We all have our fair share of stories of being in a project that was horribly managed and resulted in an unpleasant experience. Too often, we assign the blame to the manager for poorly managing the project. However, is the pitfall down solely to the manager’s lack of competency? Lets take a look at 6 pitfalls that would be considered as the “cardinal sins” in managing a project.
1) Saying Yes to a Ridiculous Timeline
While it’s no denying that we should aim high in life, set stretch goals for ourselves and work efficiently, but agreeing to a ridiculously short timeline is a recipe for disaster. It will not only put unnecessary pressure on the team, but more importantly, the project is bound to fail in achieving its objectives.
We may develop the best project plans and have a good timeline, but the people is the most important factor. This means getting the right people with the right skills set to execute the project. If you are executing an IT project, it’s vital to recruit team members who have done similar IT projects in the past. After all, even the best footballers in the world would suffer if they are played out of position. You don’t see Cristiano Ronaldo playing as a goalkeeper as it would just set the team up to fail.
3) Burning Out Your Team
Burning out your team mentally and physically is a recipe for disaster. Tired minds lead to bad decisions and thus a higher chance of the project failing. A great project manager will recognize this risk and ensure to maintain a healthy work-life balance during projects. This could range from team building activities to implementing flexible Fridays or just treating each other as people rather than a “resource” to execute projects.
4) Lack of Clear Direction
Managing a project involves setting clear guidance and direction to the team and all stakeholders. Bad project managers are less firm on the project direction. Team members who consults the project manager hoping for a clear direction usually end up receiving vague or confusing statements. This results in work not doing effectively and the team receiving a bad reputation as being incompetent.
5) Meeting Marathons
Managing a project is not easy as it usually involves many stakeholders. Some of us tend to set up meetings whenever there are issues to be discussed with a particular stakeholder. This is on top of all the routine daily, weekly and monthly meetings. Basically, if you are having trouble scheduling meetings due to schedule unavailability, chances are you are already engaged in a meeting-marathon mode. If not carefully managed, this could lead to meeting marathons and back-to-back-to-back meetings, leaving little time to actually do any work.
6) Silo-Working Mentality
People tend to focus on their endless “To-Do List’ and as a result, neglect their team members. If this is not addressed, it would lead to a silo-working mentality whereby everyone on the team are just focusing on their own work and not on the needs of the team as a whole. This could cause confusion, duplication of work and worse still, not knowing the person sitting next to you.
This article was contributed by Tarminder.
Tarminder is a fitness enthusiast and believes that one can achieve anything in life with great passion and character. A Subang boy with a dream that his boyhood club Liverpool can win the Premier League within his lifetime.