The five biggest mistakes

By Stacey Marone via projectsmart.co.uk   Article

The 5 Biggest Mistakes New Project Managers Make

“Here are the five biggest mistakes new project managers make and what to do about them.

1. Too Broad a Scope

…most rookies make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew. They’re anxious to prove themselves and inevitably fail. … Keep a firm grip on your goals. Don’t be afraid to say no to the demands of your boss or client – especially to those that fall outside the scope of the project. …

2. Too Much, Too Soon

Another rookie mistake is committing to a tight deadline without making allowances for unexpected delays. While it’s possible to complete the project within the given period, it presumes everything – and everyone – will work as expected. That very rarely happens, especially when a project involves many people over a significant period. The chance of one supplier or one employee failing to deliver on schedule and causing a domino effect is very high. …

3. Too Much “Me”, Not Enough “We”

… If you don’t know what your stakeholders expect – or worse, who your stakeholders are – then you’re quickly headed for disaster. Either you accomplish goals that don’t address the concerns of your stakeholders or set goals contrary to their expectations. … Post status updates to keep them in the loop. …

4. Too Little Direction

… To avoid losing your way, establish the requirements of the project and keep it in front of the team at all times. Refer to them when reporting on the status of the project. Discuss whether you’re still heading in the right direction.

5. Too Little Risk Management

… New project managers often skip in-depth discussion of potential problems and roadblocks they may encounter along the way. … Discuss all possible scenarios with your team members. Make action plans for each contingency. Assign a team member to spearhead each one.”

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