It has been significantly proven that where there is keen project management, there would be a success. Usually, it depends on the Team Lead as well as the Project Manager whilemanaging the project.Morale difficulties, improper communications, lack of guidancein the team could also harm seriously unless they arecommitted properly.On top of all, accountability and mutual behaviour must be addressed in the team to gain a healthy working environment.'
Table of Content
- 1. Lack of clear objectives
- 2. Fully understanding the customer’s requirements
- 3. Time and budget for the project
- 4. Project management relies on a solid action plan
- 5. Failing to engage all stakeholders early
- 6. Miscommunication or lack of communication can be a nightmare
- 7. Scope Creep
- 8. Strict adherence to Scrum for all aspects of a project
- 9. Too many synchronous meetings
- 10. Skipping risk analysis
- 11. PM's mismanagement can harm you a lot
- 12. Project's cost-savings are magic
- 13. Conclusion
Every team member should be given the responsibility for their allotted tasks with a proper timescale.Because what normally happens is the minor mistakes neglectedwhile development could create disastrous problems later, therefore, that should be avoided.
Here we have brought some significant details of Common Project Management Mistakes that usually occur while Project Development process. Let’s have a look.
Lack of clear objectives
“One of the biggest problems I see with project management in software is the lack of clear objectives. The pipeline is established with various points of contact along it. Communication is encouraged. Tasks are doled out. Work gets done, but there's no real guidance as to the purpose of the work or how it fits into the grand scheme of things.
Every milestone a producer creates should be objective-based and every team should understand their part in it. Individual tasks and other spokes on the wheel should tie into these objectives and have objectives of their own so everyone knows what they're working toward and why.”
- Rex Freiberger, CEO of Gadget Review
Fully understanding the customer’s requirements
“One of the most common project management mistakes regarding software is fully understanding the customer’s requirements: business, functional and technical requirements. Often, as a project is imitating, the customers may not have the correct stakeholders involved. We may receive impartial specifications that may be limited to only the functional and business requirements. However, you may need stakeholders from the Information Security Team or Database Administrators to clarify or provide guidance on what the technical requirements need to be to produce a fully functional product or service.”
- Alexis Nicole White from ANW Consulting
Time and budget for the project
“There are lots of common mistakes which are made with software project management including a lack of skills and resources, communication failure and, a failure to clearly outline objectives. However, in my experience, the one mistake I’ve seen made most frequently is in the incorrect estimation of time and budget for the project.
This year, I was called in to take over a project which was spiralling out of control due to this very problem. The company was inexperienced when it comes to new software projects and had not put together a comprehensive Project Management Plan to include cost, quality, risk, procurement and scope. As a result, the project was already well underway when it became clear that the company had vastly under-estimated the cost of the project and the time that it would take. I took over management of the project - beginning with a proper PMP - and was able to limit any further losses in time and money.
It’s impossible to exaggerate the importance of good project management, particularly when it comes to planning and, I would always advise hiring a great, super experienced project manager.”
- Jack Zmudzinski, Senior Associate at Future-processing.com
Project management relies on a solid action plan
“As a process, project management relies on a solid action plan that lets the whole team know about their responsibilities and deadlines. However, plans can change rather often. For this reason, a PM shouldn’t be afraid to reevaluate the team’s progress and make the necessary changes to ensure the optimal work process. This way, even if you’re behind schedule, you can redistribute resources wisely and try to complete the tasks as soon as possible.”
- VladlenShulepov, CEO at Riseapps
Failing to engage all stakeholders early
“The biggest mistake we continue to see is failing to engage ALL stakeholders early and often to all aspects of the process. Using project management software is helpful to avoid issues, but we often fail to copy them on everything relevant to them when it comes to making decisions and calls on specific aspects of project deliverables. When it comes to the client, we always require their confirmation of receipt of specific requests and queries so as to avoid confusion.”
- Nate Nead, Principal of DEV.co
Miscommunication or lack of communication can be a nightmare
“Project management is an art form, but the number one thing that takes a project from project fulfilled to project nightmare is miscommunication. How you communicate and the protocols you use to ensure that your communication is received is critical to the efficacy of team collaboration and the successful fulfillment of deliverables. Without effective team and client communication, you can use the fanciest software and project management platforms and you’ll still wind up with confused team members, frustrated clients, and a huge mess to clean up. When managing a project, it’s important to be clear, detailed, and set appropriate and reasonable expectations from project inception, to project completion. I deal with every day - and the common denominator, the running theme for successful projects is that effective communication is present.
