If you are in charge of managing a project at work, whether it is your first or your usual job, there is a lot to consider. Read on to discover everything you need to know.
Terms you should know
If you are new to project management or this is a career you are thinking about embarking on, one of the things you will learn during project management training is about the common terminology that is used. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the most common terms that every project manager should know.
Dashboard – This is something that all project managers should be making the most of. Your dashboard will be part of the project management software that you are utilising. It presents you with a way of reporting details in a quick and visual manner that is easy to digest. Your dashboard should show key indicators so you can grasp a good understanding of project progress. Key indicators include the likes of resource allocation, key upcoming milestones, risks, budget spent, and overall progress.
Risk – This is, no doubt, a term that you have already heard of and you will know what risk means. However, risk in project management is an entirely matter altogether. Risk can be both negative and positive. Nevertheless, most of the time you are going to be putting your effort into reducing the negative risks so that they do not derail your project.
Dependency – As the name suggests, dependency is when something relies on something else, or in basic terms, you have a link between tasks. Dependencies are helpful when you need to put tasks in the right sequence to ensure your team is working as efficiently as possible.
Baseline – A baseline is a term used to describe the version of something at a particular moment in time. In most case, baselining a project schedule simply means looking back so you can see what has changed, where improvements can be made, and so on. You can also baseline the budget or any of the project deliverables. It basically refers to anything that has the potential to be altered later on in the project.
Gantt chart – Last but not least, every project manager needs to know what a Gantt chart is and how to use one. You may not require this for every project, but you will definitely make use of Gantt charts at some point. This is a common way of showcasing the schedule for a project. The vast majority of project management software available today will enable you to make Gantt charts.
So there you have it: some of the most common terms that every project manager should know. From risk and dependency to baseline and Gantt charts, there is a lot to take into account, but with some practice, these terms will become the first language.
Mistakes to avoid
In all walks of life, we make mistakes. Project management is no different. In fact, you are likely to make numerous mistakes on projects over the years. Nevertheless, seeing these errors as an opportunity to learn is what really matters. If you can use your mistakes as an opportunity to grow and to benefit projects moving forward, you will experience great success as a project manager. With that being said, read on to discover more about some of the most common project management blunders.
Failing to enhance your skills with project management training – A lot of project managers do not see the point in taking one of the available project management training courses because they already have the skills they need. However, project management does not sit still. You need to continue to enhance your skills and learn about the new technologies, trends, and methodologies if you are to move forward. You may also need to take a course to enhance your knowledge in the projects you’re dealing with, for example, an MA education if you are working on projects for schools across the country.
Micromanaging your team – If most people reading this are honest, they will admit that they have micromanaged their team from time-to-time. It is hard to avoid doing this. After all, you feel responsible for the entire project and so you want to make sure that everything is done correctly. However, this undermines your team members. You chose them for a reason, so empower them. This will give them the confidence and motivation they need to achieve more.
Mismanaging expectations – This is another trap that is easy to fall into. A lot of project managers find themselves overpromising, which naturally results in under delivering. It is understandable because you want to secure business and you do not want to let your clients down. However, in the end, you set your team up for failure, and you end up disappointing the client regardless.
Being resistant to change – Change is an important part of any project. It is likely that changes are going to need to be made along the way. After all, very few projects go exactly how you expected them to during the planning phase. Being resistant to change can hold your entire project back.
Failing to manage project risks – Last but not least, risk management is a critical component of any project. If something negative arises and you cannot respond quickly, it could completely derail your project. Pre-planning in this regard makes a massive difference.
As you can see, there are a number of common mistakes that project managers tend to make. If you are making any of the project management blunders that have been mentioned above, don’t panic. As mentioned, it is about how you learn from these errors that really matters. Find out where you are going wrong and what you can do to make sure such a scenario does not occur in the future. If you can do this, you have found the winning formula.