. They have thoughts and feelings of their own and may need your support and understanding when they have trouble understanding a task, are experiencing a personal problem that affects their work or struggling with any number of the conditions that make us human. Treating your staff as valued members will ensure they repay you tenfold.