Whether you are a student who wants to pursue a career in project management or a small business owner who needs a project manager for their organization, it is imperative to be aware of what project management entails. Although project management is an exciting but challenging field, there’s more to it than just planning, tracking and closing projects.
Many people are unfamiliar with the term ‘project management’ and what a project manager really does on a day-to-day basis. Along with having essential skills – strong leadership, critical thinking, time management, etc. –, project managers need to know a few important things that can help them excel at project management.
In this article, we discuss the six most crucial things that people get wrong about project management.
Micromanagement Can be Necessary
A large number of people assume that project managers always need to be involved in the projects, no matter what. However, the reality is that this is not possible. Although the project manager is responsible for overseeing projects, it is impossible for a single person to review and assess each granular detail of each project.
A project team is recruited for this very reason; each member of the team has an assigned role and responsibility they must fulfill on their own. Even if the project manager can carve out the time for taking care of every minor aspect of the project, they should try not to do so. Each team member, after all, has a particular set of skills and expertise that make them suited for the role they are assigned. Giving your team the liberty to use their knowledge and skills independently can help produce better results.
Therefore, project managers should not worry too much about every trivial aspect of the project. At times, they need to trust the knowledge and expertise of their team and let them do their thing. If they concerned with any particular aspect of the project, they can schedule regular meetings with their team members to review their performance as well as the progress of the project.
Risk Assessment Needs to Be Done Once
Most people assume that project managers perform the risk assessment of projects at the beginning. On the contrary, risk evaluation goes beyond a single brainstorming session where the project manager comes up with a complete blueprint of the project.
In most cases, a project always ends up differently than what was planned initially. Considering that the global trends in the market are always shifting, you can be certain that projects will go through several changes. However, accommodating change requests of your clients is not easy once the project has taken off and each request introduces new and unfamiliar risks to its completion.
Projects Never Fail
A project manager’s job is to execute and deliver the requirements of a project successfully. But, project failure is more common than you think.
While most project managers and their teams do their best to maintain a 100% success rate for each project, it is difficult to keep up with it in the real world. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the PMI in 2018, the rate of project failure increased by 15% as compared to the data of the previous year. Therefore, projects can fail for a number of reasons. Although this may seem contradictory, failed projects can help improve the performance of the team in the long run.
Failed projects give project teams the opportunity to reflect on what went wrong. A project may fail as it did not meet the expected goals, but it can teach valuable lessons to you and your team, which they can use to improve their performance. Ultimately, this exposure to failure will help your team understand what they need to do to avoid failure for the upcoming projects.
You Get the Project Team You Want
Although being a project manager gives you the authority to choose your team members, your team members may leave your team at some point. Retaining qualified employees is a constant challenge that project managers face and they often find themselves working with people who may not be the right fit for their organization.
Regardless of how much effort you put into building your team, you won’t get the same kind of response from your team every time. However, by identifying the talent and abilities of professionals within your team and by investing time with them, you can improve the skills of the members of your team.
You can guide your team to produce better results and work more efficiently. However, to do that, it’s important to invest your time and effort in the right people and openly convey what you expect from them.
You Can Control Everything
Many people have the impression that project managers have complete control over everything related to the projects and their teams. As a project manager, you responsible for managing risks to ensure the successful completion of a project, in reality, it is not always possible for you to have complete control over the project. From time to time, you will face risks that can make it difficult to achieve project goals. Even though are many tools available to mitigate project-related risks, risk management can still become overwhelming for project managers.
Project Management Is for Large Projects Only
A number of small businesses and entrepreneurs have the wrong idea about project management. They assume that since a project consists of various steps and phases, it can only be applied to large projects.
In reality, a project manager can break down, organize, plan, execute and drive projects towards completion, regardless of the size. According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession survey in 2018, it was found that poor management of the changing requirements was one of the most common causes for project failure, which is something a competent project manager can handle. Using the right project management techniques can help managers take care of changing project requirements and achieve successful outcomes.
There you have it; these were some of the most common misconceptions about project management. Want to learn more? Visit us at Projectvanguards.com!