Welcome to PremierAgile! Chat with our learning advisor to avail Upto 15% discount across all Scrum Alliance courses Recognised as “Best Agile Consulting and Transformation companies - 2022” by BusinessConnect Magazine Avail Zero Interest EMI Please hurry!!! Get a discount of 22% on the forthcoming Advanced Certified Product Owner training Mega offer! Save upto INR 22,000 when you buy our Advanced course combo packages

PremierAgile

With an objective to enable continuous learning and progression for our learners, PremierAgile curated several learning articles. Out of a wide range of topics, you can choose to learn from the real-world experiences by practitioners in the areas of Agile, Scrum, Product Ownership, Scaling, Agile Leadership, Tools & Frameworks, latest market trends, new innovations etc.

Most Common Project Management Myths to Avoid

When you become a Project Manager for an organization, you should remember that you are hired to be a liaison and a leader. As a Project Manager, you will be responsible for guiding the budget, quality, scope and structure of a project. When doing these things, you should be particular to consider the interest of your organization as well. Not only the organization’s interest but also you should consider the stakeholder and client interests. As Project Managers take on a lot of responsibilities, many Project Management myths exist. These myths prevail because of the increasing number of organizations becoming project-oriented.  We are here to demystify some myths about Project Management. You can also find ways to avoid them here:

1. Customers Are Always Right:

Presently, we live in a buyer-centric economy. So, as against any other metric, user experience counts a lot. So, naturally, you will be tempted to agree with whatever your client says. But, as a Project Manager, you should remember that not all clients know what they want. Of course, they might have strong ideas about the features they prefer to have. But, not all their requirements contribute to benefit your organization. As the team members, customers can also be wrong with their assumptions about a specific feature or the project as a whole.

How to Avoid?

Teach your teams to always listen to customers. Nevertheless, they should refrain from treating every word uttered by customers as valuable input to the project. The idea here is that as a Project Manager, you should be proactive. It means that you should plan things in advance when dealing with customers. You should manage their expectations and should engage in appropriate research works. Also, you should consistently provide your clients with useful insight all through the lifecycle of the project. You can explain to customers if you feel that their ideas are hard to implement when it comes to practicality.

2. The Present-Day Projects Are Similar To the Projects a Decade Ago:

Experienced Project Managers believe that the present-day projects are similar to the projects they handled a decade or five years ago. But, if you are an experienced Project Manager, you should understand that projects have changed a lot. Even, they continue to change in the fast-paced world. 

How To Avoid?

To avoid this myth, the Project Management team in your organization should see each project as a unique project. It has its own requirements and procedures to follow. 

When you take the case of projects done a decade or so ago, they were separated by well-defined activities. They were divided into independent and small pieces for easy accomplishment. But, the present-day projects integrate a wide range of discoveries and possibilities. The present-day projects get a lot of support from technologies. Project Managers these days have more theoretical knowledge as compared to Project Managers of the past, who gained practical experience by handling different projects.

3. Anyone Can Be Chosen As a Project Manager:

One of the important Project Management myths that should be avoided in the present situation is the belief of organizations that anyone can be handed over the responsibility of Project Management. Many organizations follow the practice of promoting an existing manager or team member as a Project Manager.  The problem is that these people are not essentially certified or experienced Project Managers. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the person will not be a successful product manager. But, proper Project Management needs certain skills.

How to Avoid?

This is a myth that can be handled with ease. Organizations can commit to appointing only certified Project Managers. Otherwise, it would be good for them to hire individuals with critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical, detail-oriented and organizational skills. Even, it would be better to ensure that individuals appointed as Project Managers are adaptable and good at written and oral communication. The reason is that Project Managers exposed to and those with the opportunity to expand their experience and skillset can probably bring successful project outcomes.

4. Project Management is a Paperwork that Goes on and on:

We live in a digital world. But, even today, many people think that Project Management involves a lot of continuous paperwork. Rather, it is more of dynamic work. Most Project Managers do not spend time dealing with papers. Rather, they spend time, solving problems, management of procurements, management of tasks, management of people, decision-making and time and energy communicating.

