Managing projects isn’t easy. It can be rewarding, enjoyable, exciting, but it sure isn’t easy – otherwise everyone would be able to do it.

Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor

Take a look at these top ten things that people do wrong when trying to manage that tricky temporary endeavour that is designed to bring about a positive change i.e. a project:

  1. They put an inexperienced ‘non’ project manager in charge – projects are just different and you need to have the experience to lead them
  2. They don’t treat it as a new activity that deserves focus and attention, but rather they behave as if it is just an addition to their current workload – the danger is that the project is not thought through from start to finish and given the appropriate priority of their time
  3. They don’t give the time needed to the manager of the project to do the job properly – which leads to a bad job, or excessive extra hours and possibly a bad job
  4. They don’t support the project manager by partnering them with a good executive project sponsor, but instead leave the project manager to just get on with it – often ending in frustration and lack of resources from the organisation above
  5. They never consider risk once the project begins – which leads to surprises, sometimes nasty ones that can derail the whole project
  6. They assume that when people are allocated to a project they will do everything asked of them as a priority, when the reality is they have a day job as well, which will be the real priority – it never ends well and typically doesn’t get the work done on time
  7. They don’t communicate effectively – this requires the right information delivered in the right way at the right time to the right person - and reporting is not communicating
  8. They say ‘yes’ way too often, just to be nice – change is both the greatest opportunity to a project manager but also the greatest risk – people wanting more and more from the project will ensure it never ends
  9. They don’t care about the outcome of the project, it is just another job to do – without care there is never consideration or effort

And number 10. They fail to think of that all-important ‘work/life balance’ – projects are about people and a good project manager should always take this in to consideration and should definitely be ‘lazy’.

This means that we should all adopt a more focused approach to managing projects and exercise our efforts where it really matters, rather than rushing around like busy, busy bees involving ourselves in unimportant, non-critical activities that others can better address, or which do not need addressing at all in some cases.

This is the concept of ‘productive laziness’ or working harder and not smarter.

Master this and any project leader will have the time to ensure none of previous 9 errors happen in your projects.

Managing projects isn’t easy but it can be fun.

Article written by Peter Taylor author of How to get fired at C-level: Why mismanaging change is the biggest risk of all, out now, priced £14.99

Peter Taylor is known as The Lazy Project Manager and is a project management office (PMO) expert.

He is currently leading a global team of more than 200 project managers acting as custodians for more than 5,000 projects around the world from Kronos Inc., a billion-dollar software organisation delivering workforce management solutions.

Peter is also the author of eighteen books, including the number 1 bestselling project management book, The Lazy Project Manager. In the last four years he has delivered more than 200 lectures around the world on his mission to show people how to work smarter, not harder in their quest for career success. and