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7 Mistakes every project manager makes and how to fix it

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As a project manager, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. From creating project plans to managing budgets and timelines, there are numerous tasks that require your attention. However, even the most experienced project managers can make mistakes that can impact the success of their projects.

In this article, we will discuss seven common mistakes that project managers make and provide solutions to help you fix them. By understanding these mistakes and how to avoid them, you can improve your project management skills and ensure the success of your projects.

Whether you’re a new project manager or have years of experience, it’s important to be aware of these mistakes and take steps to prevent them. By doing so, you can avoid costly mistakes and deliver successful projects that meet your clients’ expectations.

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Mistake 1: Poor Communication

Communication is the foundation of any successful project. Without it, tasks can be misunderstood, deadlines can be missed, and the entire project can suffer. Poor communication can stem from several sources, including:

  • Not establishing clear expectations at the outset of the project
  • Not providing regular updates to team members and stakeholders
  • Not actively listening to feedback and concerns from team members and stakeholders

To fix this mistake, it’s important to establish clear lines of communication from the outset of the project. This can include:

  • Setting up regular check-ins with team members and stakeholders to discuss progress and address concerns
  • Establishing a clear chain of command for decision-making
  • Providing regular updates to team members and stakeholders, even if there is no major news to report
  • Actively listening to feedback and concerns from team members and stakeholders, and taking action to address them

By establishing clear lines of communication and actively listening to feedback and concerns, you can help ensure that your project stays on track and that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Mistake 2: Inadequate Planning

As a project manager, you know the importance of planning. However, inadequate planning is a common mistake that can lead to project failure. Here are some ways to avoid this mistake:

  • Define clear project goals and objectives. This will help you stay focused and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Develop a comprehensive project plan that outlines all the tasks, timelines, and resources needed to complete the project.
  • Identify potential risks and develop contingency plans to mitigate them.
  • Communicate the project plan and goals to all stakeholders, including team members, clients, and vendors.
  • Regularly review and update the project plan to ensure that it remains relevant and achievable.

Inadequate planning can also lead to scope creep, which is when the project scope expands beyond the original plan. To avoid scope creep, it’s important to:

  • Define the project scope clearly and get agreement from all stakeholders.
  • Document any changes to the project scope and get approval from all stakeholders before implementing them.
  • Regularly review the project scope to ensure that it remains aligned with the project goals and objectives.

By taking these steps, you can avoid the mistake of inadequate planning and increase the likelihood of project success.

Mistake 3: Lack of Risk Management

As a project manager, you are responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing risks that could impact your project. However, many project managers make the mistake of not prioritizing risk management or overlooking potential risks altogether. This can lead to project delays, budget overruns, and even project failure.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to implement a risk management plan early in the project planning phase. This plan should include:

  • Identifying potential risks and their likelihood of occurring
  • Assessing the impact of each risk on the project
  • Developing strategies to mitigate or avoid each risk
  • Assigning responsibilities for risk management tasks
  • Establishing a process for monitoring and reviewing risks throughout the project lifecycle

By proactively managing risks, you can reduce the likelihood of negative impacts on your project and increase the chances of success. Additionally, it’s important to communicate the risks and risk management plan to all stakeholders, including team members, sponsors, and clients, to ensure everyone is aware of potential risks and the steps being taken to mitigate them.

Mistake 4: Insufficient Resource Allocation

One of the most common mistakes project managers make is not allocating enough resources to complete a project successfully. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including poor planning, inaccurate estimations, or unexpected changes in the project scope.

When you don’t allocate enough resources, you risk missing deadlines, delivering poor quality work, and damaging relationships with stakeholders. To avoid this mistake, it’s important to take the time to properly plan and estimate the resources required for each project phase.

Here are some tips to help you allocate resources more effectively:

  • Identify all the tasks required to complete the project and estimate how much time and effort each task will take.
  • Consider the availability and skill level of your team members when assigning tasks.
  • Allocate contingency resources to account for unexpected events or delays.
  • Regularly review and adjust your resource allocation plan as needed throughout the project.

By taking a proactive approach to resource allocation, you can ensure that your project has the resources it needs to succeed.

