For an IT company or a software house, the project manager typically looks over the development wing and is also on constant lookout of modern and sophisticated technology being introduced around the world.
Moreover, the project manager analyzes the long-term and short-term goals/requirements of the organization and invest the capital to produce maximum profit. After the CEO and CTO of a company, project manager is the next-in-line most important person.
Having a crucial position in an organization, every action of the project manager directly impacts the productivity of employees and revenue the organization generates.
A project manager needs to acquire a diversified skills set to effectively manage the employees, executive and managers while staying ahead in the industry. Although there is no magic wand or perfect formula using which, a manager can be absolutely successful in fulfilling his/her role, there are some pitfalls or practices that he/she should avoid. Here are some of the most common mistakes that a manager should avoid:
A manager who does not communicate efficiently with his/her team or does not have a channel that allows two-way communication cannot run the organization in the perfect manner. One of the biggest issues that managers face is the lack of communication with the team. If you do not regularly give feedback to your employees and ask them to give their thoughts on what should be changed/improved in the organization – a communication gap will occur that will keep on increasing with time. A manager is like a leader of the company and if the leader does not know the problems or issues that his/her people have, he/she would not be able to solve them either.
Great leaders are great communicators, they know how to connect with others and correspond in a way that brings maximum benefit for everyone. One of the ways to ensure good communication among the organization is to have weekly or fortnight meetings. Encourage everyone to actively participate in the meetings, ask questions and get them answered.
A poor project manager will micromanage everything in the organization. Instead of delegating tasks to the employees and trusting them with making decisions, the manager will take everything in his/her own hand. As a consequence, if the he/she is unavailable or busy with some other task – all others tasks will be put on halt thus effecting the overall productivity of the organization. The employees will also feel resentment towards the him/her and organization.
A project manager has a number of responsibilities, which makes it important that he/she has managers who can share the workload with him/her effectively. A good manager will always take into account the skills and strengths of each of the team member and assign them roles and responsibilities accordingly. This allows both the organization and employees to grow. This will also provide him/her with some extra time to work on other aspects of the organization.
Lack of clear goals & timelines
Without having a clear vision about where and when the company wants to reach, it is impossible to attain the goal. A project manager who is unclear about the long-term and short-term goals of the organization will lack in productivity, which will directly reflect on the employees. It is important to set both the short-term (progress of current employees, weekly tasks, monthly tasks) and long-term goals (where will the company be in five years, what clients it will have acquired, strength of employees etc.) so that employees know what is expected of them.
Another problem is that the timelines are either not set or are impractical. With every short-term and long-term task, set a timeline or due date. This will help in tracking if employees are working proactively or simply slacking off.
Not emotionally intelligent
According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, the five essential characteristics of emotional intelligence are: self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy, social skills and self-regulation. Position of a project manager requires dealing with people, henceforth it is essential to have people’s skills. A manager does not only need technical intelligence but also emotional intelligence to deal with issues and problems that occur in the organization. A manager with no emotional intelligence will let his/her anger take the better of him/her and make decisions based on feelings. Whereas an emotionally intelligent one will always take the rational route, no matter what his/her feelings are. Successful project managers learn to control their emotions and remain calm even in a crisis situation.
An emotionally intelligent manager is able to empathize with his/her employees, understand their personal problems and have the social skills to contribute effectively towards the betterment of organization.
No motivation & reward system
It is inculcated in human nature to do more if they are motivated and encouraged in the right direction. If employees are praised on their good work, they will definitely try to work even harder the next time. One of the most common mistakes that project managers make is not encouraging the employees on a regular basis. When an efficient worker is not given any attention or praise by the manager and treated the same way like an inefficient worker, they lose their spark and dumb down to doing mediocre quality work. Henceforth, to have smart workers in your organization, do not forget to motivate them and encourage the ones who are shining among them. It can be as simple as sending a motivational email to every employee.
If an employee excels and does extra ordinary, reward them with a bonus. It can be as small as 50 pounds or 100 pounds. This will not only encourage the employee but also create a healthy competitive environment in the workplace motivating everyone to put in more efforts.
Making mistakes and blunders on the journey to success is inevitable, but matters is that you learn from your past mistakes, take them as lessons and try to constantly improve and grow as a project manager. If you are looking for an experienced and professional project manager, contact Zepto Systems to get a custom quote on our dedicated, remote resources.