Project management is an industry that is booming right now. After all, it does not matter what business you operate, the need to manage projects, and manage them well, is evident.
With that being said, there are some things you want to avoid in your new management position should you ever find yourself landing a job in this field.
You know us, we can’t just leave you to fend for yourself. We’ve made it simple for you and broke it down to 6 Things to Avoid in Your New Management Position.
6 Things to Avoid in Your New Management Position
You need to think of your project as something that is living and breathing. It is not a static agenda. You need to be graceful and adaptable when something does not go to plan, and you need to make changes to your strategy accordingly.
Not everything is going to go exactly how you intended it to, and that is okay, you just need to manage the situation as effectively as possible. Change management is an imperative part of project management.
Trust me, if I had a $1 for every time something didn’t go as planned, I’d probably be a millionaire by now.
You just have to realize that it is not only part of life, but it’s part of business too. Things will come up that you didn’t plan for and you have to learn to adapt and effectively corporate them into your plan moving forward.
I love the quotes below and think it applies here:
You don’t have a framework for clear communication
Communication is one of the most critical success components for any project. If you do not have a framework in place, your communication is going to be messy and ineffective, which will only cause issues down the line.
Whether or not you foresee issues in your given tasks, you must clearly relay any issues, ideas, and solutions to your employees and fellow co-workers.
Being in a management position requires effective communication and I like to think, it’s the ultimate requirement of any good project manager. I also think it is a great way to earn the respect of others.
You stop learning once you have secured your project management position
This is one of the biggest mistakes that project managers make.
Project management training is not only for new project managers. You should never stop learning if you want to be the best and ensure that your projects are managed as efficiently as possible, there are always new trends and technologies to embrace and learn, which is what project management courses are all about.
Think about doctor’s and lawyer’s for a minute, they are typically seen as “management” because they are the final word as to what goes on with their clients and patients.
They also are constantly learning and even are required to have so many hours of learning each year to maintain their licenses.
Any project management position should be no different.
This goes along with my point above about adapting. You have to learn and adapt as time goes on. It’s just part of the job.
Focusing too much on the negatives and not the positives
All projects are going to have positive and negative elements. But if you focus too much on the negatives, you are going to bring the morale of your team down.
Plus, focusing your time and energy on things that are basically meaningless (because you can’t change them) will cause other things to go undone and it will create a backlog of work and stress.
Focus your time and energy on the things that will help you, your team and the company move forward.
Tasks lists are great for this (more on that below).
You do not break the project down into smaller and more manageable tasks
If you are working on a big project, it can seem like there is a mountain to climb if you don’t break it down into smaller steps.
This is bad because it makes your team feel demotivated and unproductive, and it makes it difficult to stay on track.
Breaking projects into smaller, more achievable tasks can not only help reach goals, but it can give the team a sense of accomplishment and help them want to continue to push forward onto future tasks.
I call these “tasks lists”.
Basically, you break down the tasks needed to be completed. You write the projected completion date but you list the most important tasks near the top and work your way down the list.
Start by completing task one on top, then cross it off and move onto the next.
Trust me, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from physically crossing off things on a list is amazing!
You lose sight of the big picture
Last but not least, it is easy to get bogged down in the details, and this can cause you to lose sight of the big picture, which is something a lot of people do when running a business.
Ask yourself two key questions if you feel you are wasting time. Does this task fall in line with the main objectives of the project? Are you able to clearly explain the task’s bigger purpose to your team?
If the answer is no, you need to readjust your strategy. Remember, you’re the boss and you need to step up and be ready to take on anything and everything that it thrown your way to be an effective and totally awesome, project manager.
So there you have it: the project management errors you need to avoid at all costs. If you can stay away from the blunders that have been discussed, you can give your project a much greater chance of being a successful one.