Pet Peeves of Project Management
Project managers strive to create a smooth project workflow, meet deadlines, and ensure everyone has what they need to be successful in their role within a project. It’s project management’s job to create order from chaos, and often, that means dealing with project hiccups that can arise. As a result, your beloved PM team members might have some secret project pet peeves that may or may not keep them up at night.
We couldn’t help ourselves. We asked our project management team at DemandLab to share some of their project pet peeves (and what they do to solve them)!
Here’s what they had to say:
“As Project Management employees, we all live in the real world and understand that things may come up, either work-related or personal, that take priority over the work currently scheduled, and as a result, deadlines can be missed. Failing to meet a committed deadline or communication timeline is not the end of the world – as, again, we understand that life happens sometimes! Project managers are generally quick to follow up if a deadline is missed – but getting completely ghosted after that gentle follow-up will not only escalate the problem —but delay the work itself.
But not to worry, PMs are excellent in keeping missed follow-ups top of mind, ensuring to send a second reminder and staying on top of the issue until it is resolved and the project is steered back to safe waters again.”
•Renáta Sebők, Project Lead
Last-Minute Meeting Requests + Already Packed Calendars
“My project management pet peeve is attempting to schedule a last-minute meeting on an already jam-packed calendar. It can make it especially difficult when there are a large number of attendees required. Juggling so many calendars last minute can be taxing. On top of that, rejigging everyone’s schedules and other work to accommodate can be a struggle, especially when there are other meetings or deadlines already committed to.
There are a few ways to work around this. Typically, we’ll see if we can schedule a shorter meeting or perhaps invite fewer attendees in order to get the ball rolling or keep the momentum going on the key topic at hand. We can record the session, take notes, and share that with those unable to attend due to schedule conflicts. We can also follow up with an additional call at a later date when calendars are more accommodating for everyone.”
•Zana Green, Project Coordinator
Setting Expectations without PM Alignment
“One common pet peeve among experienced project managers is not consulting the PM before setting expectations with stakeholders. Though we aim to be like a fairy godmother and work magic for stakeholders, there are still limits to the tricks up our sleeves. When stakeholder expectations are not in alignment with what is feasible, it gives even the most talented PMs nightmares.
The solution to this is simple: consult with your project manager before making promises when it comes to project timelines or resources. If you’re planning to meet a stakeholder for a new project, have a quick meeting with PM beforehand to discuss possible timeframe and resources upfront. And if you’re approached about a new project on the fly, rather than feeling pressured to commit to something, let the stakeholders know you’ll follow up with a timeline after talking about it with the project management team to ensure resources can be made available. By doing this, you’re helping PM maintain realistic expectations.”
•Briana Parnell, Project Coordinator
“One of the most important aspects and skills of Project Management is our ability to see the bigger picture. This means seeing all the moving parts of all projects all the time. If team members fail to update progress on scheduled work, forget to enter in tasks for projects they are working on, or have communications with stakeholders outside of designated channels, it limits the PM team’s visibility and, ultimately, our ability to plan accordingly.
We strive to ensure our team has visibility by creating dedicated channels for internal and client communications, including chat and email distribution lists. In addition, we have a task management system that acts as a single source of truth for work scheduled. With these key elements in place, we enable the PM team to maximize team efficiency and workload capacities while keeping the team’s work balance at the forefront.”
•Kimberly Yanni, Manager, Project Services
Stay Calm & Carry On
A great project management team is hard to shake, so even if you are guilty of one (or more) of these “pet peeves,” they’ll likely keep coming back with a smile, ready to work and ready to make improvements to processes to avoid these issues in the future. After all, when the project management team “stays calm and carry on,” it positively impacts the entire team!
To learn more about how project management can help your team, contact us.