common errors in project management — and how you can prevent them

Common Errors in Project Management — And How You Can Prevent Them

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    There is a big chance of making mistakes in the world of project management. Managing a project is complicated because it involves many moving parts, such as jobs and the people in charge of them.

    If you work in the field of information technology, you may have to deal with many different technologies, which makes things even more complicated.

    Projects only go as planned with a hitch or two. From the time the project is first thought of to the time it is finally finished, many obstacles exist. One of the most important parts of a project manager's job is to handle these problems well, especially calmly and efficiently.

    Some of the problems that come up in project management may be dealt with quickly and easily, while others have the potential to have a big effect on the project's success as a whole. These problems need more comprehensive and well-thought-out answers.

    What Is Project Management?

    Project management is a must-have in almost every field because of how complicated the tasks businesses have to do. Its primary objective is to make sure projects stay on plan and stay within their limits. Surprisingly, a whopping 97 per cent of organisations think that project management is an essential part of how they run. Strangely, project management is so important that mistakes can hurt your professional reputation.

    These mistakes could cost the business time and money and put your job at risk. Because of this, it is important to ensure you have the information and skills you need to avoid these problems.

    Project management is the careful coordination of planning, executing, tracking, and evaluating steps to finish projects and complicated tasks. This complicated process uses various tools and methods to successfully coordinate staff members and divide up resources for a project.

    To help, we've made a full list of project managers' most common mistakes and explained how to avoid them.

    common errors in project management — and how you can prevent them 1

    Insufficient Resources and Abilities

    A project can only succeed if it has all the tools it needs. Also, if you have a lot of resources, but none of the individuals has the skills required for a certain job, it will be hard for the project to be successful. 

    The second one is often worse than the first because you might go over the project budget to meet the goals set at the beginning.

    So, at the beginning of the project, make sure that all jobs have the right amount of resources so that the scope stays manageable and the budget stays manageable.

    Strategic Goals Not Aligned

    Every job your company starts must fit in with the business's overall goals. When time and money are spent on projects that don't fit your company's strategy, other, more vital projects are put at risk, and your business's long-term success is also at risk.

    To make sure this doesn't happen, every initiative should have a sound, approved business rationale that explains how it fits with the goals established by your company's executives. Every task or goal must be written down to ensure it is clear, measurable, doable, important to the company's overall goals, and timely.

    Find the project's goals and write them down in the project charter. This will help everyone understand the project's purpose, and the project will stay on track if the charter is looked at again and team efforts are centred around it.

    Doing Everything Yourself

    Project managers must be open to ideas from the project's team, so it's important to keep communication lines open so team members can talk to the project manager. This can help both parties get their work done faster.

    A project manager won't have the greatest answers, and if the entire team feels like their ideas aren't needed or are being ignored, it can make them less likely to share ideas that could have helped the project. They may also only sometimes have the time or skills to do everything needed to run a job well.

    So, when it comes to "the doing," it's important for a project manager to know how to assign to the right resource to make sure that asset is used well and not wasted.

    Not Considering the Possibility of Scheduling Conflicts

    Most of the time, one team member's job depends on the other team members' tasks being done first. But what if one of the team members has another job they'll need to work on first? What happens if one step and all the steps after it are also late? 

    If missing a deadline implies that other team members won't finish their work on time, it's important to plan for this possibility ahead of time. It's easy to forget how important it is to give team members extra time to finish their tasks in case something comes up out of the blue. So, understanding what the risks are and how much time you have can help you anticipate possible roadblocks.

    No Project Sponsorship

    Just as the project participants and partners rely on the project managers for help and direction, project managers also need help and direction from project sponsors. Usually, a project sponsor is a part of the executive team. This person advocates for the project, gives advice, and helps the project managers solve problems when they need to escalate. 

    Sponsors also establish the project's mood, which can help everyone in your company get behind it. Most parties find it challenging to accept change. With an investor to help pave the road, project managers can stay aware of leaders, cross-functional teams, clients, and end-users. 

    Every project must have an investor who talks to other bosses and team leaders regarding why the project should go forward. They should also discuss the project's benefits and who will be in charge. They should also ask cross-functional team leaders to share data with their departments.

    Ignoring Team Mistakes

    A project manager can lose their job for making a rookie mistake, like ignoring the errors made by those running the project. As people, the people on the team can make mistakes. However, having mistakes get into the wrong hands can cause a disaster because team members learn to hide their mistakes. In the long run, the project manager will be to blame if missed mistakes spread to other parts of the project and cause it to fail.

    As a solution, a project manager must be able to figure out which team members made mistakes and fix them right away positively and politely. Also, everyone on the team should know what will happen if they do something. If you don't talk about mistakes, you'll create a society where mistakes are normal, and people don't care about how well the job is done. As mistakes pile up over time, there is a higher chance that projects will be late, go over budget, or fail altogether.

