All project mangers will experience moments of feeling as though they are losing control of a project, most of the time this is because of external factors that are originally outside of your control, (and nothing that a few agile mitigations can’t solve,) but other times they may come down to a mistake on your own behalf.
Through my own experiences, here are 5 mistakes I am actively aware of and make a conscious and consistent effort to avoid.
1. Scope Creep
Scope creep refers to uncontrolled expansion of project requirements, usually resulting in added costs, delays, and a loss of focus on project goals. It's important to manage the scope of a project carefully and to address any changes in scope through formal change management processes.
2. Poor communication
Effective communication is critical to project success. Failing to communicate project goals, timelines, and progress with stakeholders can lead to misunderstandings, issues, and missed opportunities. (One of my non-negotiables at project commencement is to ensure a communication plan is established, this way I am confident all stakeholders are aware of how updates will be shared.)
3. Ignoring stakeholder input
Stakeholders of all levels should be involved in the project planning process and regularly updated on progress. Not taking into account other input may lead to the project objective being misaligned across the board and can ultimately result in a lack of project support. (Stakeholder mapping will help you understand early on what the roles and responsibilities are of your stakeholders, as well as what the individual vested interests may be of each stakeholder.)
4. Inadequate risk management
Risks are inherent to any project, and failing to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks can lead to project failure. A comprehensive risk management plan should be developed and regularly reviewed throughout the project life cycle. (Get these points out of your head and onto a document, projects can rapidly change and ramp up without warning, you won’t remember everything – I’ve tried, now I rely on this method.)
5. Not using your team effectively
Project teams are made up of people who will all have different strengths and weakness, whether that be in their technical skill set, or previous experience in a sector. It is important to garner the strengths of your team and align them to tasks accordingly. For example, if you have someone who has experience in the public sector change management process before, why wouldn’t you leverage that? (There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here and take longer doing it, if you have the knowledge already, right?)
By recognising and avoiding these mistakes, you can significantly increase the likelihood of project success and ensure that your projects run as seamlessly as possible!
If you're in need of project support, contact P3M Works today and find out how our project professionals can help your organisation.