Updated June 6, 2023
Introduction to Project Manager Goals
“To err is human, to forgive divine”—this is one quote you must’ve heard many times as you were growing up. Making mistakes and miscalculating many aspects of work is a fundamental human trait. But recipients of that work also happen to be humans who, most of the time, aren’t so forgiving, especially when it comes to products and services rendered to them. One such service within an organization project and leading these are the project manager. While we are bound to make mistakes, a project manager goals heading a project needs to be so focused and cautious during the project that they need to look out for things that can lead their project astray and can be detrimental to their career ahead.
In this article, we’re going to explore my take on the top 8 mistakes that project managers’ goals often commit but need to be avoided at all costs. These mistakes can have severe consequences for the project and can flip off the wrong switch.
Project Manager Goals, Duties, and Responsibilities
Before we venture into the list of 8 mistakes that can send your career spiraling down, it’s essential to know what your role is in the grand scheme of things and how your responsibility as a project manager goals encourages the organization to get involved in breath-taking business strategies, based on that you can successfully pull it off.
A project manager’s goals are responsible for management’s four primary and essential functions. This list includes:
- Planning – This function is the essential task of project management goals. It involves pure dedication and zeal to get work done. We are planning concerns answering questions that crop up: what, when, why, and how of the project. Planning is an iterative process and must be conducted throughout a project’s life cycle.
- Organizing – Once the plan is finalized and requirements are in place, the project manager aims to manage and set up a team. It’s essential to know the project’s needs thoroughly to organize all the remaining aspects of the project as per the project plan.
- Leading – In project manager goals, leadership is an essential trait for a project manager, and through leadership comes team management and team communication. The project manager goals look at all the project requirements carefully and accordingly handles the talent in the team. Leading the project correctly toward its objective is another aspect of this function that makes or breaks a project manager’s task.
- Controlling – Monitoring the project and steering it clear through the implementation and controlling phases are other lookouts for a project manager’s goals that must be taken care of very gently. Scheduling and tracking are factors that contribute to this functionality.
You can read more about the project manager and other roles at A Complete Guide to Project Team Members. Now to the central part, the mistakes within your job responsibilities that you need to avoid.
1. Misjudging Project Team Member Skill Set
Team resources or members form the backbone of the project and its proceeding. Face it! It would help if you got your project going and to cross the finishing line of your project. Picking team members to perform to their strengths can be quite a boon for your project. It takes an excellent project manager’s critical skills to judge their team member’s strengths and abilities and use them wisely to benefit the project, business, and growth.
The mistake crops up when you are oblivious that this judgment call matters. Some projects have met with failure due to project managers posting the wrong person to do a task that could’ve been done wonderfully by another team member. Optimal results are obtained by project managers who focus on bringing the right kind of job to the right individual within the team. Sit with your team and get to know their strengths and weaknesses. Give yourself the freedom to orchestrate the project as you need it to be. Think. Act. Relish success. Don’t misjudge an essential skill.
2. No Clarity on the Project Requirements
Projects have a definite aim and a target to be achieved and completed. But, if you, as a project manager, aren’t aware of the project in its entirety, it’s undoubtedly a problem. Project requirements are the critical components in setting up the project and building a house based on it. Regarding project management, it’s not only the destination you need to be aware of but also the journey toward this destination.
Projects are deployed with specific business goals in mind. If there’s no clarity on what’s needed to reach those business goals, there’s no proper way to suggest you’re on the right path per the project plan. As a project manager, you might reach the end goal as indicated by the business. Still, you’ll never be able to thoroughly review all the co-related plans that get picked up on the way to completing the business objective.
3. Sidelining Risk Management
Risk management is one of the most critical areas within project management. Without risk management, you will miss out on a large margin of errors as a project manager. You will be more likely to introduce them through your tasks and activities. You will need to gather around your team and brainstorm about the possibilities of many roadblocks that can hinder your project’s success. These roadblocks can potentially be very detrimental to your project and can be just a minor bump on the road, but a spot can be off-putting and can cause you to lose time and effort, and high-valued resources.
