Magazine article PM Network

Make No Mistake

Magazine article PM Network

Make No Mistake

Article excerpt

What's the biggest error project managers make?

Vesa Autio

solution manager, Consolis, Vantaa, Finland

The biggest mistake project managers make today is to agree to be responsible for projects that are not actually projects. It's not a project if it does not have an owner or a sponsor, or if it has nothing more than a PowerPoint slide as a basis for a project plan. It's not a project if it does not have a better timetable than "by the end of this year," and if it does not have a better financing plan than "there is still some money left in the annual budget." Most projects succeed. The ones that are not projects often fail and deflate the value of proper project management.

Seth Goldfarb, PMP

senior project manager/consultant, US Healthcare Consultants, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Failing to maintain a common understanding of the project manager's role and responsibilities throughout the project lifecycle [is a big mistake]. Customers should understand the reasoning behind tools and techniques; solid process integration and regular process assessment and improvement; engagement protocol; and the impact of change.

[Make sure] project sponsors and stakeholders do not overlook how one activity impacts another, and clearly illustrare the project landscape from a highlevel view to ground level. [That way] sponsors and all engaged resources understand what they need to do and what activities impact their domain of the project.

Carlo Martinello

head of infrastructure and service delivery, Barclays Bank PLC, Milan, Italy

The most dangerous mistake is project managers' inability to reach a correct balance of focus and control on the project. On one side is the project manager who micromanages everything without any delegation. On the other side is the project manager who totally ignores some relevant aspects of the project or business- such as cost, technology and resources- and assumes there are others who know how to deal with these issues. …

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