As founder and CEO of Wrike, I’ve had the opportunity to hear many project war stories from customers, investors, and mentors. And this has been the driving force behind this 5-part series on common project management mistakes.
Mistake #5: Poor Communication Within Your Team and With Stakeholders
The last, but not the least, common mistake project managers make when managing multiple projects is inefficient communication. Poor communication within a team leads to misunderstandings— and therefore mistakes—in project work.
If your project lacks communication with clients, you and your client might end up with two different project visions as a result. Miscommunication will result in loss of time and money, as well as in increasing your stress.
Winning Strategy #5: Enhance Project Communications
You can facilitate a common understanding for your projects by analyzing and addressing communication constraints. Remember that when your team and clients or stakeholders are separated by distance, there is a need to put a surplus effort into communication. Leverage your communication tools. Listen to your clients, stakeholders and team members.
Your clients and stakeholders ultimately determine the success of the project, but they are often not in the same office and cannot collaborate face-to-face. Still, you need to involve your clients and stakeholders in your project work. Make your project information and workflow transparent to them. Pay attention to their feedback. It will prevent you from redoing things and will let you satisfy the client’s expectations.
Communication with your team is everything. Monitoring progress, receiving early warnings of danger, promoting cooperation, motivating through team involvement -- all of these rely upon communication. Try to integrate your project communications into your planning process to make keeping schedules up-to-date easier. Here you can go back to winning strategy #4 again: find the right technology that will help you merge communications with project planning and make your project work transparent to your clients.
Now, when you’ve discovered the 5 winning strategies of managing multiple projects and have found out how to avoid the 5 most common mistakes, let’s summarize your knowledge.
- Don’t micromanage or do everything yourself. Delegate to your team members, but don’t forget to coordinate their actions. Find the right balance for it.
- Don’t let your plans sit on the shelf. Keep all the project information in one place and the project schedules up-to-date.
- Don’t keep your multiple project plans disconnected. Create a master plan for all of your projects.
- Don’t let the project management job become a project secretary job. Leverage technology and make sure to find the right tool that will perform your routine operations for you.
- Don’t neglect flaws in communication with your clients and within your team. Integrate your communications with project planning to ensure your project plans are up-to-date.
Managing multiple projects can be successful if approached correctly. Now you have the 5 powerful winning strategies to become a great project manager who can easily manage several projects at a time. Try not to miss any of those tips, if you don’t wish to compromise on your project management success.
I’d also like to encourage you to share your experience and project management war stories with me and this blog's readers, so that next time I can provide even better tips for becoming a super-productive project manager.