Project management takes a mix of intelligent decision making, process best practices and tool utilization: just one of these three not working as effectively as possible can cause havoc in a project. Recently, Steve Romero wrote down six of the more common mistakes that can happen in project management, all of which are a result of ambiguity or miscommunication:
Poor communication is an obvious detriment to IT Projects. Every Project Manager should develop and maintain a formal, well-thought, comprehensive Project Communication Plan. A project Manager must know who needs what information and when and how that information will be provided. This requires a Project Manager to not only understand the decisions required to govern projects to their successful conclusion, they must also map those decisions to the data required to ensure they are reasoned and rational. The other dimension to overcoming poor communication is the essential need for Project Managers to provide accurate data as fast as possible. In doing so, Project Managers must overcome any urge to hide bad news or downplay issues and risks.
Another theme to the list is having too much or too little in the way of project management processes. The danger, Romero explains, is that a lack of experience can cause project managers to over-engage the team in project management (or provide next to none). The key is a project manager with expertise in proven methods of management.