This article by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is meant to provide IT executives with some tips for improving, avoiding, or recognizing some of the common mistakes that happen in project management. Using a host of quotes and insights from various experts and practitioners in the field, the article highlights twelve situations that can lead to stress down the line. For instance: make sure you assign the “right person” for managing the project. Most executives emphasize putting the right employees in place to work on the project, but don’t worry about choosing the correct project manager to assure the effort goes smoothly.
One mistake brought up in the article is around internal support. Without key players seeing the value and participating, the project will surely struggle:
Too often, projects are doomed to fail because they didn’t get enough support from the departments and people affected by and involved in the project. Either managers: “1) Didn’t make clear what everyone’s role was. 2) Didn’t describe the personal payoff everyone would get when the project was completed successfully. 3) Didn’t tell how each person’s contributions to the project would be evaluated. And/or 4) Failed to generate a sense of urgency about the project, leading the team to think business as usual will be fine,” argues Bill Rosenthal, CEO of Communispond, which provides employee training on how to communicate effectively.
Consider also the tip from Sanjeev Gupta, CEO of Realization: don’t put too many projects into production at once. Many project managers want to begin every project they can immediately, and this simply leads to slower work (as people are trying to multitask), hurt quality, and immense delays in every project. Cutting down on work in progress (WIP) can provide dramatic benefits to the organization.
Other mistakes include not having an approving or tracking system, micromanaging projects, and putting software above best practices in project management issues, among others. The list points out a common thread of mistakes: relying on a quick fix rather than putting time and energy into doing an effort correctly the first time.