In the world of project management, there has been an increase in the number of ill-equipped people being pulled into not only managing their own work, but the work of others too. Each day more people are thrust into the role of “accidental project manager” and for some, are unprepared for that role.
Help them to regain their footing and succeed in project management by identifying these 5 common pitfalls and discovering ways to avoid falling into these traps.
- Poor Planning. In most cases, the problem always starts at the beginning of the project. If not enough time is spent on outlining the scope of the project, not getting all the stakeholders on the same page, or not aligning the project with the company vision, you can run into some serious problems.
Avoid missing the mark by taking time to map out the process of each project. While creating this map, include interim milestones, deliverable dates and a budget to present to the stakeholders and keep yourself and your team on track.
- Manual Processes. If you’re keeping an excel spreadsheet with individual email addresses, follow up emails, deadlines, how many hours are spent each week on a project, and so on, you’re doing way too much manual work. We live in a technology age and there are countless programs and software to help you keep tasks organized and stay on track with your deadlines.
While you research to find the best software program to meet your needs and your team’s needs, look for something that allows everyone, from employees to stakeholders, to be able to log in and see the status of the project. In addition, find one that allows for automatic reminders, calendar functions, and a dedicated platform to communicate with each member of the team.
- Disconnected Tools. How are you managing your time? For most people, they are using up to 13 various methods to control and manage their time. From email to spreadsheets, smartphone apps to cloud based programs, there is a lot of software out there to help you. However, if you’re spending more time updating your various programs, all you’re doing is wasting valuable time.
Find a work management program to help consolidate the various information you have scattered around these various tools. When looking for the best software to meet your needs, make sure the software allows for everyone to access it, view the project status, task scheduling, and promotes collaboration.
- Lack of Measurement and Correction. Over the course of a project, many individuals may pull back and disengage from the project. In this situation, the lack of objectively understanding what went wrong (or right), finger pointing, or disengagement may have contributed to the failure of the project.
Keep everyone accountable to the project by setting goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help employees stay on track and have something to present to stakeholders. Track the progress of your goals throughout the project to ensure everyone is meeting their individual and overall project goals. Also, by knowing where everyone is in the project, the better you’ll be at identifying a problem and addressing the situation before it becomes a serious issue.
- Command and Control Thinking. A lot of project management comes down to your employees, managers, and stakeholders. Is there someone on the team who has a problem adjusting to the new tools available, insists on status meetings, or forgets to open the management software to see where everyone stands on the project?
With the changes technology and software brings to project management, take some time to train and empower your employees to participate with the new program. Change isn’t always easy for some and providing them with the resources and training to better use the software can help them make the change more effectively. To understand the full value of the system, it is important to have everyone in the company using the software (making the program mandatory).
Help set yourself up and your team for success by taking time to consider these project management pitfalls and where you can improve. When it comes to success, it’s a team effort and you want to make sure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. With the right tools, you can reach your goals and pull the team together.
About the Author: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer with Workfront. When she is not writing, Brooke is committed to learning more about helping businesses and marketing professionals succeed with their project management goals.