planning a new businessAs a project manager, you recognise that your role is pivotal to the success of the project you are managing. In this post, we are going to highlight some of the most common mistakes made by project managers so that you can avoid them. After all, you don’t want to be left red faced when the project fails.

1. Not having a clear vision of how to measure success

This is undoubtedly one of the biggest errors project managers make. If you do not establish measurable criteria in the beginning, you will never have a true reflection of how your project is performing. You also need to communicate effectively with your stakeholders throughout, as it is likely that the criteria will changes as the scope and requirements of the project change. If you explain this from the offset, you can ensure you do not run into any hurdles with your stakeholders.

2. Not liaising with the delivery team when putting together a budget and/or project schedule

Let’s be frank; too many projects run over budget or over time, or both. There are a whole host of reasons why this is the case, but one of the most common reasons is the fact that project managers put budgets and time scales into place without liaising with their delivery team. It is impossible to deliver on accuracy if you do not seek their input.

3. Failing to communicate effectively

All project managers need to be excellent communicators – that’s not saying anything new or ground-breaking but it’s worth repeating because far too many PMs believe producing reports is communicating or talking to people is all it takes to be a good communicator when, in fact there is much more to it.

Part of being a good communicator is also knowing who to communicate with. Have you, for example, performed a stakeholder analysis to discover the most influential stakeholders? Without that you could be communicating with the wrong people. You need to keep clients in the know and get updates from team members. If you are unable to do this, you will face a lot of hurdles along the way. This is why it is a good idea to put a communication plan in place for every project.

4. Not seeking outside assistance

A lot of project managers make the mistake of being too stubborn to seek outside assistance. It doesn’t matter what job you have, you can always get better and improve. There are plenty of project management courses available to give you a helping hand. Professional project management training will give you a refresher on the things you’ve been trained in that you may have forget, point you in the direction of any mistakes you have been making while also giving you new tips and tricks to use to ensure the project is a success.

5. Taking on too much

You have a team for a reason; use their help and put your faith in them. A lot of project managers make the error of taking on too much work, which then results in their team members being reluctant to supply valuable project feedback, as well as mistakes and incomplete work.

If you can avoid the five mistakes that have been mentioned above, you will give your project a much better chance of being a success. Efficient and professional project management is imperative if you are to be effective in your role.