Left OutMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
One of the most widely agreed pain points of every Project Manager is that no matter how many items he/she works on in a day but will be asked about the ones that were not completed or left out.
It is common for a Project Manager to be loaded with an additional list of items from the stakeholders to add to his/her regular responsibilities. Humanly it is not possible to perform all those tasks in a day and some are therefore bound to be left out. At the end of the day, he/she will be getting questions about those left out tasks.
It often turns out that whatever was left out was of “Highest” priority for the stakeholder. To make the pain even worse, no one is mostly interested in the completed tasks and they are never discussed for any “achievement”. The Project Manager might have taken some appreciable steps to get these things done but unfortunately that is overshadowed by “left out” tasks.
The point of the discussion here is that why does this happen that the stakeholders are more interested and focused on the left out tasks rather than the completed ones? It is natural human psychology and normal human behavior to notice odd things among any set of items. The more you grow in experience, the more you start to notice the divergent items.
For example, one of the most common issues I see in a document, prepared by new or inexperienced resources, is the indentation and formatting etc. Out of the 100 pages of the document, I can instantly note the odd one and the same goes for any report or presentation etc.
So my point is that it is natural to have something “left out” but the important thing to learn is that one should be aware of those left out items and secondly should have an action plan for those incomplete items so they should not stay completely unattended. One is bound to make mistakes, even about the plan but with each mistake you will learn something and will gradually improve.
Left out is kind of a norm for Project Managers which in most cases is an uncontrollable mistake. It is a pain point that Project Managers have to live with and learn to overcome them through their experience and delegation.