    Five Project Management Phases

    The project management method is usually split into different steps that manage the project from beginning to end. The life cycle of a project often goes through these stages at the same time. They can assist you in figuring out the right order and flow of steps to finish your job.


    At the beginning of a project, it's important to find out who the stakeholders are so that they can give their support. During this time, the project manager makes a project charter to outline the project's goals and scope. These tools can help convince people with a stake in the project to agree.

    At this point, you should make a general plan for the job. Often, this starts with:

    • A viability study looks at the problem and decides whether or not the project can fix it.
    • An economic argument - Explaining why the project is needed and figuring out how much it might help.


    During the planning phase, project managers decide what each team member's job will be and give it to them. This list has the project's tasks and due dates. They also make a thorough project plan that lists the team members, resources, methods, and deadlines. At this time, you also make a budget and do a risk analysis.

    Usually, this step starts with setting goals. The two most popular ways to do this are:

    • The CLEAR approach (cooperative, restricted, dynamic, tangible, modifiable)
    • The SMART approach (particular, quantifiable, achievable, practical, and punctual)


    During the delivery stage, team members do their jobs and work towards the project's goals. Tools like flowcharts can make it easier to keep track of jobs and move from one to the next. Team members need to work together to ensure the result is good and get things done faster. During the execution phase, the project team can regularly discuss success and make changes.

    During this part, you'll do the duties and tasks listed on the plan of the project to make the deliverables for the project. For example, suppose you are making an advertising pack for an exhibition. In that case, your early outputs include collecting product data and prices and getting the customer to sign off on all of the product's photos.

    This work can be led by project managers by:

    • Supervising financial resources and budget allocation
    • Conveying information to stakeholders effectively
    • Directing and guiding a team towards its objectives

    At this time, you may maintain the project plan on track with careful monitoring and control. You can use a variety of instruments and procedures to help you handle things like time, money, quality, and dangers or to communicate progression and manage client approval.

    common errors in project management — and how you can prevent them 2


    During the monitoring stage, project managers check progress, ensure goals are being met, and make any necessary changes. It's helpful to keep an eye on each project step to ensure goals and jobs are done on time.

    Software for planning projects can help handle a project by setting tasks, reminding people of deadlines, and keeping track of how far along the project is in reaching its goals. The project manager may also monitor how each team member is doing.

    Key performance indicators can help determine whether your project is on the right track. Some examples of things you might gauge are:

    • When problems are appropriately resolved
    • When your project adheres to the planned timeline and budget
    • When particular tasks are being accomplished

    During this period, you might have to change plans and resources to keep your job on track. Find out how to set goals and measure success.


    When a job is done, the team talks about what happened. This helps determine which methods, tools, and assets were most helpful when the job was done. Team members can look at how well they did on the project, and project managers can find areas where the team could do better for future projects. The job process is also written down during this last step for future reference. This lets the company repeat project planning and keep track of their clients' work.


    Project management is an important part of any business because it includes coordinating the steps of planning, executing, keeping track of, and evaluating projects and tasks.

    Common mistakes in project management include not having enough resources and skills, having strategic goals that don't match up with the company's general goals, doing everything yourself, scheduling conflicts, and not having a sponsor for the project.

    If a project doesn't have enough money or skills, it might fail because it doesn't have the right tools or skills for each job. It is important to make sure that all jobs have the right number of tools to keep the scope and budget manageable.

    Strategic goals should be in line with the company's overall goals, and every job or goal should be written down to make sure it is clear, measurable, doable, important to the company's overall goals, and on time.

    Trying to do everything yourself can also hurt the success of a project. The project manager needs to be open to ideas from the team and keep the lines of communication open so that everyone can work faster.

    It is very important to avoid scheduling issues because missing deadlines can cause other team members to miss work. Knowing the risks and how much time you have can help you plan for possible problems.

    Last but not least, project sponsors are an important part of project management. They help promote the project, give advice, and help solve problems when they come up. They also set the tone for the project and get everyone in the company on board with it.

    By having an owner who talks to other bosses and team leaders, project managers can keep track of the project's benefits, find out who will be in charge, and share information with their departments.

    If a project manager doesn't deal with team mistakes, which can lead to disasters, if they aren't fixed, they could lose their job. To stop this from happening, a project manager must find and fix team members' mistakes and tell them what the results of their actions will be. This will stop people from getting used to making mistakes, which can cause delays, price overruns, and project failure.

    The project management method is made up of five steps: starting, planning, doing, keeping an eye on, and looking back. During the start-up phase, stakeholders are identified, and a project charter is made to describe the project's goals and boundaries. When you plan, you set goals using the CLEAR and SMART methods.

