To err is human and project managers can make some mistakes too. Be it a small project or large, it is common to experience slippages. In this article at GirlsGuideToPM.com, Elizabeth Harrin compiles three mistakes from Susanne Madsen’s book The Power of Project Leadership. Let’s see what those slipups are that project managers must avoid at all costs.
When Project Managers Fail
Project managers are always stressed out to be perfect for their teams, stakeholders, sponsors, management, etc. Even after their constant effort to not make mistakes, they do make some. While some can be ignored, the following cannot:
Focusing on Tasks More than the Team:
Clients have provided a comprehensive task detail and you have the best team of talents. In spite of all of that, tasks do not get delivered on time. It is important for project managers to look after the team’s health. If your teammates are stressed out, it is not the time to start a new project or micromanage them. If you do so, they might leave. Or they might stay but create a negative environment.
What You Can Do: People management must be the top priority for project managers. Reach out and talk to the teammates in person to identify the underlying issues. Sit with them and create goals that they agree to achieve within a set timeline. Make clear your expectations for the project, team, and individual.
Being Provoked to React to a Situation:
There is so much to handle that project managers seem to be reactive the majority of the time. Instead of looking at the long-term goals, you prioritize the immediate requirements. This shortens the time you could have worked on important things.
What You Can Do: Be proactive and update project plans frequently. Act on your risk management tasks sooner than later. Constantly update your stakeholders about the current status of the project. Create a communications plan to contact the relevant personnel as soon as possible. When the project is finally over, celebrate the wins with the team.
Being an Expert in Everything:
Project managers are expected to be the most knowledgeable, cool-headed person on the team. However, their work pressure does not allow that. Perhaps, you are faster at reaching a solution, but you should not bear all the burden.
What You Can Do: You do not have to decrypt all the mysteries. Include your team in brainstorming sessions to come up with various solutions. Use your experience to help them see the light where they need it.
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