Keep Teams on Track with Project Management

By Irfan Kapasi, Managing Director, Strategic Solutions and Services

Project Management

Project management is a multifaceted feat. Keeping up the pace of a particular project while juggling change requests and other delays can be difficult. With so many decisions that require on-your-feet thinking, it’s no wonder project managers risk mismanagement on a daily basis.

The ultimate goal for a project manager is to create an environment where teams can march together toward completion, while ensuring the project runs as seamlessly as possible. While unexpected issues will always arise, it’s important to be cognizant of some chief challenges prior to beginning the project. Drawing from past experience, below are the most common project mistakes you can make— and how to avoid them:

  1. Neglecting continuous re-evaluation. Managers must let the vision for the project guide the execution. Too many projects fail as they make concessions along the way, with issues, inconsistent sponsor guidance, or challenges impacting planned implementation. At the same time, some projects don’t take lessons learned, expertise and major shifts in trends into consideration. To combat this, managers should keep external influences in check and continuously align outcomes with impact. It’s the project manager’s responsibility to manage the minutiae of execution, but also to keep up with the project’s relevance considering latest trends, tools, and techniques.
  2. Forgetting that communication is critical, and collaboration is pivotal. It’s often said that successful project management teams communicate continually. On today’s lean teams, cross-skilled resources are essential. Collaboration is key to the exchange of ideas, and to ensure that progress isn’t hindered by keeping everyone on the same page. The solution? Invest in a collaboration tool, and foster a team-first spirit. This will ensure members keep one another informed, ask questions, and march together towards a common goal.
  3. Choosing the wrong partner. Choosing the wrong partner can derail even the most perfectly planned project. The best partner isn’t necessarily the best-known outfit, or the most expensive one. Ultimately, the partnership needs to be a trust-based, mutually beneficial relationship. When evaluating a partner, review their understanding of the project specifics and ask yourself, “Will my team work well with this organization?” More precisely, do the skills they offer complement those of my existing team? Do they fill the gaps needed for an on-time, under-budget completion of the project? Finally, does this project matter to them? If the answers do not align, consider alternatives.

 

Want to hear what other industry IT executives and certified project managers have to say about avoiding common project management mistakes? Check out my tip on people management and seven others from Jennifer Schiff at CIO.com: http://www.cio.com/article/2391872/project-management/8-common-project-management-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them.html.

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