3 Project Management Pitfalls to Tackle at the Start

There are a lot of moving parts in the world of finance project management including time constraints, pressure from stakeholders, and changing goals and goal posts. These pitfalls can derail your project timeline and budget, impacting your results, so you’ll want to devise a plan to avoid them right off the bat.

Pitfall 1: Taking out Planning to Cut Down Time on a Tight Timeline

Every project has a deadline, but some projects run on a tighter timeline than others. It can be tempting to take out things like planning meetings and daily follow-up to save time, but getting rid of these crucial elements can actually make the overall project timeline much longer. Keep the same structure and organization for projects on a tight deadline as you do for projects with a longer lead time. This way everyone on the team still knows what to expect and nobody is thrown off by a new routine.

Pitfall 2: Succumbing to Pressure from Stakeholders

Stakeholders are the ones who have the most to lose if your project doesn’t meet expectations, so you should be working to make them happy. However, that doesn’t mean you need to succumb to pressure from stakeholders at the cost of fulfilling your role as project manager. Stick to your game plan instead of trying to please the stakeholders by trying something new that you don’t believe will produce the correct results. Keep your authority as project manager by managing your team members as you normally do. The end result should demonstrate your capabilities as a leader, even if the stakeholders don’t acknowledge this openly.

Pitfall 3: Chaos and Confusion due to Shifting Goals and Goal Posts

Stakeholders often move into a project midway and change the goal and/or goal post, making it difficult for you and your team to meet their new expectations. Make sure to stay in constant communication with your team about adapted/new goals and keep track of changes in writing so that you and your stakeholders are always on the same page. You need to be able to demonstrate at the end of the project that you have met your stakeholders’ objectives, so stay organized, even if this means taking some extra time throughout the day to verify that you are in fact meeting the objectives of the new goal. Organization is tantamount to your success as a project manager, particularly when the goals/goal posts have shifted during the project’s duration.

These are by no means the only pitfalls you might face as a PM, but they are pretty common. Get ahead of them in the first stages of you’re project, and you’re off to a great start.