13 Things to Avoid if You Want to Become a Successful Project Manager


Is project management solely about managing a project? 

If that is so, the automation would have replaced many project management jobs.

If you are a project manager remember delivering successful projects is just not the criteria to become a good project manager, you should be a good project manager to your team. 

So, how do you become a successful project manager?

In this article I cover the list of top 9 things a project manager should not do and here is the list of them.

1. Don’t have meetings just for the sake of it:

It’s very annoying to your team members to attend a meeting that has no agenda. Your team should look forward to attend a meeting rather than feeling as a waste of time. Prepare a clear agenda before a meeting and circulate amongst your team, your team members also love solving problems, planning out or discussing over an issue.

2. Never play the blame game:

It is apparent that projects may run into trouble during the course of its life-cycle and the blame game is a direct descendant of fear of failure, fear of being questioned in these situations. Whether the problem is major or minor, or has occurred because of a technical error or a human it is extremely important for the project manager to not to go into the “excuse mode”. Remember to take the responsibility of the situation.

3. Don’t Assume or take this for granted:

Any assumptions regarding the budget, resources, tasks assigned and others can lead to several issues in a project. As a project manager you should be aware and monitor all these very closely. If you don’t monitor you are likely to have difficulties for the future.

4. Don’t start implementing without defining the project:

Never assume that you will be able to deliver the project fast, if the planning time is reduced. Without knowing what the end is, there is no point in starting a project eagerly.

5. Do not be too optimistic:

Don’t underestimate the projects efforts and be too positive on what can be achieved. Always have a contingency plan to be prepared for the worst case scenario, no matter how good shape your project is in. It’s advisable to have room for the risks and uncertainties.

6. Do not accept changes with an official approval

The changes in the project needs to tracked, assessed and incorporated in a structured way. No change can be made in the project scope without a written approval from your client.

7. Do not micromanage:

Encourage regular reporting in your team, and do not go into managing every small aspect of the project. Remember, people like to work with a manager who trusts them and gives them the freedom, micromanagement would bring their morale down. Set the goals and milestones of the team and monitor them.

8. Don’t give too much of information:

Don’t overwhelm your team with lots of information and processes, divide the work into modules and work on them in stages. It is always good to empower the team with information but a project manager should know the line when information can become information overload.

9. Don’t rely on single resource:

Delegation and dependency are important for a project’s success and ensure every team member perform. It’s good to have a champion in the team who can handle complex situations and using him/her to compensate the work of others should not be encouraged. Single point dependency can lead to adverse conditions in a project.

10. Poor communication:

Regular communication amongst the team developments, things that worked, things that did not and many others should be discussed among team members. This will ensure that the team feels a part of the project and will be responsible. Have a standard channel of communication – email and also encourage tools or methods like Google calendar, trello etc to improve communication.

11. Do not finalize a project is Final:

How much ever we have pre-planned for the project and how best team we have to work it is always advised to clearly check the requirements, organizational changes, re-alignment etc can affect the project completion. The project plan should be revisited regularly.

12. Do not shy away in asking a Feedback:

Always do yourself a favor by asking a feedback, believe me you will not be placing yourself in awkward position but to your surprise you will learn something about a natural strength you are not aware of.

13. Last but not the least, do not work to impress your boss or your team.

Thus being successful in project management is a combination of experience, adaptability, awareness and soft skills.It’s tough for a project manager to juggle so many balls at the same time, but knowing what not do would really help to play his game safe.

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