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What are the 3 Biggest Mistakes that Project Managers Make?

If you’ve been hired as a project manager, chances are you’re not stupid. Yet somehow or other, Susanne Madsen finds herself coaching PMs who continually struggle to motivate teams, to garner support from stakeholders, or to obtain adequate results from their genuine toils. In a post for PM Hut, Madsen lists three big mistakes that are holding back these otherwise intelligent pros.

The Biggest Mistakes

  1. Ignoring the People Principle
  2. Focusing on Urgent instead of Important
  3. Having all the Answers  

Intelligence is an advantage but in extreme cases it is also a curse. Human beings, it is fairly safe to say, are not always logical and do not usually conform to a standard set of behaviors or views. People must be handled differently than machines. Therefore it is imperative for project managers to balance the ‘project’ side of their skill set with the ‘manager’ side.

Time is of the essence, and when issues arise that demand our attention, we lose focus of the issues that deserve our attention. For instance, if the PM ignores a pressing email alert to formally strategize about next month’s project, it is viewed as anathema. But if we allow ourselves to get caught up in the culture of ‘looking busy’ by heroically averting every minor crisis that arises in a given day, we will never delve to tackle the deeper issues that plague a given project.

Another problem that is common in (and outside of) project management is the tendency for PMs to want all the answers and to call all the shots. This is inevitably exhausting, since it forces the PM to be everywhere and involved in all decisions simultaneously. It has the perverse effect of disempowering team members, who can only stand by idly waiting for the next command, when ideally each person could be contributing to solutions and sharing a slice of the PM’s burden.

Read the full post at: http://www.pmhut.com/what-are-the-3-biggest-mistakes-that-project-managers-make

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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