A project is a carefully planned and organized effort for achieving a desired outcome beyond your regular everyday activities. Projects are temporary in that they have a definite beginning and ending, such as when building a garden shed or deck. Projects are unique in that they are not a routine activity but a special operation for a particular purpose, such as planning a wedding or organizing the relief effort after a disaster.
The purpose of project management is to efficiently and effectively accomplish an objective of any size or complexity at a specified level of quality within a certain time frame and budget. Some specific examples of projects would be: “install a new computer system within six months for less than $100,000; build a 2500-square-foot house within three months for less than $350,000; earn a college degree in four years for less than $80,000; and find a job within two months at which you can earn at least $40,000 per year” (Bunin, 2009).
Whether the project is something you’re doing at home, work, or school, careful planning will help you stay on track, finish on time, and avoid costly mistakes. The benefits of project management include: greater understanding of goals and tasks, enhanced communication, less waste of resources (time and materials), quicker response to conflicts, and maintaining overall progress. However, even the most well-planned project may run into roadblocks. Ten common mistakes that can impact a project’s progress are:
- Wrong Fit to Helm the Project
- Wrong Start
- Poor Communication
- Mismanaging Priorities
- Inability to Incorporate Changes in Scope of Project
- Avoiding Specialized Project Management Tools
- Miscalculation of Budget
- Getting the Timelines Wrong
- Improper Man Management
- Tackling a Large Project Without Dividing it into Manageable Proportions
Adam recently put together an infographic on “10 Common Project Management Mistakes,” which goes into greater detail on each of these topics. Check it out below!