The top 10 most common mistakes in project management – and tips to solve them are known to everyone, but what can you really do about it?
A few projects run flawlessly, but not all of them work out the way we want them to. Most often due to poor planning or communication. Many organizations do not have standard project management processes, nor the right people to work on a project. Also project teams spend little attention to the potential problems that can threaten their projects, or have the right solutions availabe when suddenly something goes wrong or different than expected.
1. Incompetent team
Without the right people, a project is unlikely to succeed. Even a perfectly planned project is killed by a shortage of talent.
Tip: project managers must have a complete overview of the skills and responsibilities of their employees, including their consultants and outsourcers.
2. An incompetent project
Without a good project manager almost all projects will get out of hand sooner or later.
Tip: hire project managers that are both content and social-emotionally capable to instruct the project team. Good project managers know how to set up meetings and how to deal with risk.
3. No standard project management process
If there is no method in the approach to projects within the company, the risk is that projects are not or not even properly implemented. Projects have to be done over again and deadlines and budgets are exceeded.
Tip: with a standardized project managent process projects can be implemented effectively, while the manager keeps the totall overview. It is recommended to achieve repeatable processes in the areas of staffing, planning and communication.
4. Too much process
By strongly adhering to procedural rules and protocols, a project is becoming less flexible, and ultimately affects the entire company.
Tip: be flexible and consult with all stakeholders.
5. Not keeping track changes
This error is a result of deadlines and budgets being exceeded.
Tip: follow a formal procedure for applying changes within a project. If a change of goals has to be adjusted, it must be indicated directly in a document. This allows the project manager to access the possible consequences of the adjustments in matters of budget, schedule and his team.
6. Ignore problems
Contrary to popular belief, problems in a project wont be solved by itself. Indeed, in most cases, the problem will even get worse.
Tip: If something goes wrong, it needs to be resolved properly. Many people close their eyes and gaze at the horizon, while it is much better to act immediately as soon as it becomes clear that its going wrong.
7. No clear objective
If the target is not clearly defined, a process can seriously get out of hand. Moreover, the project may delay due to lack of direction and eventually you do not meet the target that has been made.
Tip: make a thorough business plan. Clearly define the objectives and limits of the project.
8. Incomplete project schedules
Members of the project do not know what should be done, so it is very difficult to complete a project on time.
Tip: When all activities of the project have been established, the deadlines can be added based on the end date of the project. Project management software can help.
9. Accept unreasonable deadlines
Trying just to meet up with expectations of directors almost always lead to greater delays or bad results.
Tip: The project must be realistic concerning the amount of manpower, money and time to complete a project. The choice is up to the board to choose between cost and schedule objectives.
10. Poor communication
Poor communication is the main cause of project failure. Most often it appears that communication is not specifically tailored for the different target groups.
Tip: project managers must speak the language of the target group(s). Give everyone involved a quick and clear view of the entire project from start to completion showing what steps are required to complete a project successfully. Give attention to the moments when action or input is expected and from whom.
With this top 10 and tips, you can probably improve a lot of your own projects. But what if you can improve yourself, your projects and your company? The MBA Project Management & Control could be the answer to that. Want to know why? Find out on: Masterclass in Project Management & Control