    During execution, team members work towards the project's goals and use tools like flowcharts to keep track of their jobs and progress. Monitoring makes sure that goals are met and that changes are made if they are needed. The project's success can be tracked with the help of key performance indicators.

    Reviewing a job helps find the best ways to do it, the best tools to use, and the best assets. This lets team members review their own work and find ways to improve. The job process is also written down so that it can be used again in the future. This lets the company plan projects and keep track of client work. Project managers can make sure their projects go well by tackling mistakes made by the team and encouraging open communication.

    Content Summary

    • Project management is a complex field with many potential pitfalls, especially in the IT sector.
    • The success of a project often hinges on a project manager's ability to resolve obstacles efficiently.
    • Around 97% of organisations view project management as crucial to their operations.
    • Mistakes in project management can adversely impact both the company's finances and a manager's professional reputation.
    • Effective project management involves planning, executing, tracking, and evaluating various steps to complete tasks.
    • Insufficient resources and capabilities can severely undermine a project's success.
    • Failing to align project goals with the company's strategic objectives is a common mistake.
    • Project managers should always establish a well-defined project charter to keep the project on track.
    • A closed communication loop between team members and the project manager is vital for swift problem-solving.
    • Micro-managing or doing everything yourself hampers team contribution and is counterproductive.
    • Ignoring potential scheduling conflicts can result in delayed tasks and missed deadlines.
    • The role of a project sponsor is often underestimated; they can offer invaluable guidance and support.
    • Ignoring mistakes made by team members can lead to disastrous consequences for the project.
    • Project management typically involves five phases: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and review.
    • The initiation phase requires identifying stakeholders and obtaining their support for the project.
    • A feasibility study is often the first step in the initiation phase to assess the viability of the project.
    • Goal-setting in the planning phase can utilise methods like CLEAR and SMART for effectiveness.
    • Resource allocation and budgeting are key elements in the planning stage.
    • During execution, team members work towards the project's defined objectives.
    • Tools like flowcharts can aid in tracking tasks and milestones during the execution phase.
    • Effective communication with stakeholders is crucial during the execution stage.
    • Monitoring involves checking project progress and ensuring milestones are met.
    • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help in assessing if a project is on the right path during monitoring.
    • Software tools can assist in task-setting, reminders, and tracking during the monitoring phase.
    • The review phase includes post-project evaluations to identify areas of improvement.
    • Lessons learned are documented in the review phase for future reference.
    • The project's success can impact not only its immediate goals but also the long-term strategy of the business.
    • Risk analysis should be a part of the planning phase to anticipate potential issues.
    • Overlooking resource skills can result in budget overruns.
    • The business rationale for every project should be clearly documented and approved.
    • A lack of project sponsorship can lead to difficulties in facilitating organisational change.
    • Setting a project's mood through sponsorship helps in gaining company-wide support.
    • Ignored mistakes can culminate in project failures, affecting the project manager's credibility.
    • Transparency about team mistakes fosters a culture of accountability.
    • During the initiation phase, an economic argument is made to justify the project's necessity.
    • Budget monitoring is a continuous task that should be strictly followed during the execution phase.
    • Setting clear, measurable goals can help in effective monitoring.
    • During the review phase, the effectiveness of the tools and resources used is evaluated.
    • Allocating the right tasks to the right resources is an important skill for project managers.
    • Not considering team members' other commitments can lead to scheduling conflicts.
    • Proactive planning for potential roadblocks helps in smooth project execution.
    • Real-time tracking can assist project managers in making quick decisions.
    • The review phase helps in documenting successful strategies for future projects.
    • During monitoring, plans and resources might need to be revised to keep the project on track.
    • Inefficient use of resources can lead to project failure even if there are sufficient resources available.
    • Failure to align with business goals can endanger more vital projects and long-term success.
    • Closed-loop communication fosters an environment where team members are more likely to share helpful ideas.
    • Having a project sponsor communicate the project's benefits to the team fosters a supportive environment.
    • A well-thought-out project charter serves as a foundational document for the entire project lifecycle.
    • Addressing mistakes quickly and constructively ensures a culture of continuous improvement.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Even though the project's manager is liable for its success, they only do well if they handle the goals, costs, schedules, project teams, and change requests well. Poor management hurts the company, the tasks, and the team as a whole.


    Guessing and reviewing is one of the easiest ways to figure something out. Anyone can make a guess. If they can verify to see if their guess fits the situation's circumstances, they know how to guess and check.


    In a means-end study, you break a problem into several smaller goals. It is an example of a good way to solve a problem.


    Project management cuts costs by making projects more efficient, reducing risks, and using resources best. Even though hiring a project manager costs more, organisations stand to gain a lot more.


    In other words, project management aims to organise and execute a project so that its goals and results can be met. It requires figuring out the risks and how to deal with them, carefully handling the resources, making a good budget, and communicating clearly with the different teams and stakeholders.

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