12 Really Bad Project Management and Planning Techniques
Project planning is an integrated process. Any actions (or their absence) usually affect all other departments of your business or projects and that’s why a project manager is one of the most strategically important members of your team. You must be already studied the essential skills of a successful project manager and tried on this role. But what are skills of a bad project manager and how to avoid common mistakes?
Let’s check a fun don’t-do list:
When does it need to get done? – Always say “Yesterday”
This joke will never lose its charm. It will only strengthen your image of a guru in your field and make everyone understand that they need to hurry up. Don’t worry as no one will guess that it was you who failed all the possible deadlines. It is a good way to escape personal responsibility and pin the blame on someone else.
Never trust anyone in project management and planning
Always be aware that people you work with are looking for any opportunity to trick you. So, control every single step of your team and be on the specialists’ case all the time. Ask them for a detailed report on what they have been doing during their working time (down to a single minute) instead of discussing the results of their work together. Always doubt everything, don’t trust your team members and check every little new fact. People you are working with are evil, you have different tasks and goals. Always remember that.
Never use a project planning tool
A project normally gets done by itself. It’s like a tree – just plant a seed and water the soil. Have you ever met any weirdos who would start calculating how tall the tree will grow in a year? The thing is that planning has never helped anybody to make a good project. Deadlines and set up timing only add more responsibility and unnecessary headache. Forget about online Gantt chart software and other web project planning tools – they are for softies only!
Hold more meetings
Any issue or problem can be solved by the group of people working on a project. It’s always best to have everyone physically present at a meeting. Use conference call or Skype chat only in case of emergency. Remember that your only task is to get all team members together and let them come to some mutual agreement. Don’t plan the agenda, don’t think about the costs of the meeting or the fact that the working day will be split because of it and don’t send out the letter about the agreements that have been reached. The members of the team know what they are doing. Save your time and efforts and don’t interfere with their job.
Don’t rush – you can finish things in the evenings and on the weekend
Working 8×5 is for week ones. Everyone knows that it’s 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. So all this time can be filled with work. Don’t let your team relax too much: call them out of working hours and on the weekends. Make them feel guilty for not doing enough work. You can always put the work off till the evening or weekend. Deadline on Friday means that you can finish on Monday.
Offer specialists or do a part of work for them
If someone is not on time you should help them out. You’ve also been a developer (designer) at some point and know perfectly how the tasks need to be done and how long it takes. Moreover – by default, you can do any kind of work better than any member of your team. So sit next to them and help to solve their issues. Suggest the right choice of colors for the designer. Show where to put the necessary library to a developer. Put some content into CMS together with content manager. Don’t try to find more qualified specialists, extra resources? Ask for more time to finish the project or more budget for your project. This is not a good idea. Try to do everything yourself.
Plan B – you don’t need it in your project plan!
All projects normally go as planned. The work scope doesn’t change, the timings and deadlines stay the same, the boss never goes on holiday, your team works 24/7 and you can always get hold of every team member. The results of work always get accepted by the client from the very first time, servers work flawlessly, QA testing doesn’t find any critical errors or issues. The way the clients see the project remains just the same till the very release date as when you started it. Don’t waste your time and effort on calculation and foreseeing all the things that are unlikely to go wrong. Things never go wrong!
Don’t think about the people who you work with
The specialists who work on project planning and projects themselves are just small parts of the whole money making a machine. Who cares that they can feel tired, have troubles with understanding client’s tasks and each other or have some things or problems to deal with outside of work? You pay for their time, so it’s “give and take” relationship.
Don’t write the records of meetings
People normally have a great memory. Any participant of a meeting can easily recollect the agenda, underline all the agreements made at a meeting and in any given time span can name the participants and their responsibilities. That is why writing the records of the meetings and align project planning online is a waste of time.
Always agree with everything that the client and team say
Having your own opinion is a dangerous thing in task management and planning. Especially if you are the manager of the project. The client always knows better what they need and the team always knows how to make what the client needs. All this is crystal clear and the communication process is smooth as all of the participants are grown up clever people. You should try to avoid conflicts at any cost and the best tactics to avoid it is just to watch. The maximum that you can do is to pass the information from one person to another without any distortions, letting everyone know that it is not your opinion.
Break the agreements and ignore project management and planning steps
No one really cares when you promise to call but never call back, when you are constantly late for the meetings, promise to send the necessary files on Monday but do it on Thursday. It is OK. Everyone is busy and you can’t be on time with everything. Try not to promise anything to anybody, don’t give any precise timings and avoid the responsibility for any key tasks of the project – this way no one will be able to start picking at you. Breaking the agreements is natural so don’t be too serious about it.
Keep the important info to yourself only
Release the important in small doses and don’t let anyone in the team see the full and realistic picture of the current situation. People who work with you only need to know what is required in at this very moment of time. No one has to think why they are doing their tasks, what is going on with the other tasks of the project and what is going to happen after. Your client especially shouldn’t be aware of the risks, problems and possible change of the finish dates. This information is unnecessary and shouldn’t be shared. A manager is not obliged to share the project plans with everyone.
P.S. Of course, it’s just a joke. I hope you do not make these mistakes in your project planning and project management, do you? Be a good project manager – enjoy planning your projects online with our online Gantt chart software – GanttPRO.