Thousands of projects are handled every year worldwide. As industries grow and technology continues to advance there will always be need for new projects. As a matter of fact, if there is one thing we would never run out of, its new projects. This then says that having special skills in project management is a plus.
Projects come in various categories, from planning a wedding to constructing a dam. It all depends on the technical know-how and credibility. Even though there are huge successes in most projects there are also projects that go very wrong. Some can go so wrong that there is no remedy and it leads to multiple lawsuits. Let’s look at the 12 things that can lead to errors in project management;
Faking your credentials
Yes, it happens. It’s easy to just whip up a project management credential and tag yourself a professional project manager with years of experience with mega projects. This would get you noticed and bring lots of jobs your way, but therein lays the problem. When you embark on a project that you are unfamiliar with you begin to realize that there’s a reason why people take time to go for a proper training. The overwhelming responsibilities and the lack of capacity to bring it all together, without the necessary training you soon crumble and decide you no longer want the project and decide to back out. Not only is this bad for your reputation it also means a lot of law suits as money would have been sunk in already.
Hiring unskilled hands
As a project manager it is also your responsibility to find a most efficient and skilled team to work with. It is not a one man show, you have the ideas but your team brings it to life. If you are uncertain about the skill of some of your hired workers, conduct a proper interview and ask for their portfolios or at most ask for a guarantor who would stand in as a witness to the experience and skill of this worker. This is necessary because there is no room for error. Once you find out on a project that a laborer is unskilled it can lead to waste of resources and all the blame would go to you-the project manager. You should be able to vouch for your team.
Failure to document financial expenses
When taking on a project every expense must be documented and all receipts kept. There must be proof for all spending except those that are not provable, such as welfare. This builds trust and shows professionalism. This can also help you know where you are with finance in order to manage your spending better. A project manager is always on a fixed amount of resources and there is need to be able to account for it. You also would need this documentation for future use in order to remind yourself of the cost for some equipment you used in past projects and the cost for labor. It is generally a good idea to document all processes and expenses in order to be able to prove that the allotted money for the benchmark was well used.
Lack of a clear benchmark
Benchmarks and stopping points in projects which enable you break a large project into short individual phases. Without a clear benchmark it is impossible to know if you are making the right decisions or managing finances properly. Benchmarks help to map your project better according to time, scope, expenses and so a lack of benchmark can be defined in one word “CHAOS”.
Lack of prioritization
Projects are usually broken down into mini-projects and these are also broken down into benchmarks. These benchmarks should have a certain level of prioritization. This means that one has to come before the other, you can’t build a house by starting with the roof, and you have to begin with the foundation. There is an order at which a project must go, in order to save time and resources.
Underestimating project time
There is an allotted time for every project and when pitching a time as a project manager you should pitch a time comfortable for you so that you don’t rush the project in a bid to meet up.
Underestimating cost of resources
This is the number one project killer and it leads to a lot of mistrust. Every project manager should be well updated with cost of equipments before pitching. If a project costs more than what was pitched it becomes a trust issue and can lead to litigation.
Lack of communication with clients
Always keep your clients updated on every move and let them know your predictions ahead of time. This would help to manage sudden changes better.
Assumptions on projects
When you hit a challenge and need to change something on the project, either a design or equipment it’s always good to discuss it with clients first before going on with your idea. Never assume your clients would approve as this might lead to conflict and litigation.
Refusing team ideas and suggestions
No man is an island. You would need as much ideas as possible on any project. Never assume you have the best methods. Listening to your team would build team spirit, respect and would help achieve a better work.
Not learning from past mistakes
As a project manager you can’t afford to make the same mistakes twice. There is always one challenge or the order to learn from. It might also help documenting all project challenges so that you can better evade them on the next project. This would enable you save resources and time.
Poor conflict management skills
When there are big projects there is bound to be conflict, either among workers or supervisors. A good conflict resolution method would help you keep your team in order and focused on achieving the goal. A team that falls apart could abandon a project halfway and this would lead to a great waste, litigation is imminent.