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Project management: all the facts and fables

Distinguishing between facts and fables in the world of project management is a must to achieve success. Below, we clear up the confusion and discuss the most common myths and sayings surrounding project management.

The top expert on each team should be the project manager

This fable has often been the downfall of successful projects.

The expectation that a project manager is the top expert is common among many clients, partners and even project managers themselves. In fact, the role of a project manager is to facilitate the work of other experts, not to be the top expert himself. According to internal research and experience, project managers spend up to 90% of their time on communication. This includes time spent mentoring, coaching and supporting a member of their team. Surprisingly, many people expect project managers to hold numerous certifications and degrees.

More than half of project managers have not received specific training for this purpose.

Any project can be successfully completed by any project manager

No two project managers will have the exact same style of leadership and collaboration, no matter how similar their work - and mindset may seem. Unfortunately, this myth is so prone to misfiring that it can often lead to hiring the wrong candidate, resulting in significant disruption and financial loss to the company. However, artificial intelligence (AI) can dispel this myth for good.

The customer always knows best

Projects can easily miss the mark if stakeholders do not know what they are looking for. To be successful, project managers must focus on the real needs and objectives of the client. The truth is that clients often have unrealistic expectations and parts of their wish list can contradict each other. A good project manager knows that client expectations must be contained and effectively managed for a project to be successful.

All conflicts must be resolved by project managers

Project managers are no miracle workers and not all issues can be resolved. Although many project managers are experts at resolving conflicts, external mediation may sometimes be necessary. It is unrealistic to expect a project manager to resolve every conflict.

Experienced project managers always outperform younger colleagues

Just as past experience is no guarantee of future success, lack of experience is no guarantee that a project manager will fail. While some projects require an experienced hand at the helm, other projects can be led by a manager with less experience yet unique perspectives and ideas.

Previous successful projects provide 'templates' for future successes

While some aspects of successful past projects can be applied to new projects, there are many hidden reasons why projects do not quite reach fruition. It does not matter what techniques, tools, and methodology were used for a particular project. There are many unknown factors, such as interpersonal relationships between team members, that can have a significant impact on the outcome of a project.