Top 8 Common Project Planning Mistakes (with Solutions)

22 Aug, 2023 | Read in 4 minutes

Discover the most common project planning mistakes and their effective solutions. Ensure smoother project management with our guide.


We know that people learn from their mistakes. But you don’t have to do so when it comes to using a project planner for project management. 

A well-structured project plan guides your team towards project completion and helps you avoid potential drawbacks.

On average, a higher proportion of projects, around 67% more, result in complete failures within companies that do not recognize project management as the key component for facilitating transformation.

However, even with advanced project planning tools available today, many project managers still need to avoid making common mistakes that can disturb project progress. 

We'll provide the common mistakes to avoid and practical solutions to help you achieve smoother project management. 

The Most Common Project Management Mistakes

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1. Not using a project planner

You might overlook the importance of using a project management tool, which can lead to a host of challenges and inefficiencies. Without a proper tool, your teams struggle to keep track of tasks, deadlines, resources, and progress. 

Here are some reasons why using a project planner and project management tool is essential:


Disorganised Work: Without a tool, tasks and information are scattered across various platforms, emails, and spreadsheets, leading to confusion and delays.

Missed Deadlines: Lack of visibility into timelines and milestones can result in missed deadlines, affecting project completion and stakeholder satisfaction.

Poor Communication: Inadequate communication among team members can hinder collaboration, cause misunderstandings, and impact the quality of work.


VirtualSpace stands out as a tool that eradicates the necessity of using an excessive number of tools for your business. It has advanced features like Kanban boards, Gantt charts, Chat, and more.

2. Not involving stakeholders

Failing to engage stakeholders during the project planning phase is a frequent error that can lead to various setbacks and hinder your project's success. 

Stakeholders encompass individuals or groups with vested interests in the project's outcomes, such as clients, customers, employees, and other departments within your organisation. 

It's crucial to include stakeholders in the planning process to harness their insights and ensure alignment with their requirements.


Choose VirtualSpace to set up the project, and send personalised invitations to stakeholders. Highlight benefits and provide simple joining instructions, along with training resources. Before inviting your team members, you can check the user types of VirtualSpace here.

3. Lack of Clear Goal Setting

Failing to set clear and well-defined goals is one of the project planning mistakes.

When project goals lack clarity, it becomes challenging to guide the project effectively, resulting in confusion among team members. 

This mistake can also lead to misalignment between stakeholders and the project team, ultimately impacting the project's overall success.


Ensure that each project goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). This framework provides a structured way to formulate objectives that are precise and aligned with the project's purpose.

4. Not Creating a Realistic Timeline

A realistic timeline is one of the mistakes in project planning. This often happens when timelines are hastily devised without considering the intricacies of each task and potential delays. 

To mitigate this issue, you need to craft a timeline that encompasses all tasks, allocates appropriate time for their completion, and includes a cushion for unexpected setbacks.


You can begin by breaking down the project into individual tasks and sub-tasks. This detailed breakdown helps in understanding the scope of work required. Check how you can break down the project into tasks and sub-tasks here.

5. Not dealing with risks

Every project faces risks. These can be anything from unexpected delays to budget cuts. It is important to identify and assess risks early on in the project so that you can develop contingency plans.

To mitigate this mistake, it's essential to proactively identify, assess, and address risks early in the project lifecycle, allowing for the development of effective fallback plans.


You can begin by identifying potential risks associated with the project. Consider factors such as scope changes, resource availability, external factors, and technological uncertainties. 

6. Not following up

It is important to follow up on the progress of your project on a regular basis. This will help you to identify any potential problems early on and make adjustments as needed.


You can set a consistent schedule for project follow-ups. Whether it's daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, having regular intervals ensures that progress is consistently monitored. 

You can also assign a specific team member or project manager to be responsible for initiating and leading follow-up sessions. This ensures accountability and a structured approach.

7. Not Communicate Effectively

Effective communication serves as the lifeblood of any project, forming the foundation for collaboration, alignment, and successful outcomes. 

Ensuring consistent and clear communication with team members, stakeholders, and clients prevents misunderstandings. It also ensures the smooth progression of the project.


Open and regular communication fosters collaboration among team members. It allows for the exchange of ideas, updates, and feedback, facilitating a harmonious workflow. 

Further, engaging stakeholders through transparent communication keeps them invested and informed about project progress. Their involvement contributes to a shared sense of ownership.

8. Micro-managing a team

A good leader trusts their team and lets them make their own choices. This applies to project managers too. 

Watching over your team too closely can make employees push back and make the work atmosphere bad. People usually don't like working with a boss who controls everything.


Set goals from the start and check in sometimes to see how things are going. Respect how each team member works. Make the work environment positive and encourage honest conversations.

Further, set clear expectations for each team member's role, responsibilities, and goals. When everyone understands their contributions, they are more likely to perform confidently.

Wrapping Up

How can you prevent project management errors? These are 8 common typical mistakes that impact projects, along with their solutions. Through proper planning and efficient communication, these errors can be readily evaded. 

Handle projects like a pro using a management project tool. Give VirtualSpace a try today!

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