Mistakes made during project kick-off meetings
Posted: Jan 04, 2017
No matter what type of project management training you do, whether it is a Pmp or an APM Project Fundamentals course, one thing you will learn about is the importance of holding an effective project kick-off meeting. This meeting is of paramount importance, as it will set the tone for the rest of the project. With that being said, below we take a look at the common mistakes you need to avoid during project kick-off meetings.
- Ignoring potential problems – A lot of project managers make this costly error; instead of focusing on potential problems, they tell their team that it is better to discuss the solutions. In fact, you need to consider both. Most projects experience hurdles and problems along the way; you have to be extremely lucky for everything to go swimmingly. Therefore, it is vital that your team is aware of what issues could arise and how to tackle them. You will only make your team fear difficulties and feel discouraged if you neglect the potential risks.
- Using clichéd buzzwords – Of course, there is nothing wrong with saying that the project is going to be revolutionary or that it will take the industry to new levels. However, you need to be clear and constructive, and, therefore, it is better to focus on the reasons your project is going to stand out and the goals you need to achieve.
- Being vague regarding what you expect from different parts your team – Being specific and clear is of paramount importance. For example, if you say to someone ‘’aside from focusing on graphic design, please keep development on your radar", it’s unlikely that they will know what this means. Do they need to check on every project? Or, do you expect their help with a certain task? Define what elements of the development process you want the individual to be involved in, and how you want them to be involved; for instance, you may want them to check on the progress of a certain task and to report it to you.
- Using the phrase "I want you to give 110 per cent on this project" – If you take a look at complaints left by team members over the web, you will find that this is one of the most common. This phrase no longer has any motivational ring to it because it has been used so many times. Moreover, there are some employees that even find the phrase intimidating and scary. Of course, they are going to give everything, but does the project manager expect them to work longer hours when they say 110 per cent? Instead, try something along the lines of let’s all give our best efforts and produce great work, like I know we can. This is encouraging, positive, and motivational, without being scary.
- Overlooking how the work is done – Finally, a lot of project managers do not care how a job is done; they just want it complete. This is a huge mistake to make. You can discourage your team with such an uncompromising approach.
The author has written and published articles on a wide range of topics including Small Business Advice, Tax and Accounting, Interior Design, House Renovation and Project Management.