This is the second post in the series about 5 most common mistakes people make in managing multiple projects simultaneously. Before you read this piece, please take a look at 5 Most Common Mistakes in Managing Multiple Projects: Learn to Avoid Them (Part 1).
Mistake #2: Careless project planning
There is a great temptation to not think too much over your plan and just dive into the doing. Remember that one of the most important reasons for project management failures is having project plans sitting on the shelf. A project plan that is nonexistent, out of date, incomplete or poorly constructed leads to mistakes in project execution.
Most of the project management mistakes made are due to a lack of efficient and up-to-date project plans. Once you fail to keep you project plans up-to-date, you fail to monitor and influence the progress of any of your projects. You also end up being busy for longer than you need to and spending more money than you’re allowed to spend. Your team members will postpone and delay their completion of tasks. This will directly influence your project delivery date.
Winning strategy #2: Keep your plans realistic and up-to-date
If you want all of your projects to be completed on time and on budget, it’s important to check the progress of each of your projects on a daily basis. Review, Review, Review. Your project team must believe in their project’s goals and schedule. For this to happen, you must update your plans regularly; otherwise, your plans will turn out to be useless. When you manage several projects at a time, you need to be ready to instantly react to unexpected changes within a project and adjust your plan for them. Make your plan flexible. This will save you the cost of errors in the initial scheduling. Have all the information at your fingertips to be able to react to changes on your projects, so that the projects are completed successfully. Don’t let valuable information on updates be buried in disconnected files. Consolidate your data and keep all the project-related files in one place. Make it easily accessible to the appropriate people. Having all the information at hand will allow you to know where each of your projects stands at any given moment.
To be continued. I’d like to thank those who commented on the first part of these short series. Your notes prove that I’m going in the right direction. Please do continue to share your thoughts.