What comes to mind when anyone mentions about "Project Management"?
A situation where management professionals work against time trying to complete projects.Teams racing against deadlines to finish assigned tasks.
Does this situation feel familiar to you ?
If your answer is yes, then you know this because you have been part of a project.
What is special about project management and why is it important ?
Hiring the right people to guide a team and deliver projects on time is necessary for business growth. Project managers have the ability to handle pressure and deliver on promises to clients.
But there are some project managers whose practices can affect a project. These work habits are unhealthy if continued over a long period. Here we present seven sins ineffective project managers commit at the workplace.
1.Saying “Yes” to Everything:
Some project managers make impractical promises while negotiating with clients. They offer services for which they do not have resources or service assets. They make tall promises and then end up getting frustrated. When they fail to deliver, they end up disappointing their clients and teams.
A good manager will know when to say “Yes” to a client's demands and how to say “No” for any extra work. If a manager says "Yes" to every client's demand, it will increase the project costs.
What is Project Scope ?
A project scope is a vision document that highlights all the stages of work for a project. It outlines the model for work from start to finish.
Planning for a project involves setting project scope. Managers with good soft skills and tactical knowledge negotiate better with clients. They stand a good chance of delivering projects on time.
2.Mishandling Project “Scope”:
Every project requires a planning document detailing the work specifics. It is a guideline for various teams associated with the project.
Mismanaging client expectations for a project affects the project scope. A client's demand changes from time to time. As a manager how he/she responds to the demands is key in decision making.
Mishandling work resources and causing stress are not good for business. Managing both these changes fall under the "Project Scope".
3.Ignoring Project “Risk”:
There are situations that cause disruption to normal workflow of processes. Sometimes they are out of control in the decision making process. Project delivery is no exception to this change.
As a manager, you must expect some unforeseen changes while working. These changes can pose a risk to daily work and affect business continuity. The problems faced in such an emergency is classified as "risk" in project handling.
A manager’s ability to ensure business continuity when risks occur is a must have skill. Here we see an example of being pro-active when faced with a project risk:
Problem: A large team of developers are working on a project for a company in City "A". Due to incessant rainfall in City "A", the team members are unable to reach the office for work. The work comes to a grinding halt as nobody can turn up.
When faced with such a scenario, how does he/she handle the workflow for that period ? A contingency plan needs to be in place to ensure project workflow is not affected.
Solution:The availability of an alternate work location in City "B" with developers and infrastructure. Business continuity must not get affected due to a weather condition. Project managers ensure risks are accounted for before beginning work. This is done during the planning and review stages.
4. Making Scheduling Mistakes:
There are some project managers who take the abilities of team members for granted. They make last minute changes to assigned tasks for team members. This increases the workload on the team.
The project scope outlines the amount of work for an appropriate stage. Scheduling work as per project needs is an essential skill every manager must possess.
Assigning a fixed amount of work to teams as per the scope is desirable for high productivity. If a manager alters the project scope, the scheduling also gets changed. This leads to more work and stress.
Unforeseen project risks and unexpected client demands affect the schedule of teams. Thus the scheduling aspect must be addressed by managers when working with teams on a project.
5. Lack of Communication:
Communication bridges the gap between people and ideas. If a manager does not communicate well with his/her team or with clients, then there will be problems.
The clients would not know what is going on about their project. The team would not understand what amount of work needs to be done. There would be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding with the team.
A good manager communicates with the team and clients regularly. Developing a habit of speaking with clients helps to form a stable working relationship. Team members feel confident if a manager speaks and listens to them for work related issues.
Communication with clients is as important as meeting team members. Managers must be in touch with their clients on a regular basis through phone or mail. Constant updates to clients will make them feel we are showing a keen interest in their project.
6. Taking Things for “Granted”:
A project manager must never take the client demands for granted. Every project will have certain limitations and work scope. It will be beneficial if both clients and managers are on the same level of understanding.
There are managers who do not deliver projects on time to the clients. This leads to mistrust and a bad reputation. As a manager, you do not want to be losing business for the company. It is not desirable to over promise and under deliver.
The working capacity of team members must not be taken for granted. The project scope takes into account resources assigned for certain tasks. An increase in work assignment can cause stress to the team which will affect output.
7. Lack of “Project Safety Protocols”:
A project safety protocol ensures the control of project scope. Client expectations keep changing from time to time. They always want more features with old project costs.
If a project manager agrees to client demands on impulse, then work scope increases. Budgeting, resource allocation and timelines get affected if the project scope changes.
The benefits of having a project safety protocol is to reduce the project risks. A pro-active manager will be able to balance client demands and ensure the scope is in control.
Thus project managers need to work on these mistakes while handling projects. Getting a PMP certification demonstrates your competency to lead and direct projects. The quality of service provided helps build a good reputation. The potential for a company's growth depends on its leadership and the choices they make.