Project management has always been a challenging process, but it has become even more difficult in the last couple of decades due to the growing number of stakeholders, participants, and technologies involved in almost every venture.
Too many organizations are struggling to make their businesses more efficient, but only the most agile companies achieve the highest level of performance in the long run. A PwC study of over 10 thousand projects found that only 2.5% of companies successfully completed their projects 100% successfully. It’s a staggering figure that clearly proves the complexity of project management. If you have any problems with it you can use writing services uk
Now, you are probably asking yourself one simple question: Why do so many projects fail to meet the targeted objectives? The easiest answer is this: Project managers and members of their teams make some serious blunders in the process.
The only way to get the work done on time and on a budget is to understand the most frequent obstacles and learn how to get over them successfully. Our job is to give you a hand here, so keep reading to see five common project management mistakes that you need to avoid.
The State of Project Management
No matter what people do for a living, they are going to make mistakes somewhere along the way. Project management is by no means an exception here, particularly because it often involves way too many tasks, employees, and objectives.
This is not just another opinion, but rather a well-known fact. A whole range of studies prove that running a project is extremely demanding, so we decided to show you some of the most interesting facts and stats:
- Nearly 50% of organizations admit to not fully understanding the value of project management.
- Only 23% of organizations use standardized project management practices across the entire organization.
- A typical project goes over budget by 27% of its intended cost.
- Almost 10% of every dollar is wasted due to poor project performance, which makes it $99 million for every $1 billion invested.
You can that business projects make a lot of managers confused, so we definitely need to discuss the common issues and ways to prevent them.
5 Common Project Management Mistakes to Avoid
All projects are different and it is impossible to name every mistake that can take place somewhere along the way. What we can do, however, is to pinpoint the usual suspects. Let’s take a look at the five most common project management mistakes:
1. Not Meeting
The first and probably the biggest mistake of project management is forgetting to organize an initial meeting. This is where you are supposed to explain the basics of the project and discuss all of the major details with the members of your team.
A study reveals that almost 40% of projects fail due to the lack of defined project objectives and milestones, while 55% of organizations do not have access to real-time project key performance indicators (KPIs).
It’s a serious issue that you can prevent very easily. The idea is simple – organize a meeting of employees who are going to take part in the process. Make sure to keep everyone informed about the expectations and the results of the project.
This goes for both the overall objectives and individual targets. Namely, people work better when they are aware of specific deliverables and targets that they have to achieve. Make sure to define the accountability of each employee – it will make them behave more responsibly and do their best to reach the planned KPIs.
And it’s not enough to set just any goal. On the contrary, you must set SMART goals instead:
- Specific: Project goals have to be highly specific if you want workers to reach the highest level of personal productivity.
- Measurable: Do your best to quantify their achievements. For instance, you will ask them to complete the first stage of the project in 15 days.
- Achievable: Don’t target KPIs that are not within your reach.
- Relevant: Don’t waste time and effort on irrelevant tasks – concentrate on what matters the most to you and your client.
- Time-bound: Working with a deadline in mind is always the best way to get the job done properly.
2. Not Prioritizing Tasks
Goal-setting is not the only thing you need to do before the project begins. Lots of managers forget to prioritize tasks, which often leads to serious setbacks and delivery issues in the later stages of the project.
Think about it for a while and you’ll realize that every task you plan to complete doesn’t come with the same notion of importance and urgency. It is quite the contrary – some responsibilities are much more important than others.
Jake Gardner, a business analyst who wrote the essay writing reviews, claims this is the main reason why project managers should divide duties into smaller tasks: “When you break down a large plan, you end up with a variety of little duties that can be prioritized based on their relevance.”
How does the prioritization function in practice? Here is one way to divide responsibilities:
- Important and urgent tasks: Such tasks should be given an absolute priority.
- Important but not urgent: Once your team is done with the first set of duties, most of them should move on to important but non-urgent tasks.
- Urgent but not important: Those who currently do not work on more relevant tasks should concentrate on urgent but less relevant goals.
- Not urgent, not important: When you complete everything, then you can focus on tasks that are neither urgent nor important.
3. Not Communicating
The worst thing you can do with a project is to set it and forget it. Unfortunately, this is what the vast majority of project managers do as they expect things to run smoothly all the way to the completion of the project.
But this is almost never the case in real life, so you will have to keep an eye on everything continuously. After all, 59% of workers say communication is their team’s biggest obstacle to success.
The solution is to organize periodical meetings with the staff or at least to communicate regularly using one of many digital channels of interaction. You must do it in order to discuss project milestones and identify possible obstacles that require different solutions.
John Goch, who writes for australian assignment help says: “If you are managing a smaller team, the easiest solution is to meet face-to-face and talk about the details of the project directly. If you have way too many people in the team or even remote workers, then you can discuss everything via email, instant messaging platforms, or project management tools.”
4. Not Using Project Management Software
Speaking of project management tools, this is yet another very serious blunder. According to the research, almost 80% of top-performing projects rely on project management programs, but a staggering 44% of project managers still fail to use such tools.
You should be smarter than that and understand the benefits of project management software. Using a platform to handle projects, you can expect to see the following benefits:
- Easier cooperation among project participants.
- Simplified communication among employees, external partners, and clients.
- More accurate scheduling.
- Effortless task delegation.
- Intuitive budget management.
- Uncomplicated file and document sharing.
- Easier standardization of internal procedures.
- Faster integration of new employees.
The benefits of using a project management tool are evident, but the difficult part is choosing the best platform for your team. You can find hundreds of tools online, so make sure to check them out. We can recommend you a few solutions that prove to work well for our projects:
- Liquid Planner
- Zoho Projects
- Teamwork Projects
5. Falling into the Scope Creep Trap
If you have anything to do with project management – and you obviously do – then you must be aware of the so-called scope creep.
Scope creep (also called requirement creep or kitchen sink syndrome) in project management refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope, at any point after the project begins. To put it simply, it means that you keep adding more tasks to the project even though you’ve clearly defined the plan and timeline already.
This problem usually occurs because you fail to gain full control over changes that may appear along the way, but there are other reasons to think about the scope creep as well:
- Inappropriate planning and scheduling
- Problems in internal communication
- Failure to prioritize tasks properly
As a project manager, you need to avoid scope creeping through careful scheduling and task delegation. If you follow our advice to communicate with your employees regularly, it should not be a problem to pinpoint operational difficulties and identify new but irrelevant workload.
That way, team members can focus on their objectives as expected and do more than planned only in case you have something very important to add to the project in order to make it successful.
Although it seems like a routine job for most entrepreneurs and business owners, project management is a complex process that requires a lot of strategic planning. This is exactly why too many projects fail to achieve the desired results – entire teams take things for granted and don’t pay attention to the basic features of project management.
In this article, we explained to you the five major project management mistakes you should avoid at all costs. These are not the only blunders that can occur while executing your tasks, but they are the most dangerous, so make sure to remember each one.
Have you and your team ever made some of these mistakes? Do you know other project management setbacks or misconceptions? Feel free to leave a comment – we would love to hear about your experiences in this field!