Mistake 5: Failure to Track Progress

One of the biggest mistakes project managers make is failing to track progress effectively. Without proper tracking, it can be difficult to determine if your project is on track, if milestones are being met, and if resources are being used efficiently. Here are a few ways to fix this mistake:

  • Set clear goals and milestones for your project, and track progress towards them regularly.
  • Use project management software or tools to help you track progress, and make sure all team members are trained on how to use them.
  • Regularly review your project plan and adjust it as needed based on progress and changes in scope.
  • Communicate progress updates to stakeholders and team members regularly, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Tracking progress is essential for project success. By taking the time to set clear goals, use the right tools, and communicate effectively, you can avoid this common mistake and keep your project on track.

Mistake 6: Ignoring Stakeholder Input

As a project manager, you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You’re responsible for ensuring that your project is completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. However, one of the biggest mistakes that project managers make is ignoring stakeholder input.

Stakeholders are the people who have a vested interest in the project. They could be your clients, customers, employees, or even the general public. Ignoring their input can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Decreased stakeholder satisfaction
  • Increased project risk
  • Missed opportunities for improvement
  • Unforeseen issues

Ignoring stakeholder input can also lead to a lack of buy-in from your team. If your team doesn’t see the value in the project, they’re less likely to be motivated to work on it.

So, how can you fix this mistake? The first step is to identify your stakeholders and understand their needs and expectations. You can do this by:

  1. Conducting stakeholder analysis
  2. Engaging with stakeholders regularly
  3. Asking for feedback and input
  4. Keeping stakeholders informed

Once you understand your stakeholders, you can incorporate their input into your project plan. This will help you to:

  • Improve stakeholder satisfaction
  • Reduce project risk
  • Identify opportunities for improvement
  • Anticipate and mitigate issues

By incorporating stakeholder input into your project plan, you can ensure that your project is a success and that all stakeholders are satisfied with the outcome.

Mistake 7: Inability to Adapt to Change in Project Management

In project management, change is inevitable. However, some managers struggle to adapt to change effectively, resulting in significant consequences for their projects. This article discusses the problem of an inability to adapt to change and how it can be resolved.

Many project managers stick rigidly to their original plans and resist any deviation. This approach is problematic when unexpected changes arise, which can disrupt the project timeline, increase costs, and negatively impact team morale.

Inability to adapt to change can result in missed deadlines, cost overruns, decreased productivity, and low team morale. Additionally, clients or stakeholders may become dissatisfied if changes in scope or requirements are not managed effectively.

Project managers must be open-minded and flexible to adapt to change. They should create contingency plans, communicate regularly with stakeholders, and remain agile in their approach to project management. Utilizing project management tools and techniques like Agile methodology can also help teams adapt to change more efficiently.


In conclusion, it is clear that project management is a complex undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. The seven common mistakes discussed in this article can have a significant impact on the success of a project. Poor communication, inadequate planning, lack of risk management, insufficient resource allocation, failure to track progress, ignoring stakeholder input, and inability to adapt to change are all issues that project managers need to be aware of and work to overcome.

To address these issues, project managers should take a proactive approach to communication and establish a culture of transparency. They should prioritize planning and risk management by involving stakeholders and dedicating resources to these critical areas. Resource allocation should be based on a realistic assessment of project needs, and progress should be tracked regularly to ensure that the project stays on track.

In addition, project managers must be open to stakeholder input and willing to adapt to changing circumstances. This requires a flexible approach to project management that can accommodate unexpected challenges and shifting priorities. By taking these steps, project managers can avoid common mistakes and increase the likelihood of project success.


Poor communication is when project managers fail to effectively share information, goals, or objectives with team members. It can result in misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and poor project outcomes.

Project managers can improve communication by scheduling regular team meetings, using collaboration tools, providing clear project updates and deadlines, and encouraging open communication between team members.

Inadequate planning refers to project managers failing to thoroughly plan and document project scope, timelines, and resources. It can result in missed deadlines, scope creep, and unexpected costs.

Project managers can avoid inadequate planning by conducting thorough project planning sessions, creating detailed project plans, and involving team members in the planning process.

Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating potential risks in a project. It is important because it helps project managers anticipate and prevent problems before they occur, which can save time and resources.

Project managers can implement risk management by conducting regular risk assessments, creating contingency plans, involving stakeholders in the risk management process, and using risk management tools and software.

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