With a list of potential risks on paper, a project manager can have simple action plans constructed for each of them so that if and when you encounter them, you will be prepared to tackle them and ensure that the damage done to your project plan or project schedule is to the minimum. Anticipating risks is a good project management practice for any project manager and should be mandatory for every project you undertake. You should never make the mistake of leaving this out of your project management plan.
4. Quantity over Quality
As a project manager, favoring quantity over quality can be your downfall, as businesses that run mainly on portion have very little to offer customers. Though your numbers will be staggeringly high, only some individuals would want a product they have invested in with a low-quality level. Customers wish their effects to be long-lasting and serve them correctly for their purpose. If all your processes are set up without a quality check in place, there’s a sure chance that your projects are constantly failing and your business plan is never reaching targets when it comes to revenue.
Revenue targets are critical to any business. A business needs to have clear and precise quality control and assurance models to boost the quality their products possess, which will, in turn, affect their proximity to their revenue targets in a positive direction.
5. Not Indulging in Getting a Buy-in from Project Stakeholders
Would you give in all your dedicated time and effort if you’re not convinced about your job? I am sure you wouldn’t bat an eye before replying that you would simply not. If you wouldn’t be giving in your all when it comes to a work assigned, how do you expect your team members and other project stakeholders to contribute to the project as you intend it to be?
Getting buy-in from your project stakeholders and your team members is essential for the smooth functioning of your project. You must maintain openness and transparency among your team to get their buy-in. The more they know, the more they will understand. This way, they will understand why the business has taken this project up and will know the benefits in store for them.
6. Allowing Inflation of Project Scope
Project scope determines where you draw the boundaries of your project. Imagine a perfect project scope, and as the days pass, you will find yourself and your team attending to various requests for change. You invest your time and energy in attending to these change requests, and now you are putting your project scope at risk by hitting a pause button on the project. You are not only delaying the process but drastically increasing the time and budget allotted to the project, as it will surpass the days allotted.
This inflation of the project scope by allowing for different change requests to eat up time is pushing your project off balance, and it will then become very difficult for you to bounce back from the depression.
You must avoid such circumstances and focus on creating a sub-team that will keep an eye on such change requests or any situation that threatens the scope of a project. Sometimes the requests are genuine; this is where the sub-team will weigh the pros and cons and help you decide accordingly.
7. Saying Yes to Everything
Flexibility is an excellent trait for a project manager as committed as you are. You’re eager to get work done and to be able to prove your worth in the grand scheme of things. But what happens when you say “Yes” to everything that everyone asks of you? At such times, when things come concurrently to you, you will be flooded with work and won’t give justice to any one of them. This can result in a loss of trust and a severe smudge on your reputation. You will allow your team to be overworked and severely burn them out. This can disintegrate your squad and can leave you with limited options to deal with in your projects.
Saying “Yes” to just enough work can ensure your concentrated efforts on all the tasks that you have undertaken. Being a diplomatic individual will allow you to draw the line when you’re entirely thrust with enough work to sustain your and your team’s days. It’s better to nicely put down rejection of the work that clients are pouncing on you rather than taking it up and putting up a bad show for them.
8. No Proper Communication Plan
And it all boils down to effective communication. Control your communication, and you have a fair amount of control over your project. Contact forms a crucial component of any plan or project. This communication can bind the project stakeholders together and make project managers’ critical skills more aware of the situations surrounding the project. Tasks can be more manageable if you have an effective communication plan.
Through communication, you can learn, and through this learning, you can counter the many problems you face. Your project can be successful if your communication plan is thorough and well thought out. It will be helpful for you to coordinate your work and keep you in the good books of all your project stakeholders and team members.
Learning from Mistakes
Learning is always something that you need to keep continuous in your life. With learning comes a myriad of mistakes that one can learn better from. It’s in failure that you can rise and meet success. As project managers, we must keep learning from our mistakes and ensure we don’t commit them again. In the learning process, we must always take a step ahead with the learning we implement.
These mistakes are easily avoidable and need focus and concentration to get through. Project manager critical skills are always loaded with many tasks and activities. While keeping track of these, you can often miss some of the main activities in the entire tenure of a project management critical skill. Keeping calm and organized helps you immensely. All the very best for your future as a successful project manager!
We hope that this EDUCBA information on “Project Manager Goals” was beneficial to you. You can view EDUCBA’s recommended articles for more information.