Project managers have a lot on their plate. They’re responsible for getting complex projects down in short periods of time, and they also have to manage the employees below them. This can easily get overwhelming, leading to ineffective mistakes and problems.
Whether you’re a long-time project manager or an entrepreneur in charge of your own tasks, these are some common mistakes that might be slowing you down.
1. You Do Everything Yourself.
This is a mistake that’s most often made by new entrepreneurs and business owners. You think you’re the best person to get the job done right, but that’s not always the case. If you have people you can call upon for help, that’s always a good idea. Project managers can utilize the support of those under them to get the job done, and this breaks up the tasks to make it more manageable.
A lot of new project managers and entrepreneurs don’t have all the skills needed to get the job done quickly. This results in a lot of frustration and wasted time. One way around this is by hiring a qualified employee or consultant, or to consider outsourcing this project to a team that’s more qualified.
2. You Communicate Poorly.
Communication skills seem easy enough, but they’re difficult when put into practice. You probably have the perfect vision for your project, but that means nothing if you can’t communicate it effectively. If your employees don’t know what you want them to do, they won’t live up to your expectations.
Misunderstandings are normal, but they can be avoided. Look for ways to improve communication on both ends. For example, create a safe space for team members to come to you if they experience any confusion or problems. Communication is a two-way street.
3. You Don’t Set Goals.
Goals serve a big purpose. They’re clear indicators of success, and they help the team stay motivated along the way. If you don’t set project goals at project launch, it’s hard to know if you’re actually getting anywhere. These goals need to be specific, and they should include things like milestones and deadlines. A product management tool can help you keep track of these deadlines in real time.
4.You Lose Sight of the Scope.
We’ve all been a part of projects that quickly get out of hand. After starting something new, you learn about another trend or idea and off you go onto something else. Before you know it, the project scope has completely changed and all the requests are different. Not only is this confusing for team members, but it’ll keep you running in circles.
The best way to fight the growth of project scope is to clearly agree on all aspects during the planning stage. This way, everyone will be on the same page about expectations and the range of the project. Avoid falling for new trends and fleeting ideas that don’t contribute to the objective.
5. You Don’t Outline the Process.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t get anywhere. What roadmap will you or your team members use to get from Project None to Project Done? Having optimism and excitement is a great start, but it doesn’t tell you where to go next. You need more than just a clear idea. You’ll need to outline the entire process if you want to see real progress.
What should you include in your outline? Here are a few ideas:
- Employee assignments
- Work schedule
This outline process will help you know exactly where you’re going so you can actually cross that finish line at the end of the project. It also keeps your employees motivated and organized. Even if you’re the only entrepreneur working on this project, going over these same steps will keep your head clear and focused on the goal.
It’s easy to accidentally fall for one of the project management mistakes above. When things start moving quickly, your project can get out of control. That’s why it’s so essential that you have a clear plan and outline. Beyond these steps, maintain a positive attitude and be open with your team. You’ll knock your next project out of the park.