Top 7 mistakes to avoid as Project Manager (August 4th 2020)

Translation : Brief Top 7 des erreurs à éviter en tant que Chef de Projet | Briefs (

Organization and structuring are the key to success. The project manager and his/her team must be organized and follow the necessary steps to carry out a project efficiently:

  • Define objectives,
  • Establish the schedule,
  • Determine budget, resources, and timeframe,
  • Assign roles and responsibilities,
  • Being a conductor,
  • Use the right tools

A lack of organization can lead to project failure.

Some project managers manage their projects by instinct, groping their way through and hoping that everything will go smoothly. This is unprofessional because project management leaves very little room for improvisation. Here are the characteristics of an ineffective project manager in order to correct the behaviours that are detrimental to the success of a project:

1. He manages his projects without any planning

In project management, not planning your project, even a little is a serious mistake that inevitably leads to its failure. It is essential to have a clear vision of the project and to know where you are going in order to succeed.

Once you have defined the objectives of the project, it is essential to set a target date, financials and human resources needed to achieve it.

Then you need to establish a timetable and allocate roles and responsibilities to the different members of your team. These are the basic rules of project management.

2. No checklist is used

How can you know what has been achieved and what remains to be done without checklists?

In project management, as in any other field, checklists are an indispensable tool for ensuring accurate monitoring of the progress of a project.

A project manager who does not use checklists runs the risk of forgetting essential tasks. They also run the risk of wasting time re-doing a task that has already been completed or trying to find out if the task has already been completed or not.

You can create checklists for everything and customize them as you wish. The key is to use them well and update them daily.

3. Communicates badly or not at all

Communication is an essential skill for a project manager, especially face-to-face communication. It is one thing to hide behind your computer and send instructions by email, it is quite another to speak directly to your colleagues, individually or in groups. You should not hesitate to get up from your desk!

A project manager should talk to his team about the progress of the project, the problems encountered and any small successes. He/she must communicate with the client to find out about their needs and expectations, and any changes required. Finally, he/she should communicate with the various stakeholders to ensure that the project meets their requirements.

Listening and being transparent are also the basis of good communication.

4. There is no follow-up

A sign that a project manager is inefficient and disorganized? He commits to dealing with a problematic situation or seems concerned about a problem, but weeks go by and nothing happens.

He has simply forgotten because he did not make a checklist or he has deliberately left the problem unaddressed. As a result, he loses credibility and the project fails.

If your employees tell you about a problem, you must ensure that it is dealt with. Especially since there are so many tools available today, that make it easy to monitor the progress of your project.

5. He is hiding

To avoid the problems of project management, this project manager hides: in his office, in meetings, at the coffee machine, etc. This should be avoided, and any obstacles should be dealt with.

To ensure that the project is progressing properly, you need to be present and involved in the field with your colleagues. Work with your team, communicate with the stakeholders, and show that you are dealing with the issues.

6. He never takes notes

How can you know what was said in a meeting if you don’t take notes? Even if one of your staff members oversees sending a meeting report to the whole team, you must take notes of the most important elements.

In addition, taking notes is a more effective way of remembering what was discussed. It also helps you to plan and focus on the tasks.

7. He gets lost in his tasks

In meetings or working on several tasks at the same time, this project manager always seems to be very busy. He/she is not getting anywhere; too busy juggling the different tasks he has assigned himself.

Contrary to what you might think, multitasking is detrimental to productivity. It is therefore better to concentrate on one task at a time. If your workload becomes insurmountable, do not hesitate to delegate, your team is also there to support you.

In conclusion

Some people are not cut out to be project managers. Yet they find themselves taking on this role without having the necessary skills or the shoulders to bear such responsibilities. This creates ineffective project managers who do their best to avoid managing the project, causing it to fail.

An effective project manager manages his project with a masterly hand. He is able to make the right decisions, even under pressure, to complete the tasks for which he is responsible on time, to support his team, and to communicate regularly with the stakeholders.

10 commons mistakes

  • Too much detail
  • Pretending to know more than you actually do
  • Preparing an ambitious schedule
  • Over-reliance on Repeatable Processes
  • Ignoring Problems
  • Failure to Share Responsibility with Functional Managers
  • Not fully understanding the needs
  • Refusal to ask for help
  • Ignoring a Problem
  • Failure to see Dependencies between Projects

Gregory Szczepaniak