Have you ever heard any project management myths? Have you encountered them yourself? By the end of this article, the goal is to help debunk some common project management myths and help share some helpful knowledge along the way.
Wikipedia describes project management as:
…the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints.
While every project is unique and has its own special characteristics, the project management team at WebDevStudios follows this project life cycle to meet the desired deliverables. The goal is to exceed our client’s expectations.
Anyone can manage a project, but in order to effectively project manage, it requires an infusion of effective communication skills, strong leadership skills, a scoop of curiosity, a blend of interpersonal skills and some organizational magic to be successful. Let’s get to debunking common project management myths now.
Myth #1: The role of a project manager is just to create documentation.
Project managers do a lot more than just create documentation. They are ultimately responsible for the success of the project and ensuring the right communication is disseminated to the right people at the right time. They’re responsible for gathering information such as project requirements and translating those requirements into actionable tasks for the project team members to complete.
Providing a structure and organization for the project so information and data are methodically structured for accessibility is another key aspect of the position. Other important responsibilities include identifying risks and providing mitigation plans, keeping a watchful eye on the project scope, schedule, and budget, and communicating any changes due to issues that arise for the client.
Another key aspect of the project manager is to work with the client to acquire required resourcing and ensure that those resources are working on what is needed at that phase of the project. Essentially, the project manager should have a 50,000-foot view of the project, but also have the knowledge and proficiency of knowing where to look or who to reach out to for specifics, if questions or concerns arise. The belief that the responsibilities of a project manager can be narrowed down to documentation alone is really a big project management myth.
Myth #2: When a project is in trouble, it’s best to keep it on the DL.
When things go awry, don’t keep it on the down low. Tell your project manager immediately. Transparency is key. Not only does it keep everyone informed and aware, but it builds a sense of honesty and loyalty within the project team. Sweeping problems under the rug is never a good idea and typically ends up costing the project time and money in the long run. It also makes it harder for the project manager to do their job.
It’s best to try and handle issues with your project manager, lead, and team. Together, you can come up with some options and assess if support or direction is needed or the if the issue is going to create an increase in time, costs, or schedule. The best solution is to address the issue immediately and manage it from getting any bigger.
Myth #3: The project manager has to figure out ALL the answers.
Part of being a great project manager is realizing that you won’t always have all the answers or know the best solution, but it comes down to being able to hunt down the expert in that area and possess the ability to ask the right questions and get the right answers. It’s called a project team for a reason, and all members have different strengths, different backgrounds and knowledge to contribute.
Bonus Myth Debunked: You have to continue a project once started.
It can be demoralizing to have spent a lot of time, hard work and money on a project only to realize that it’s not working out and faces the risk of being shut down. If deadlines continue to be missed, deliverables are shy of requirements, the project’s goals can’t be met. It’s best to recognize it, cut your losses, and learn from your mistakes sooner rather than later. Otherwise, the costs would exponentially compound while benefits continue to decrease.
If you dive into a website project only to discover that your company just isn’t ready to launch after all, reach out to your project manager and have an honest talk about it. Your project manager will work with you to establish a new timeline, rescue and save the work completed so far, and get you back on track when you’re ready to begin again. Are you looking to launch a website project managed by experienced and dedicated project managers? Contact us today!