The project manager’s job might be exhausting at times. It needs a flexible attitude, a lot of energy, and the capacity to think ahead.
While project management trends change all the time, some things never change, whether you’re in charge of software development projects or other IT initiatives: a terrible habit.
I’ve managed projects for a variety of companies as a previous software project manager, and I’ve worked directly with project managers and stakeholders. Throughout this process, I’ve seen a few problematic habits that inhibit project managers from becoming industry superstars.
Here are seven habits that are sabotaging your productivity as a project manager (PM) and how to overcome them.
1. Lack of balance
Understanding and prioritizing the expectations of various stakeholders is the most crucial and difficult component of being a PM. Stakeholder collaboration is the No. 1 driver of a PM’s effectiveness, according to a survey by CEB Inc. (now part of Gartner) of over 30 Fortune 500 businesses and almost 500 project managers.
It’s all about striking the right balance. You can’t only respond to your client’s, users’, or developers’ worries. The more you try to impress the client by blaming developers, the more likely you are to lose your team’s trust and support—and vice versa. So, what’s the best way to go about it?
You should be objective as a professional PM and operate as a link between corporate channels. Keep these easy rules in mind if you want to perform it correctly:
- Meetings with important stakeholders on a regular basis should be scheduled, and input should be exchanged.
- Ensure that communication channels are functioning properly and that each message reaches its intended recipient.
- Before making important judgments, consider all of the reasons and details.
- Learn more about resolving conflicts.
- When resolving problems, aim for a win-win situation.
- When it’s necessary, don’t be scared to say no.
- Prioritize the needs of various stakeholders and analyze them on a regular basis.
The largest project management sin is procrastination. Indeed, some project managers delay producing up-to-date status updates that capture all of the project’s business-critical activities and hazards, or they fail to provide timely feedback on team performance and deliverable quality.
Poor performance, a lack of commitment, and other dysfunctional effects are common outcomes.
You must decide whether you are willing to devote extra time and energy to your job in this case. If not, you might think about changing careers or industries. Project management is all about looking past many constraints to get things done well, on time, and within budget.
3. One-way feedback (or lack thereof)
Any leadership role necessitates regular communication and feedback. When they become one-sided, however, they lose their potency.
Some PMs, for example, maybe extremely directive and blame the team when a problem arises. Alternatively, the PM may encourage team members to speak up and discuss their concerns or accomplishments without providing any performance feedback. It’s fine to be the good guy and best friend of the development team until it has a negative impact on the business.
As a project manager, you should maintain open lines of communication and enable engagement among the project’s various stakeholders. Ascertain that they are informed about the project’s progress and that they are given opportunities to shine and express their ideas.
4. Uninspiring management style
Rather than focusing their efforts on creating a unified work atmosphere, many PMs tend to strictly follow the established process.
They are emotionally shallow and lack excitement for their work. As a result, the team begins to imitate their attitude, resulting in low employee engagement and motivation.
It takes time to develop the talent of motivating teams, which is an important PM skill. It’s all about maintaining a positive attitude and keeping the team on schedule to meet milestones, even when the project is going through a rough patch. It’s not about altering reality or portraying it in a positive manner. Rather, you must keep everyone informed about the project’s development and collaborate to avoid any potential bottlenecks.
5. Lack of domain-specific knowledge
Some project managers have only a rudimentary awareness of application architecture, project technology stacks, and industry details. Because such PMs are unable to adequately assess the project’s health or provide a reasonable estimate of the time required to complete specific tasks, they operate as project administrators rather than project managers.
You can’t be productive if you don’t consider the business and technological background. Gone are the days when having a broad set of abilities was sufficient. A project manager’s responsibilities and responsibilities in software development now encompass not only project governance and administration, but also a broad awareness of the company’s domain.
A seasoned PM should be familiar with the produced product’s value, competitive advantages, market position, and industry peculiarities. He or she must discuss potential concerns with the team in order to fully comprehend all interactions and dependencies, as well as have a bird’s-eye view of the project.
If you’re not sure how to learn the technology, approach the project’s key technical people and ask them to share their knowledge. Or look up more information about your project’s tech stack on the internet.
You can consult your marketing stakeholders and industry experts, as well as explore information online, for business domain knowledge. If you do not do so, someone else will take your seat.
Micromanagement is becoming more common, particularly among project managers with a technical background. Understanding how everything works and how the various technology levels interact can be really valuable. Technical project managers, on the other hand, frequently delve too deeply into minor intricacies of the project or focus on responsibilities given to other team members.
Then, because they failed to pay enough attention to critical parts of the project, they find themselves in a situation where their team’s dedication is at an all-time low. As a result, they burn out, and by the end of the day, the project is falling apart.
To avoid this, concentrate on your core strengths while keeping the overall picture in mind. Ensure that the project strategy was followed and that all stakeholders were satisfied, but don’t get too engaged in other team members’ work. Rather, act as a project facilitator, ensuring that everything is in sync. And, of course, delegate, delegate, delegate.
7. No focus on continuous improvement
When it comes to optimizing workflow and enhancing both tangible and intangible project benefits, continuous improvement is critical.
Some PMs, on the other hand, tend to adopt “templated practices” without adapting them to new situations. This is especially true for inexperienced project managers who use the same workflow and procedures on every project they work on. As a result, work is slowed and quality suffers.
Flexibility and a constant focus on improving existing processes might help you reduce inefficiencies and achieve your goals. I’ve never heard of a development team that just used Scrum practices. Scrum wouldn’t be Scrum without XP engineering practices, in my opinion.
Typically, the development process consists of a combination of techniques, practices, standards, and an engineering culture that is ideally aligned with the unique business requirements.
Set the right goals
PMs must give up these seven poor habits in order to be effective and bridge the gaps in their abilities. Instead, they must focus on constantly improving their talents and mastering new ways. Be interested, connect with other industry professionals, share your experiences and best practices, and remember that each day is an opportunity to learn something new and develop. The results will be available soon.