10 Worst Project Management Practices
A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, it has defined scope and resources.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to advance activities in order to meet the project requirements. Taking control over a construction project can be messy and extremely challenging. However, everything can get simpler and more efficient if you avoid some careless steps.
Project Management Worst Practices
Without further ado, let’s take a close look in some of the worst choices that you could do in construction. In a nutshell, here are the main practices that you would like to avoid while managing a construction project:
1. Lack of methodology. Designing and eventually implementing a solid project strategy is largely depended on your methodology. It’s vital that you have carefully run through its different steps and have predicted any potential risks. In that way, you will be able to keep good track of your project from the start to completion.
2. Not logging time. The worst practice you can engage in is not logging time. Without tracking actual time worked on actual projects and other work, it is impossible to know any departments’ true capacity. Planning—even at the most detailed level is merely guesswork if it does not involve the feedback loop of actual time.
3. Gathering unnecessary information. Project management officers have the tendency to collect every kind of stats and information around a project. Nevertheless, not every single piece of information is important for its development. You should learn to let go from information that isn’t indispensable for the decision-making procedure. Otherwise, all you will achieve is to create an extra burden on the project team without generating any useful results. Simply stated, information gathered should be put into practice.
4. Keeping an ad-hoc project request process. The most common process for dealing with new project requests is to analyse them one by one and decide if each merits becoming a new project. Prioritization is a key role and the most important project should be given first priority.
5. Not being helpful. Being there for the people that you work with is one of the most important elements for the cohesion of your project’s team. Many project managers have the tendency to use generalizations as their shelter when they want to avoid spending some of their time to help someone from the team with his/her question. Instead of looking for ways to get someone out of your office as fast as possible, try to invest your time and attention to solve their issue. You will see that at the end of the day they will appreciate it and they will work harder for your project.
6. Implementing a process without a tool. Standard advice seems to be to get your process act together before automating with a tool. But this might not be such a great idea after all. The implementation of a new process should be based on the chosen software tool and vice versa. In that manner, you can boost efficiency and predict easier any undesired mistakes. On top of that, you can facilitate the training process for the members of your team. It will be simpler for them to incorporate a tool in the way they operate from day one instead of having to change their whole working routine in a later stage.
7. Not making it clear to team members what is expected of them. Good project management involves good communication. No one can assume that people are mind readers who magically know what is expected of them. Communicate with your team and clearly convey expectations. One benefit of using project management software is that it allows team members to know exactly what their tasks are and when deadlines are due.
8. Not knowing what project management software really is. Everyone gets a little confused sometimes when it comes to terms and definitions. With project management software, project managers must know the difference between regular e-mail, spreadsheets, installations and actual project management software. Good project management software can be configured and personalized to suit individual/workgroup needs, capture multiple communication methods (e.g. email, chat, web conferencing, etc.), promote collaboration, enable transparency, and is accessible anytime/anywhere.
9. Getting worked up easily. Deal with things calmly and effectively. There is no point in losing your mind over small matters or blasting people for making mistakes. If there is conflict or if something is not being done correctly by a team member, think of a resolution to the problem, instead of getting caught up in the moment.
10. Only communicating when things go wrong. There are going to be moments when negative points need to be discussed. Morale doesn’t have to reach rock bottom after week one and stay there until the closeout meeting. The key is also to communicate when things go right so that people know their work matters and they are on the right track. A few words of support in what is otherwise a stressful environment takes a few seconds and costs nothing, but can make a world of positive difference.
All in all, it’s evident that there are many different parameters that have to be taken into consideration while managing a construction project. That is why you have to elaborate a solid and well-functioning strategy before you start. In that way, you will be in a position to handle better any threatening risks for your project.
About the author: Derek Hartman for GenieBelt, a construction project management software and mobile app.
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