Project management is a challenging and often misunderstood profession. This can be especially true for new project managers who need help knowing where to start or what to do.
Some project management myths just aren't true. Project management is a complex discipline, and there are many different ways to accomplish it. This can make it difficult for people to choose the right project approach.
Some project management myths are just not true; others may be true in certain circumstances but not others. You should consider the factors that apply to each project before determining how best to manage them. That's why it's so important that we debunk these common myths about project management. Here are the five most common myths about project management:
Myth #1: Project Management Software is All You Need.
If you're starting to see the value of using project management software, it's important to know what it can and cannot do. Project management software is a great tool for managing projects, but it's not a cure-all. If you rely too heavily on your PM software and don’t pay attention to other important aspects of project management, you'll be left with some glaring holes in your process that could cost you time and money down the road.
One way to ensure this doesn't happen is to use tools together: keep track of tasks in your project management software while tracking them on paper, whiteboards, or monitors around the office. This will allow everyone involved in the project—from team members to stakeholders—to keep everyone up-to-date about where everything stands at any given time.
Myth #2: The Project Manager Does Everything.
It's a common misconception that the project manager does everything. It’s often assumed that the project manager is responsible for every aspect of a project—from writing the proposal and managing stakeholders to actual implementation. This is simply not true!
It’s important for organizations to understand that a good project manager can only be expected to be an expert at some work involved in a project (e.g., engineering or design). Instead, they provide leadership and guidance to the team working on projects to get things done without wasting time or money on unnecessary tasks.
Myth #3: It's Not Worth the Effort to Plan.
You can't just wing it. Planning is an essential part of project management, and the value of planning for a project and your career as a project manager cannot be overstated.
Even if you don't have to write a formal plan for your next assignment, taking the time to lay out what needs to be done will help you get started on a clear path to success. And that's something every project manager should strive for!
Myth #4: Project Management is Like Herding Cats
Project management is not like herding cats. If you're a project manager, I'm sure you've heard that expression. You likely chuckle when you hear it because, well... it's funny. But let me tell you: if this is how people think of your job and your career, it will not help you do your best work or get the recognition and appreciation for what you do that’s due.
I can tell you from experience that many different personalities are involved in any project. And there are so many different expectations of what should happen. In addition, there are always goals—and they are rarely all aligned! So saying “I want to herd cats” isn't going to help anyone understand the complexity of what we do on any given day at work (unless those cats are at our offices every day).
Myth #5: Project Management is Boring.
Project management is not boring. Project managers are often more creative and innovative than their peers. They need to be because they are problem solvers and leaders constantly thinking about the future. With every day will come new challenges. Project managers don't just execute plans and assign tasks—they build teams that thrive on communication, creativity, innovation, and dedication to their goals.
Project management is not as difficult or boring as some people might think. With the right tools and techniques, you can make your project a success.
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