We’ve already talked about some of the mistakes Project Managers make when working on small projects (4-small-project-mistakes-to-avoid), but what about big projects? If your Project Team focuses most of its efforts on large projects, there are some common pitfalls you should watch for. Read through our list to see if you’re making any of these missteps, and learn how to avoid them.
Overestimating your project’s importance to others in the organization. Your Project Team might have all its resources dedicated to a big project, but other departments likely have a range of other priorities vying for their attention. Depending on the overall organization’s needs, these critical path considerations could take precedence over your project. Before you plan any disruptive activities, be sure to talk with those who will be affected to ensure your project won’t have a detrimental impact to other high-priority tasks.
Assuming that unexpected requests will be accommodated. Even Tier 1 projects need to go through the proper channels for funds and staffing authorizations. There’s no faster way to alienate the groups you rely on for help than to assume they’ll drop everything and ram your off-cycle request through the process. If your project needs something quickly, consider talking with a high-ranking stakeholder to help grease the wheels and ensure others are aware of the request’s priority. Also, work with your team to see how they can avoid similar unplanned requests in the future.
Allowing slack times to be unproductive. A little downtime here and there isn’t usually a cause for concern, but if your team doesn’t have other small projects to fill the gaps, you’ll need to figure out a way to make the most of any lulls in the action. Take advantage of the opportunity by tying up loose paperwork or even fitting in some training or (gasp!) vacation time.