6 Project Management Myths Debunked – Buckets Blog

For a long time, "Project Management" was a pretty niche area in corporate business, and it definitely wasn't something that creatives were very interested in. The idea of hard deadlines, daily meetings, and lengthy report writing wasn't a fun prospect for anyone, regardless of their profession! It still isn't.

However, the project management tools available in 2017 have made the process much easier to manage and a lot more transparent. For creatives, especially, project management has become a welcome way to cut through the chaos of the creative process by creating a standardized workflow that will declutter your desk and your brain.

So let's take a look at some of the more popular project management beliefs that just don't apply anymore.

1. The traditional Project Management approach is the best approach

Traditional project management methods still have their place, but more simplified work processes are now gaining traction in the workplace. Collaborative project management is becoming more popular with the rise in distributed companies, as task management tools such as Buckets have made it easier than ever for employees to "self-manage" their workflows from start to finish.

At a basic level, it takes very little time to set up a Buckets Project, add tasks, break tasks up into subtasks, add due dates, and assign them to the relevant team members. The intuitive way that Buckets is designed has made project management accessible to literally anyone who can turn on a computer and connect to the internet. This collaborative approach allows teams to collectively plan, coordinate, and monitor Projects. And it's much more affordable (i.e. free).

Once an initial workflow is in place, team members can collaborate with each other in real-time and improve/adjust the project scope as needed. As every team member is involved in the creation and execution of the project, the plan is usually much more realistic and doable as a result. When working collaboratively like this, it's vital to ensure that everyone is following the same guidelines re: communication and task management. You can formally lay these out from the beginning of the project, or simply lead by example to create a standardized process.

2. Meetings are a vital part of project management

Meetings are important, but they're not the holy grail of project management. Remember, every minute that you spend discussing what to do is a minute spent not actually doing. Americans spend up to 4 hours a week in status update meetings; that's 4 hours that could be spent actually getting things done. Once you've set up a Buckets Project, team members can easily view task progress and updates without the need for a 60 minute meeting every other day.

More than $37k per year is spent on unproductive meetings, so your time isn't the only thing you'll save by cutting down on them.

3. You have to stick to the plan at all costs

Project management is often thought of as a very regimented process with little wiggle room, and this belief is perpetuated by project managers who really crack the whip in terms of project scope. But this is actually the worst thing you could do when managing a project. As your project progresses, you're going to encounter setbacks along the way and it's essential to adapt your workflow accordingly..

For example, you might need to add an extra stage in your workflow to address an area where your project is stalling, or even set up a brand new side project to focus on this issue.

This is something we do all of the time in Buckets. When completed, we either dump the excessive change to the workflow or retain it as an optimized process.

It's important to look at how your team works best and customize your workflow around that. As Buckets is a highly adaptable task management system, it's even easier to meet the needs of individual team members and your team as a whole.

4. Project failure is the end of the world

To the contrary, you can actually learn an awful lot from a project that hasn't gone to plan. It's important to look at it as a learning experience rather than a total disaster. By honing in on what actually worked in the project, you can lay strong foundations for the next one.

In addition to learning from the failure, you should also be prepared for it. Contingency planning is often skipped in project management but it's always wise to prepare for the worst case scenario in case a project goes off-course.

5. Always sacrifice work quality for on-time delivery

This goes back to the idea that your project plan has to be set in stone from day one, and this just isn't feasible. Ideally, it's better to invest more time and resources into your project than to deliver it incomplete. Of course, this won't always be possible — and it's often okay to move forward at the expense of a few loose ends — but if those loose ends are critical to the success of your project, you can't let them slide. This is where the 80/20 Pareto Principle comes into play; a PM has to identify the 20% of work that's critical to the completion of the project and focus on that, because it will yield 80% of the final result.

6. You need separate software/tools for Project Management and Task Management

Many companies utilize separate software/tools to manage their projects and tasks, but this just isn't necessary anymore. Collaborative task management platforms can offer a much more holistic view by integrating individual task management with the overall management of a project. It's also much more cost effective!

Although Project Management is undergoing a bit of a revolution in the cloud era, many of these myths are still prevalent in the business world. Have you encountered any myths that I haven't mentioned? Share them with us in the comment section below!

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