5 Things You Should NEVER Do When Running A Project

Adriana Girdler

Don’t make these mistakes, learn from others! What’s the difference between a failed project and a successful one? Project managers of a successful project NEVER …

Don’t make these mistakes, learn from others!

Cut it outWhat’s the difference between a failed project and a successful one? Project managers of a successful project NEVER do these top 5 things. Are you interested in learning more? Be the superstar that you are and read on.

#1- Assume you don’t need a project plan. With huge projects, project documentation is a given which means a detailed project plan needs to be created. This becomes an issue when we enter the murky waters of smaller projects. Sometimes there’s a belief that you don’t need all the ‘planning stuff’ since it’s just a small project and you can just run with it.  This attitude is a kiss of death and a slam dunk deal that your project will fail. A project plan, no matter the size of the project, is critical to ensure you dot your i’s and crossed your t’s.

#2- Assume all stakeholders understand what you’re doing. Just because someone gave you the marching orders to do the project, don’t assume that they truly understand it. This goes without saying! Apply this for your team too. Just because they’veve been assigned to your team doesn’t mean their manager filled them in on all the detail. Communication, particularly at the beginning stages of a project, is critical for project success. In the beginning, over-communicate your purpose and spend the extra time ensuring and confirming everyone is on the same page. 

#3- Cave in to team pressure regarding project manger’s ways of working. You’re the PM and how you choose to run the project is a choice you need to make to ensure you can run it successfully. This may mean that you may prefer using an Excel sheet vs a Gantt chart or anything else that makes running a project easy for you. Sometimes team members don’t understand a PM’s rules/expectations/needs and then they try to negotiate with the PM to abandon them. DON’T do this! You’re the expert and you need to ensure that you’re able to lead. Honour this about yourself. Perhaps there’s something else you can accommodate on with your team. Just don’t do it with your key ways of working.

#4- Accept all directional advice from management…blindly. As a general rule, the PM is the expert on the project because they know all the ins and outs of the project. This means as the PM you need to challenge (respectfully!) upper management requests and/or expectations to ensure the project is a success.  It’s your job to ensure there’s no scope creep.

#5- Think the project is complete as soon as the project is implemented. It takes 21 days to create or break a habit. If you are introducing new ways of working or thinking, you need to monitor and course correct the end result to ensure that everyone gets it. I have witnessed projects fail because PMs thought they were done once the idea was implemented. Don’t make this critical mistake. Lack of proper support after an implemented initiative leads to great ideas being deemed as a failure.

Remember this list the next time you are starting a project. Use it like a checklist. We learn more from our failures then we do our success. So play it smart and learn from other’s mistakes so you can shine like the star you are!

What other items would you add to this list to ensure a successful project? Thanks for reading, don’t forget to share/tweet/like our blog just underneath this paragraph. And don’t forget, we’re always here to help with your business efficiency needs.

Thanks For Sharing!

Photo of author

Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

SLAY Project Management

Online Course

5 Sections and 24 step-by-step HOW TO Videos! The only 5-hour on-line course that teaches you the PRACTICAL side of project management. This course will guide you step-by-step on HOW to successfully run a project and provides you with all the templates and tips you need to be successful.

Fab 5 Fundamentals

Free Training

Are you striving for successful projects, but get overwhelmed figuring out what elements of project management to focus on for the best results? In the Fab Five Fundamentals of Project Management, you’ll learn the five things you need to do on EVERY project to bring it to success.

Why Projects Fail?

Free Download

If you're new to projects or need a refresher, here's a guide of all the things I learned during my journey. Project success is about knowing how to navigate and stay clear of roadblocks, issues and problems. Understand the top 10 reasons why projects fail and how to avoid them.

Interested In Working Together?

We are business productivity experts. Contact us to learn how we can help your business become more efficient and increase profitability.

Join Our Newsletter

Join over 50,000 subscribers. Get the latest and the best in project management information delivered straight to your inbox.

Follow Us