Once effective communication has been established, it’s important to make sure it is easily navigable, recallable, and visible. Make sure notifications are set up appropriately and ensure that your team and clients understand that it is important to tag people when directing a question or message to someone - it can be extremely frustrating and create unnecessary delays when messages are lost in the shuffle.
Employing effective communication should not be overlooked - preoccupied with tech platforms is so common focus, but remembering the fundamental principles that fuel the success of those systems makes all the difference when it comes to project management.”
- Amy Goldizen, Owner and Founder of Black Label Leads
“It is a rock-solid fact that proper communication is the most difficult obstacle in project management. Ironically, project management software actually seems to make it worse. At least, that’s been true for us.
Things get lost in translation. Perspectives are too narrow. Important information goes unnoticed or not communicated. It’s difficult to have constructive dialog — that’s especially true in software.
It’s a mistake to think communication is improved by Kanban boards, task management, or Gantt charts. That’s a form of communication that is mostly one-way, top-down, and instruction heavy. There is little room for collaboration, arguments that lead to positive change, or general discussion.
If the purpose of project management software is to provide one centralized source of truth regarding a project, it falls short when it cannot also be the same source for digital collaboration.”
-Holly Winters from Brandcave
“Many project managers try to take on too much at once and don’t ask for help or clearly communicate their needs, which can ultimately cause the project to be delayed. Additionally, delegating tasks in an unclear manner, or delegating tasks to the wrong people, can cause major issues. Not laying out clear goals and objectives for the team is also a common mistake that project managers make. Finally, many project managers hesitate to speak to individuals who aren’t taking on their fair share of the workload.”
- Emily Deaton, Financial Journalist at LetMeBank
“One common project management mistake I have seen alot of in the software industry is the lack of a clear line of communication.
Software engineers use many different platforms to communicate on. This is a problem for the project manger since it promotes communication compartmentalization. It is best to find a few lines of communication and stick to that.
I have been on projects that start on Asana then move to Slack and then to email and finally to whatsapp. It is so important to choose your channels and keep it on those channels. Unread messages or requests can bottleneck the project quickly.”
- Caleb Riutta, CEO of Dusk Digital
“A common mistake I see project managers in the software industry making is not tailoring communication to the audience. Projects with a software element have a huge array of stakeholders from the very technical people coding behind the scenes to the end user or Product Owner who might not have a clue how the thing works but they know what they like.
On a healthcare software project I worked on, where we were installing an off-the-shelf product with some customizations, one of my team led on communication with the clinical experts. She was brilliant at communicating what the software did and how it worked with people who shared her background. Her communication style didn't work so well with executives, who were often frustrated by the level of detail provided when they just wanted the headlines.
People say that project management is 80% communication and it's really important to make that communication count. Think about who you are sending the message to, what their preference is for communication (a quick Slackupdate? Detailed report? Highlights in an email?) and take a moment to make sure you're going to get your message across in the best possible way for that individual or team. If they want technical details, give them. If they care about user experience, focus on that. Ultimately, you're telling people what they need to know, but providing it in such a way as to make it easy for them to understand and act on - because that's what we want in a project environment: people to do their tasks and get the project over the line!”
- Elizabeth Harrin, Director at GirlsGuideToPM
“One of the biggest project management mistakes that I see made nowadays is the lack of communication. When you work remotely, you have to go the extra mile to cover all the details you assume that the other person knows. When working remotely and managing projects, always assume that the people in your organization know nothing and explain everything from scratch. Most recently, I assumed that our outreach managers knew not to pitch websites that ask for money to publish a guest blog, but apparently, they did not and we ended up wasting a few hours last month. Always put everything in writing and you should be good to go.”
- Jane Kovalkova, CMO of Chanty
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“A client asks for a small change in the project and you agree because it’ll only take a few extra hours and you want the client to be happy. But then the “small change” morphs into a complete shift in the project’s goals. That’s scope creep and it usually happens when there’s no consensus. If stakeholders and managers have different expectations, one party may over-ask (or over-charge) the other.”
- Todd Ramlin Manager of Cable Compare
“Accommodating scope creep is a common project management mistake in the software industry, especially with newer project managers.
Software engineers are creative folk: when they’re improving a feature or creating a new one for a specific project, it often inspires ideas of other interesting features which may be more fun to work on. But engineers need to stay focused, and especially need all the time they can get to fix bugs in their work and in compatibility with other engineers’ features.
If you let engineers sweeten a project with “bells and whistles,” and convince you it won’t take much time or sidetrack their assigned feature, you’ll make them happy but delay the project, damage your company’s relationship with their clients and damage your relationship with management.
You can’t let mid-level engineers, whose concerns are not focused on budget, time, and client deliverables, take control of the project, however inspiring they might be.
