ISO 9001:2000
Twenty Common Mistakes Made by New or Inexperienced Project Managers
By: Harold Kerzner Ph.D., PMP

The list below shows twenty of the most common mistakes that young or inexperienced project managers make. Obviously there are more than twenty mistakes, and many of these may be unique to specific industries. However, the list is a good starting point for understanding why many project managers get into trouble because of their own doing.
MISTAKE #1: Too Much Detail
MISTAKE #2: Pretending to Know More than You Actually Do
MISTAKE #3: Preparing an Ambitious Schedule
MISTAKE #4: Overreliance on Repeatable Processes
MISTAKE #5: Ignoring Problems
MISTAKE #6: Failing to Share Accountability with Functional Managers
MISTAKE #7: Gold-plating the Deliverables
MISTAKE #8: Failing to Understand What Stakeholders and Sponsors Want to Hear
MISTAKE #9: Not Fully Understanding Requirements
MISTAKE #10: Refusing to Ask for Help
MISTAKE #11: Ignoring Problem
MISTAKE #12: Believing in Saviors and Miracles
MISTAKE #13: Making Promises for Rewards
MISTAKE #14: Failing to See Dependencies between Projects
MISTAKE #15: Don’t Tell the Client They are Wrong
MISTAKE #16: Show Everyone Who’s the Boss
MISTAKE #17: Failing to Get to Know Your Team
MISTAKE #18: Failing to Insulate the Team from Politics
MISTAKE #19: Not Willing to Say “No”
MISTAKE #20: Selecting the Right Battlefield
Obviously, this list is not all-inclusive. However, it does provide some guidance on the type of issues that project managers must understand. These mistakes can be corrected and can save significant time and money.
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