Project Managers are to achieve goals and make a project completed. They start with setting the main goal. Then they divide the main goal into smaller goals. Then they build a plan to achieve every smaller goal. They start with planning what they should do to accomplish every stage /every step-goal/ on a project course. And this is the main mistake in Project Management.
You should never ever start managing a project with setting goals to be achieved within it as your first course of action. Your unconditionally very first step should be: to imagine what kind of obstacles, problems can deny, delay, and make a project become impossible to be completed in a certain period of time, with a money planned for it, with a number of people engaged with. You should use also your team /brainstorm/ to imagine, even to create, to invent problems!!! There is often a lot of fun while inventing problems, but life proves how many times all what had seemed as impossible to happen – happened in the reality.
You should use your creativity and experience to predict as many obstacles/problems/ which can happen within a project as possible. The more of them you can imagine, the better you are. It is not a scepticism, it is preventing imaginary. It should take several days before you and your team, are ready to admit that there are no obstacles/problems you can imagine. Make a list of each problem that you and your team are able to imagine. For each problem/obstacle/ find a solution and make a precise plan how to act when a problem occurs. In advance. Always start managing a project with finding solutions for problems before they can happen. Solutions in advance for anything that can stop you from achieving your goal/goals. So, when/if/ they happen – you will be ready to cope with them without wasting your time. Done.
Ok, you can say that we are not able to predict everything and I agree with you. But this is not the point.
There is a psychological trick that takes place in our brains when we start managing a project with creating problems and finding solutions for them in advance. I am not going to reveal it now because you deserve to discover it by yourself. This is how we develop and extend our skills; by discovering things by yourself, by making our personal experiences. When you dedicate to ‘plan obstacles and to find solutions for them in advance’ before you start planning how to achieve your goals in a project, you get the point and find out how powerful is your mind.
You will love what you are going to discover.