5 Common Mistakes Project Managers Should Avoid
We all make mistakes. However, when you’re put in the position of project manager, making mistakes can be extremely costly, both to your success and to that of the rest of the team.
Of course, it’s impossible to plan for and steer clear of every single mistake, but there are plenty of common mistakes project managers fall into that can be easily avoided simply by being mindful of them. Here are five common mistakes project managers make that you should be wary of.
1. Poor communication
There’s no excuse for poor communication because everyone knows that it’s the key to success. Whether it’s between you and your peers, you and the rest of your team, or you and those higher up the chain of command, communication needs to be crystal-clear and effective.
Failure to communicate properly or not taking steps to minimize the risk of miscommunication is only going to lead to your project being unsuccessful. With so many channels to communicate through, there’s no reason this should be an issue in this day and age.
2. Not understanding who’s involved
Stakeholders are the people who are invested either financially, emotionally, or physically in a project, and it’s essential that a successful project manager is fully aware of who these parties are.
If you’re unaware of your stakeholders, how are you supposed to target the desired outcome without realizing what goals you’re aiming for? Make sure you’re aware of who your project’s stakeholders are and that you’re in frequent contact with them.
3. Withholding bad news
It’s not a real project until something goes wrong, and, as the project manager, you need to step up and do something about it. However, a common mistake project managers make is not telling anyone else about the problem and keeping it themselves.
Withholding bad news doesn’t make it go away; it just makes it turn into a bigger problem. If you want your people to trust you, be honest and forthcoming.
4. Not being approachable
With many projects, there’s a clear divide between the management level and the worker level of the team. This divide can easily be your downfall.
If there’s a problem with the work, you need your team members to feel comfortable in approaching you and telling you about it so it can be addressed rather than hidden until it’s too late. Work on your interpersonal skills and on being a proactive and engaged member of the team, rather than an outside figure.
5. Not learning from past mistakes
After each project has ended, make sure you’re taking the time to assess how you and the team did. Then give yourself the space to breathe and reflect on what you could have done better and what mistakes can be avoided next time. This is the only way you’ll grow as an individual.