A strong and proactive project manager will include establishing policy that any interesting off-shoot features will be welcomed and explored as soon as the current project is delivered.
The PM will also establish status reporting deadlines with each engineer or group responsible for a software feature. This will help the project manager catch scope creep and diplomatically limit it.
A successful software project manager also needs to hold team meetings at regular intervals, for two main reasons: Since software engineers tend to get so focused on their own feature that they work in silos, teamwork not only enhances communication but also keeps everyone on the same page.”
- Karen Condor, HR expert and Former Project Manager with USInsuranceAgents.com
Strict adherence to Scrum for all aspects of a project
“The common one I see are strict adherence to Scrum for all aspects of a project. Scrum is good for undefined projects and deliverables. However, in large enough projects, many aspects are undefined while many are defined. I see many PMs try to shoehorn everyone into Agile technique or everyone into Waterfall. PMs need to select which is best for the work being done and use it appropriately.”
- David Johnson, Founder of Clear Blue Data
Too many synchronous meetings
“The project management mistake I see happening still is too many synchronous meetings. Between SCRUM rituals, standup, updates, demos, and retrospective, you can tie up most of an engineers time with the things engineers hate most - bureaucracy. This is why Jory McKay reported that engineers only spend 41% of their time engineering. All of these interruptions kill productivity.”
- Josh Little, CEO of Volley
Skipping risk analysis
“One of the most common mistakes in project management is skipping risk analysis. Because of this step underestimation, project managers omit it, trying to focus all their efforts on a bulletproof project plan creation. In practice, almost every project deviates from the plan, making risk analysis a cure for all expected issues by providing you with a ready-made action plan. It is important to understand that the time spent on risk analysis does not pay off immediately but throughout the entire project realization cycle.
Risk analysis is performed by prioritizing based on probabilities, after which the team members think about how to mitigate each individual risk. A far-sighted project manager prepares the team for various risks beforehand through their analysis, so that it is possible to take proactive steps if necessary.”
- Maxim Ivanov, CEO at Aimprosoft
PM's mismanagement can harm you a lot
“One of the biggest problems I saw early on was people acting as if the position of project manager was just a throwaway role to put someone who wanted to eventually transition to something else. This led to grossly underqualified or completely unqualified project managers. People who perhaps had the organizational skills, but not the ability to get teams communicating. Or people who had experience managing others, but very little in the way of project scoping experience.
The result was always disastrous. Projects would be over-scoped, with milestones moved back until the eleventh hour when everyone had to crunch because of the PM's mismanagement. Funds weren't allocated responsibility, the wrong people were put on certain tasks, and the pipeline very frequently collapsed.”
- Ravi Parikh, CEO of RoverPass
Project's cost-savings are magic
“The common mistake about the Agile framework and Scrum is that sometimes when the top leadership considers implementing the agile/scrum framework, the only motivation is the project's cost and a belief that it is a magic solution to cut the cost on the development. The error in judgment, however, is that they are not considering the scope. When the project would be run using the scrum methodology, they are thinking that it somehow decreases the amount of the work needed to be completed without considering any changes to the scope. When I was discussing Scrum, my friend, the owner of a company, was excited about implementing Scrum since she heard that it would cut the resource allocation in half.
However, the idea about the Scrum and agile development is that the scope is not fixed, and all features are being developed in smaller iterations and constantly re-evaluated if further development on the feature brings any additional value to the product. The idea is to develop a minimum viable product that achieves its goal, evaluate how the users interact with the application, and then decide which features deserve to be developed further and which features should be discontinued. For example, a mobile app can have a feature that would allow communication between users. The fully scoped feature would allow for a video chat, multiple chat rooms, and the users' ability to create their avatars. However, the first iteration could be just as simple chat for the users and see if it is even used. If the users are not using the feature frequently, then it is not feasible for example, to expand on this feature by creating custom avatars.
There is no point in spending time on developing expensive features that won't be used as expected. On the contrary, if a waterfall model would be used, the feature would be fully developed and the discovery that the users are not using it would come after significant resources were spent.
In conclusion, the project's cost-savings are not magic, where we could allocate half of the resources and think that somehow things happen. Instead, it is a way to refine the scope of work during the development to identify features that bring the most value to the user and don't waste resources on features that don't.”
- Daniel Sputa, Project Manager at Swenson He
Project Management mistakes can cause a lot of uncertainties and could create obstacles in project delivery. These concerns could affect the customer counts of the company as well, maybe directly or indirectly.What could be done here is that taking proper steps and performing keen project management strategies to make your project successful. In this blog, we have discussed all the common project management mistakes given by the experts. Understanding these would help you to avoid such concerns from your venture.