I was looking through some old collateral when I came across an article I wrote a while back. It’s a bit click-baity, but bear with me.  After reading it and cringing at the way I had written it, I realised that it’s as relevant today as it was then…

I realise that you might not believe that right now but think about it for a minute. When was the last time you managed a project and looked back and thought “if only I did that earlier…”  It happens to us all and hindsight is a wonderful thing.  We’ve compiled these 7 avoidable mistakes through experience and observation.  They help us to remain focused and we think they’ll help you too.    The Project Manager is the “Key” to a successful project, but here’s the problem ….   Project Management is about teams of people working together and limited resources, be they time, money or quality.

This is often referred to as the Project Management Triangle.  You know how it is, change one side, the other side’s grow or shrink to compensate.  This report is going to give you the inside-scoop on what some things that can help you make a success of a project and the outcomes for unsuspecting project managers. You’ll be armed with some practical, common sense knowledge you need so you won’t be “caught out”.  It’s not about processes and procedures, and with each tip we’ll tell you why we think it is useful and where we or some of associates have come across them.  We’ll be changing the names of the offenders to protect the guilty (and occasionally the innocent).  It is also not about standards.  These tips are in addition to, and come out of our experience.  I myself and a member of the Project Management Institute and the British Computer Society, so I appreciate and approve of credentials and methodologies in their place….but anyway….

For the past 15 years I have been a high level project manager in fast moving high tech and new media companies with a focus on complex projects and product development.  In the last few years I have worked with business to ensure the success of the capital projects, including household names such as O2, Three, Hallmark Cards and Orange and I now work with various businesses to bring them the same skills that were previously only available to larger companies.  My team and I have worked on some incredible projects in some incredible places, and we often get to see our work driving round, looking at posters or seeing someone using something we helped to create.  But often they invoke bittersweet memories – things that we need to remember and learned from, but we would often prefer to forget.

I believe in the Professional Project Manager, but have met many people who would claim to have been Project Managers on their CV or resumes because they once created a Gantt Chart.  It’s great that these guys aspire, but it’s is a game of hard knocks.

We should be learning from others, but I see people suffer from the same mistakes that some of our clients have made, where great projects suffer and things are missed.  I once managed part of a project that could have seriously moved broadband Britain ahead by five years, but was cancelled due to some poor financial planning.

Some problems don’t appear for a while – particularly larger or more complex projects. We frequently find ourselves dealing with issues whose origins occurred two years previously.  In times like these, we would all be better off for avoiding these mistakes.  This page could get quite long, so there’ll be seven installments.  Installment 1

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