How to Avoid?

You can get out of this myth by understanding that the present-day Project Managers are using effective Project Management tools that make their Project Management job tension-free in many ways. Project Management and collaboration tools have made great changes to the activities of Project Managers concerning, document preparation, writing emails and preparing minutes of the meeting. Nowadays, unlike regular notepads, most Project Managers carry data support tools with them for developing execution plans using creative ideas. They formulate plans to achieve success smarter and faster and with more stakeholder impact.

5. Project Management Software Can Consume a Lot from Project Budget:

Of course, many Project Managers have started relying on different Project Management tools to ease their tasks. But, some Project Managers still believe that spending a lot on software systems for Project Management will consume a lot of the Project Management budget. With this thought, they feel that they will not be in a position to complete the Project Management within the budget agreed upon.  But, the reality is that not using suitable Project Management software in the present fast-paced business world is going to cost the entire project itself.

How to Avoid?

As a Project Manager, the remedy here is that you will have to understand that you can find many affordable cloud-based Project Management software programs these days. With proper estimation and calculated study of the software, you will retain more money than what you spend. So, the idea to avoid this myth relies entirely on you. You can try different programs without spending much from your project budget and can benefit a lot as the right software can ease your job a lot.

6. Planning is an Unproductive Endeavor:

When talking about the Project Management myths, another common myth that prevails among organizations is that planning is an unproductive endeavor. They feel that rather than making project teams spend time on planning, they can start the project work straightaway. This myth when followed is highly risky for the overall project success. The reason is that only when things are planned, they can be appropriately executed to march towards project success.

How to Avoid?

As a Project Manager,  you will be well aware of the value of planning. So, if your organization does not provide you with time to plan, there can be an ill effect on the overall success of the project. So, explain the importance of project planning to your higher authorities and how much value it can add to the overall project success.  With proper planning, every member of your team will be aware of what they are accountable for.  Together all of them can contribute to the achievement of the overall project goal.

7. Process is Everything:

Of course, to ensure the success of a project, you should follow a set of processes. But, the myth that surrounds Project Management is the belief that process is everything to ensure the project’s success. Even though the process is involved, Project Management involves a lot of people as well like stakeholders and decision-makers. Even, there are customers and other people with different personalities and skillset. All of them make unique contributions to ensure the overall project’s success.

How to Avoid?

Even with an air-tight process, some projects might come across certain setbacks. If there is no proper coordination on the people’s side of the project, there can be project failure when the project reaches the close line. The idea here is that rather than focusing completely on the process, you should give importance to having a well-coordinated team in your project. As a Project Manager, your soft skills can make a big difference. 

8. Project Managers Should Be Experts in Handling Spreadsheets:

Indeed, Project Managers love manipulating, organizing and creating Excel sheets. With experience, they turn out to be experts in spreadsheets. However, the thought that Project Managers should be experts in handling spreadsheets is a myth. Nowadays, there are many tools that will help you efficiently handle projects and you need not have to essentially rely on spreadsheets.

How to Avoid? 

If you are a Project Manager with expertise in handling spreadsheets, there are no issues. But, if you have complete knowledge on how to use a similar effective tool, do not go by the words of your management to use Excel. Prove to them that you can efficiently manage the project with the alternative to spreadsheets that you have been using for a long.

Conclusion

These are just a few Project Management myths. To be a successful Project Manager and an efficient leader of a Project Management team, get out of the myths. Now, you know how to avoid a few of them so that your Project Management will become easier.

References
  1. https://www.goskills.com/Project-Management/Resources/Project-management-myths
  2. https://project-management.com/10-project-management-myths/
  3. https://projectvanguards.com/the-top-15-project-management-myths-2/
  4. https://www.educba.com/project-management-myths/

Author

Paula

Is a passionate learner and blogger on Agile, Scrum and Scaling areas. She has been following and practicing these areas for several years and now converting those experiences into useful articles for your continuous learning.