Here are five common mistakes project managers make, and tips on how to avoid them:
- React to variance: One week of variation, unless huge, is not going to make or break a project. Better: Look for trends, and don't forget that being under budget and time has consequences as well.
- Insufficient planning: Top PMs spend more time planning than less effective PMs. Better: Allow some work to start in parallel with planning if management is anxious to see work in progress.
- Under identifying stakeholders: It's easier to remove someone from the list than upset a stakeholder. Better: Ask those you speak with, "Who else should I speak to about this project?" and "Have I forgotten any important stakeholders?"
- Under identifying risks: It is better to ignore some than miss important ones. Better: Ask, "Are there opportunities to improve project outcomes?" and "What are the consequences if this project fails?"
- Use templates "as is": Templates rarely fit every project's stakeholder and data needs. Better: Do a thorough stakeholder and project analysis, modify the template, and ask for feedback before regular usage.
What common mistakes have you encountered, and how do you avoid them?
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