Let’s face it. Even expert project managers make mistakes. But (as the overused axiom suggests) the real mistake is when we fail to learn from our failures. That’s why Isabelle de Grave, writing for Pioneers Post, offers seven valuable misconceptions the savvy PM just can’t ignore.
The Sorry Seven
- False: Project Managers Manage Projects.
- False: Used Time is Time Used Well
- False: Asking Once is Enough
- False: Multitasking Saves Time
- False: Try to Avoid Re-working
- False: Informing Employees Leads to Results
- False: The Project will go as Planned
For starters, project managers don’t manage projects, they manage people. Translated – they are communicators. Therefore, the right level of communication will keep the project components (people, deadlines, and deliverables) glued together, whereas too much communication tends to make a mess of things. Second, just because everyone looks busy, doesn’t mean they’re being productive. Eliminate those wasteful practices that leave time gaps between truly productive tasks. Third, when something doesn’t go right, don’t just ask why once. It may take several whys to get at the root cause of a particular issue.
Multitasking is not as awesome as we are often led to believe. CEO Sanjeev Gupta of Realization recommends reducing work in progress (WIP) by 25-50 percent if too many projects are overwhelming the team. Five, don’t shy away from reworking; make it work by penciling it into a schedule after the quality control phase of production. Six, make sure employees aren’t just nodding their heads blankly at instructions. Ask them to explain how they will break down larger tasks into bite-sized pieces.
Don’t assume that everything is going to work out just fine:
A plan and [a]project schedule are the basic foundations of a project well managed, but they're no guarantee of success…
…There are some problems you can’t avoid, let’s face it we’re all human. This is where it takes a bit of creativity to predict what might go wrong before you launch into a project; otherwise known as risk management.
Be sure to address risks with your staff, and keep a log of those risks for regular assessment.