As a brief introduction about myself, I have been working on global projects for almost seven years with a pure concentration on project management. My focus is IT global implementation. In the course of my duty, I have noticed many mistakes that deployment managers make which might eventually cost them time, money or even the whole project.
I truly believe that project management is a set of skills and techniques that people can learn through various methods with some commitment. Take note that I said a set of skills, this is because the majority of people believe project management is purely about creating tasks and delegating them, which require minimum skills and in fact anyone can do it right away without previous training. But project management covers many topics, PMP divided these topics in the PMBOK® Guide as follows:
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Time Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Human Resource Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Project Stakeholder Management.
After setting your expectation on topics covered under the project management, here is my list of top ten mistakes often made by deployment managers:
1. Underestimate the work
Many deployment managers and project managers turn to accept their role without understanding the core content of it. Of course, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is a must, but also it means being open to learn and adapt. Coming with a mentality that project management is a walk in the park won’t help you in your new role as it will set you to relax and stop challenging yourself. This is a common mistake for people who were not in a management position in their previous work experience.
2. Uncontrolled Stress
We see this every day. Many people allow stress to control them and eventually let them hate the job. Stress increases with increased responsibility and simply ignoring it will lead to higher costs on both personal and project health.
3. Overdoing it
This is driven by the lack of experience. Some deployment and project management turn to over plan or control, which lead people to be stressed or confused.
4. Put your people at the end of the chain
Te majority of people often focuses on the numbers such as KPIs, due dates, and total tasks open or closed. If we allow these numbers to control us, then we might lose the people who are doing the work.
5. Dropping all lessons learned
Many companies implement huge or middle size projects every year and many of them might shut down or simply fail. Shortly after the project fails, we analyze the core reasons of its failure and what we can do to fix it or avoid it.
Unfortunately, this list of lessons learned might end up in someone’s laptop or on SharePoint that no one else can find and learn from it, which might lead the upcoming projects to suffer from the same mistakes again.
Indeed, this is the same case for a successful project, we turn to be so happy and proud of our success and we might even forget to log all lessons learned that others can find them crucial.
6. Stop being yourself
You might be asking why this is here, the answer is because of some project or deployment managers under or overestimate their skills, making people around them either lose trust or stop taking them seriously.
Knowing yourself and competencies will attract people to you and help you in managing your project.
7. Avoid the corporate political game
Corporate politics could be a very nasty game, but it is a necessary game that deployment managers need to master. Some deployment managers prefer to stay out of it, but that will lead them to lose the support of stakeholders.
8. Dropping quality once time and budget are tight
This is really common, as project managers tend to discard quality during pressure, ignoring the fact that the bad quality in design will lead to poor testing results and implementation. However, we are not saying that you need to perfect everything in here as this might be time and money consuming, but having a controlling mechanism or even couple of dedicated employees to maintain quality standards in project deliverable would help. You might also consider using the Pareto principle.
9. No clear business role
This is one of the worst mistakes that the project managers could make as it creates a chaos on who is doing what, when and how. My advice is to make sure all rolls are always addressed at the beginning of your program, project or even team meetings.
10. Knowledge Gaps
Managers tend to forget the value of knowledge each of project members collected during the project life and fail to document them. Knowing that in any project, people will leave in the middle and new joiners will come on board.
There are still many others to add, but this is just a glance of what I believe the top ten and most common mistakes are.