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Topics: Leadership
What is the biggest project management mistake non PMs tend to make?
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I'm conducting research for some upcoming articles on my Forbes.com site (Careers section). I'm a strong believer that project management isn't just for PMs and virtually everyone could benefit from PM skills and expertise. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the biggest mistakes project management mistakes that non PMs tend to make. What have you observed?
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Poor planning - either too much or too little.

A close second would be ineffective risk management.
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Missing some of the basic standards.
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Not taking a given "objective" as an opportunity to lead and manage a team towards a common goal via a structured process.
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Non PM may do following serious mistakes: No project charter, no stake holder analysis, decision on guts feelings, no WBS and no quality standards, starting project on oral instructions and without finalizing business rules. No change management system so there are n number of possibilities of doing mistakes.
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The most serious mistake a non PM can make, and we do it a lot, is to try too hard to fit the mold. They tend to spend so much time on making sure that all those things they've heard about in the PMBOK are in place. Who needs a charter, SOW or WBS for a USD1000 project! Focus on the basics. Too much focus on the theory and not enough on the practice. We need to keep in mind that the non PM is not pushed into service on a multi-million $$$ construction project. It's normally the office move, Windows upgrade for self and 5 colleagues or building a shed at home.
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1 reply by Ramakant Beernally
May 28, 2019 2:25 AM
Ramakant Beernally
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The objective of giving example is that they are not process oriented wheather it is small or big because of that there are lot of chances of facing problems and inviting unwanted issues later on and projects go towards failure side. PMs are process oriented and they tailor their project with respect to volume and budget.
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May 28, 2019 1:26 AM
Replying to Anton Oosthuizen
...
The most serious mistake a non PM can make, and we do it a lot, is to try too hard to fit the mold. They tend to spend so much time on making sure that all those things they've heard about in the PMBOK are in place. Who needs a charter, SOW or WBS for a USD1000 project! Focus on the basics. Too much focus on the theory and not enough on the practice. We need to keep in mind that the non PM is not pushed into service on a multi-million $$$ construction project. It's normally the office move, Windows upgrade for self and 5 colleagues or building a shed at home.
The objective of giving example is that they are not process oriented wheather it is small or big because of that there are lot of chances of facing problems and inviting unwanted issues later on and projects go towards failure side. PMs are process oriented and they tailor their project with respect to volume and budget.
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Not clearly defining the project at the outset, and then not managing the scope. Not looking at team membership and team development. Lack of risk management.
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The biggest mistake I see repeated over and over again is...Not having the guts to tell the customer that the project is dead in the water. This is actually mind-blowing, and they try and save the project, but the reality is, if they spoke up sooner might have saved the organization time and money.
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Poor planning indeed, in particular requirement elicitation/gathering.
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Not managing scope. Too much scope creep leads to late project and budget over runs.
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