Title Refrain from doing

Five Things Project Managers Should Avoid Doing

Picture of Claudio Gutierrez

Claudio Gutierrez

President & Founder — Valens Project Consulting


Project managers have one of the most critical jobs in any organization. Not only do they drive change, but they manage expectations, hold their teams together, and deliver results in a professional and orderly manner. That’s why it’s important to avoid certain bad habits that can get in the way of managing their projects. Here are 5 practices that PMs should avoid doing at all costs.


Stay Glued to the Laptop

There is more to a project manager’s job than Gantt charts and process maps. The leadership aspect of project management is crucial to its success. It is crucial for project managers to strike the right balance between people, processes, and tools. They need to spend time building trust and respect with the team and being one of them. So “keep the laptop close, and your team closer”.


Set Up Camp in Conference Rooms

Meetings are an essential part of corporate culture and project management. But sometimes you can end up taking it too far. With multi-location teams and different time zones, it could just turn into a complete nightmare. Project managers need to learn how to be productive and set the right example for their teams.


Leave Things to Chance

Project managers have the word manager in their title for a reason. They must lead the project through its logical conclusion; not by leaving things to chance, but by relying on process excellence, good leadership, and data-driven decision-making. A lot of project management is about having control over the project lifecycle and having the ability to foresee and mitigate risk factors.


Mistake Leadership for Authority

A famous Spiderman quote is probably appropriate at this point: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Moving to a project manager role is surely graduation from being an individual contributor and does come with the ability to exert authority. But is authority alone enough to get the job done? History will tell you that the authority play has never succeeded in the long run. It takes patience, empathy and mindfulness to build a strong team.


Play Politics

Aim high! It’s good to be ambitious! Going up the corporate ladder is a fulfilling experience, and project managers need to take people up with them as they grow. One of the most important aspects of leadership is accountability, in the good times and bad. It’s always easy to protect your turf by keeping your interests close but leadership is about doing what’s right for the company and the team.


Final Thoughts

I could go on and on about the things Project Managers should not do. But let’s just say I am more of a “The Glass is Half Full” kinda guy. I believe the Project Management role is the start of a great leadership journey and one just needs to be open to absorbing all the experiences in a positive way.


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