Αρχική > Uncategorized > Twenty Common Mistakes Made by New or Inexperienced Project Managers (2nd part)

Twenty Common Mistakes Made by New or Inexperienced Project Managers (2nd part)

By Dr. H. Kerzner

MISTAKE #11: Ignoring Problem 

sucIgnoring problems is similar to the previous mistake of not wanting to ask for help. However, ignoring a problem could also mean that the project manager can resolve the problem, but refuses to address the issue as soon as it materializes.

Problems do not go away. Instead, they grow in size, opportunities for timely resolution lessen, and risks can significantly increase. Knowing about a problem and not addressing it can be seen as a “kiss of death” by the sponsor to the point where the project may be subject to termination.

MISTAKE #12: Believing in Saviors and Miracles 

Perhaps the most common reason for failing to ask for help or ignoring a problem is that the project manager is looking for a savior or a miracle to solve the problem. While miracles can occur, such as a rapid technical breakthrough, the chances of this happening are very, very low.

Project managers need to develop early on in the project, a strategy for handling problems. Hope is not a strategy. Rather, it is a faulty rationalization for avoiding an issue.

MISTAKE #13: Making Promises for Rewards 

Inexperienced project managers often make promises for rewards knowing full well that they may have virtually no responsibility for wage and salary administration, yet, believe that this is an effective way of motivating the team. Project managers cannot make promises for promotion, overtime, bonuses, future work assignments and other such issues, but persist in doing so.

Experience team members know what project managers can and cannot promise or fulfill. The result is a demoralized team that has little faith in the project manager and do not trust him/her. Team members may also avoid working for this project manager in the future.

MISTAKE #14: Failing to See Dependencies between Projects 

Inexperienced project managers are often so enamored with their project that they fail to see anything else around them. The result is that they end up making decisions for what is in the best interest of their project only whereas this same decision may not be in the best interest of the company as a whole.

Project managers must be willing to make business/company decisions rather than merely project decisions, and this requires understanding the dependencies between projects and the ongoing business. Fighting for the best resources in the company may not be a good company-based decision if your project has a very low priority compared to other projects.

MISTAKE #15: Don’t Tell the Client They are Wrong 

Believing that the customer is always right is not necessarily correct in project management. Although project managers want to appease the customers, project managers must be willing to say, “Your decision or idea is wrong.” This is particularly true when customers request scope changes or simply change the direction of the project without fully understanding the ramifications. Some people believe that the single most important word in the project manager’s vocabulary is “no.”

MISTAKE #16: Show Everyone Who’s the Boss

Project managers view themselves as the “president” of the project. While this is not necessarily bad, project managers may need to realize that this is in title only and may come with very little real authority. Project management is often described as leadership without authority.

Project managers that try to show that they are in charge can alienate team members, especially those team members that really understand project management. Sometimes team members will let the project manager believe that he/she is in charge and then use the PM as the dumping ground for any and all decisions knowing that the PM may make the wrong decision.

MISTAKE #17: Failing to Get to Know Your Team 

People that work on project teams, especially if organized in a matrix structure, know that they have a home in their functional area after the project is over. Project managers know this as well, and may therefore make the mistake of not finding it necessary to get to know the team since they might never interface with the teams after the project is completed.

Project management is a team effort. If the PM fails to get to know the team, then the team members may not feel as though they are part of the team. Knowing the team can foster better communications, cooperation, teamwork and trust. And if you do not believe that, this is important, try managing a “troubled project” and see what happens without knowing your team.

MISTAKE #18: Failing to Insulate the Team from Politics 

Enterprise environmental factors, especially politics, should not be allowed to impact the performance of the team on a daily basis. The project manager and the project sponsor must insulate the team from politics and other such factors.

Politics can force team members to lose their sense of direction on the project and performance can suffer. Also, team members that are not politically astute can get involved in areas where they have limited knowledge and make matters worse.

MISTAKE #19: Not Willing to Say “No” 

The word “no” could very well be the most important word in the project manager’s vocabulary. This involves dealings with both the customer and the team. After project go-ahead, customers often try to get the PM to agree to no-cost scope changes in order to keep the customer happy. This can lead to disastrous consequences.

Another reason to say no is when team members complain that they are overworked and try to get the PM to do their job. While it is true that project managers are both managers and doers, project managers must know their own limitations.

MISTAKE #20: Selecting the Right Battlefield 

To be good at waging war, one must know when to attack, when to defend, and when to retreat, so as to fight again. Inexperienced project managers tend to lack an understanding of when to fight and when to give up. Instead, they often fight battles that should be fought by others or should not be fought at all. Project managers must know what battlefield is right for them.

Obviously, this list is not all-inclusive. However, it does provide some guidance on the type of issues that project managers must understand. These mistakes can be corrected and can save significant time and money.

Θυμίζουμε:

Το επόμενο πρόγραμμα μας στην Αθήνα: http://wp.me/P13Eps-7N

Το επόμενο πρόγραμμα μας στη Θεσσαλονίκη: http://wp.me/P13Eps-7c

Το επόμενο πρόγραμμα μας στο Βόλο:  http://wp.me/P13Eps-a2

Και προγράμματα MS Project στην Αθήνα και τη Θεσσαλονίκη: http://wp.me/P13Eps-5j

Οι θέσεις είναι περιοσμένες σε κάθε πρόγραμμα για λόγους ποιότητας και αποτελεσματικότητας.

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