Usually there is a lot said about the kinds of skills, abilities and talents a Project Manager should know, have and do for them to perform in the best way they can. These are things that are said to be of great importance as a manager, whether is it managing of a work team, keeping the motivation of the team, show strong leadership to the team and being smart with the decision making. While these are the things that are expected from managers, it can’t be denied there is a chance a manager could make some mistakes. Either small or big, these are mistakes that can be a big hindrance to the manager and those around him/her and can lead to some failure and keep you from objectives to accomplished. It’d be wise to in mind the common mistakes to avoid as a Project Manager.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid as a Project Manager:
1. Hinder the work of your team
It is one thing to want to control everything that happens within a project and quite another to hinder the work of your team(s). A good Project Manager must be the benchmark of his collaborators, the example to follow in the aspects of the day to day. With that said, it does not mean that manager acquires the role of police or vigilante. Examples of this are when the leader continually interrupts the planned work, rejects the work of his supervisors again and again, worries too much about the hours and deadlines and, worse yet, openly criticizes the results obtained. The latter is the worst case, as it makes the team members look at the leader as a competitor and not as a trend setter.
2. Hide relevant information to the project or give it biasedly
The core communication of any project is a task that corresponds to the Project Manager, both in its conception and execution phases. When this information is hidden or is used in a biased way (for example to favor one or several members of the work teams over others), the ground has been set for distrust. Employees will stop believing the leader’s messages and groups will tend to separate, especially by workers who have not had access to information. It will generate a climate of isolation, individualism and it will be almost impossible to delegate successfully and effectively.
3. Subtract importance to the effort of the collaborators
Some project managers still live in the idea that the members of their work teams are machines. In fact, they demand the maximum effort from them and then refuse to recognize it; they ignore it and give priority to other issues. This is a huge mistake. The great value of any project are its collaborators, because in them lies knowledge, skill and talent. Besides, it is usual that when a goal is not met, and changes are announced in the methodology or strategy, it goes directly from one action to another without making a prior analysis of what has happened. This is also a sign of the disinterest that a Project Manager can show when he is unable to prioritize the most relevant aspects of the projects they lead.
4. Little collaboration and closeness with the actions of the project:
If there is one trait that defines the 21st Century Project Manager in particular, compared to other types of project leaders, it is their closeness to the actions that are being carried out. Its function is to control, accompany, advise, guide, follow and supervise each and every one of the things that occur within the projects. The error, in this case, is to isolate yourself in your own bubble to the point of losing perspective of what is being done. When you don’t go looking for moments to talk with collaborators, are no aware of their demands or needs, not offering periodic feedback and, ultimately, not having sense of the situation and refusing to lead the project in the field itself, then you can expect the project to completely go off the rails
5. Ambiguity in decisions
Projects cannot and should not get going in the midst of uncertainty. The person in charge of the boat must have clear ideas and objectives, even though the roads that are addressed may not always be the ones planned. The good Project Manager should avoid hesitation, overly conceptual or theoretical communication, ambiguous decisions, too many versions of the same fact and lack of perspective and vision. All this will make the project erratic, confusing and without a defined horizon, causing, in addition, that members of the work teams are discouraged and lose their commitment to their tasks. And that’s not what you want for your project, right?
Like mentioned above, these are some common mistakes to avoid as a Project Manager that if not kept in check, it will derail your project or company’s goals. Keep these things in mind, and we can guarantee you’ll see better results as a manager going forward.