Saturday, May 4, 2013

PM Network – 6 Rookie Mistakes

"You only get one rookie season.  So, I hate that we lost, but this was one of the best games I’ve ever played in.”
                                                                                                - Chris Paul

I’ve been reading the April issues of PM Network and PM Journal, two key PMI publications available to all PMI members.  I’m going to interrupt my regularly scheduling programming to comment on a couple of articles that I found noteworthy.
The first, “6 Rookie Mistakes,” is by Ashley G. Richardson and is in the April issue of PM Network starting on page 44.  (I’ll cover the other article in a subsequent post.)  PM Network is not exactly the reference for scholarly or deep content, but Richardson identifies a half-dozen truly devastating mistakes that can derail any project.  While she labels her list as rookie mistakes, I don’t believe any of these are limited to rookies, but any PM who makes one of these mistakes should be truly embarrassed.

I’ll tease you with a couple of quotes, but urge you to read the whole article.  “Sometimes managing the team’s personalities can be more challenging than dealing with the tasks – especially if a member unwilling to pull his or her own weight is dragging everyone else down.” (46)  “If your organization lacks a set of standards around risk, seek out others who have done similar projects within the organization or find a more seasoned professional willing to provide guidance.” (48)
The nature of my blog is such that it has been much more focused on the “hard” or “technical” side of PM skills rather than the “soft” skills (something that will eventually transition).  There are a lot of PM bloggers out there who provide good advice on soft skills;  I saw an opportunity to add content where there wasn’t as much commentary.   But the soft skills are generally much more visible, harder to master and weakness is more severely penalized, so every PM needs to master both types of skills.

One thing I would like to know, though I wouldn’t expect to find this in a PM Network article, is how Ms. Richardson arrived at this specific list of six mistakes, especially if there is research backing the importance of these in particular.
I won’t ask you to embarrass yourself by posting a comment of your own rookie mistake, so I’ll instead ask what rookie mistakes you’ve observed and what happened?

© 2013 Chuck Morton.  All Rights Reserved.


  1. Hi Chuck,

    Looking for another PM Network article, I came across your post and got a huge smile on my face. Thank you for your kind words about my article.

    To answer your question, these six points were a mix of those suggested by PMI and by my sources as well as my own insights as a PM-focused writer for the last eight years.

    Sounds like you might be a good source for an upcoming article ...

    Ashley Richardson

  2. Ashley, Thank you for answering the question in my post. I look forward to finding future articles from you in PM Network. Drop by anytime...