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10 Project Management Challenges with Expert Solutions

Asloob Alam

Project-related issues are inevitable, but how you’re prepared to solve those problems will determine how successful your project will be.

 

As project managers, you know there are many complex elements to balance, and it’s a challenging profession to tackle. It’s your duty to put all key factors into perspective when mapping out a new venture with your team, delegating all the time, money, people, and resources involved in getting a project off the ground.

 

In a recent study done by Project Management Institute, for every billion dollars invested in the US, 122 million of it was wasted in poor performance and management. You don’t want that to be you.

 

Use your skills and expertise to take whatever complications that come your way and feel ready to resolve them with confidence. Start by identifying ten project management challenges with expert solutions.

Poorly defined goals

This may seem like a no-brainer, but more often than not, project managers get so caught in the big picture of their objectives that they lose sight in the value of defining the smaller purposes involved in the overall goal. Without clear intentions established and communicated to your team, your new campaign is doomed. 

Solutions

 

  • Set short-term and long-term goals, identifying the team members tasked to each objective and what’s expected of them. Cover the bases of who, what, when, where, and why. 
  • Create benchmarks to measure the progress and performance of your project to determine what may need adjusting before confusion and chaos ensue. 

 

Insufficient communication

According to Nick Drewe, Founder & CEO of Wethrift, you must, “communicate with your team as the leader who wants to be sure their employees are motivated to work. Provide them with an efficient understanding of the big-picture goal along with how their role is essential.”

 

The way you communicate with your employees will be the greatest attribute you use while managing a project. Without it, you’re going to be anticipating conflict and misdirection of the desired path to success.

Solutions

 

  • Meet with your team one-to-one and in a group setting to provide them with direction, updates, and feedback about the work they’re doing and the overall scope of the project. 
  • Consider using a collaborative communication software like Troop Messenger that allows your team to be in constant communication about the progress of their work and any concerns or needs they may have.
  • Be open and transparent with your team to establish the trust and motivation needed to complete the work. 

 

Unrealistic deadlines

Just because you confidently laid the foundation of a project and feel your team and you have the bandwidth and resources to make it happen, it doesn’t mean that time is going to be on your side.

 

Clear direction and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) does not mean clear time management. If you place unattainable expectations on your team members with regard to time, they will lose their motivation and clarity to complete their tasks efficiently.

Solutions

 

  • Individualize each task involved with your short-term benchmarks and establish a timeline for them, taking your employee’s workload into account. 
  • Go over your prospective timeline with your team members and clients, addressing any possible issues or concerns that could come up.
  • Use a time-tracking software tool to assist you in monitoring performance and productivity.

 

Improper budgeting

Errors in expense planning is one of the most common project management challenges, and could also be the most detrimental. What’s worse, is that they’re often not caught until it’s too late, overrunning the designated funds for the project before you get a chance to stop it.

 

Brian Dechesare, Founder & CEO of Breaking into Wallstreet, says, “without implementing the task of financial modeling to represent the portfolio of a project, you cannot expect to successfully unify your project and bring it to completion.”

Solutions

 

  • Your timeline comes in handy here. Once you know this, you can effectively craft how much each task will cost and what their expenses will be during that time.
  • Get clear on your business’s unique needs and the common challenges faced so you can factor in any bumps in the road and be financially prepared to handle them.
  • Consider things like equipment, software, payroll, and other that could adjust throughout the duration of your project. 

 

Disconnect in teamwork

If your team is not aligned, your project goals won’t be either. Their collaborative effort has a direct correlation to your project’s success. Without a sense of company morale and mutual desire to work, how can you expect to run a campaign to completion without conflict?

 

You’re in charge of keeping your team inspired and connected, and while that might seem difficult when dealing with different personalities and skillsets, it’s essential to making sure things go smoothly by finding reliable ways to manage your team.

Solutions

 

  • Boost company morale by getting to know your employees and the way they work, paying attention to the type of workplace environment you create.
  • Break down barriers by hosting pep-talks or motivational work meetings that establish a safe space for you to provide feedback and allow input from your team. 
  • Promote team communication and team-building activities. 

 

Lack of project management software

You cannot expect to organize tasks, delegate goals, track progress, and mediate a project without help. But in many ways, assigning more employees to help with these tasks could only slow down productivity and keep them involved with less important things than what they should be doing. That’s why finding a software program to generate that support for you in one place is so important.

 

“The digital world is rich in software to assist business owners and project leaders to manage their work and team members without overwhelm. Use them to simplify and elevate your tasks,” is sound advice from Chelsea Cohen, Co-Founder of SoStocked.

Solutions

 

  • When choosing a project management software, be sure it’s something that assists you with multiple core tasks and projects and gives you optimal visibility of all its features. 
  • For team collaboration software, consider how platforms like Troop Messenger allow your team members to message, audio/video record, screen share, and even seamlessly integrate some of your most used programs like GoogleDrive. 

 

Mismanaging the risks

“You must weigh all the risks when starting a new project, especially in the current financial market, or you leave yourself vulnerable to unknown factors that could potentially crush your production and productivity,” Says Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President of altLINE Sobanco.

 

Not considering the risks that could potentially occur during a project is, quite frankly, irresponsible. If you don’t identify and assess the risks you cannot minimize or control them, potentially throwing your whole project off course.

Solutions

 

  • Collect detailed data and information before your project begins that reflect the possible risks and their outcomes. 
  • Develop a strategic plan for what you can do when the risks come up so you have a sense of damage control to implement right away.

 

Unexpected scope changes

Scope changes don’t always have to be the result of mismanaging the risk factors, though it is a part of it. But you can’t assume that things won’t need to be changed and adjusted for other reasons, like a client changing their mind about something at the last minute. Knowing how to deal with this is important.

 

Like Brett Larkin, Founder & CEO of Uplifted Yoga mentions, “Challenges and derailments in life will always occur, but if you want to reduce stress and ease the atmosphere in your environment, make it a priority to uncover the most suitable ways you can deal with those challenges before they arise.”

Solutions

 

  • Communicate with your clients and team members beforehand about the timeline, schedule, and budget for the project so they’re aware of what’s at stake if things don’t go as planned.
  • Establish check-in points to discuss progress with employees and clients so everyone remains on the same page at all times. 

 

Inadequate skillsets

There is nothing more counterproductive than assigning someone to do a job who is not properly trained or skilled in that area. While you may assume that someone’s professional assets could benefit a certain task that’s out of their wheelhouse, it doesn’t mean they should be one’s working on it. Furthermore, availability is not synonymous with best-fitting for the job.

 

It’s your responsibility to be sure your team is trained and has the adequate skills needed to get the job done, or you’re going to find yourself spiraling down the path of confusion that could put your work to an unexpected halt.

Solutions

 

  • Identify the key skills needed to get each short-term and long-term goal for the project to be completed, and then consider which team members have the attributes you need. 
  • Do some research about proper training programs and developmental tools you could provide your team members to enhance their skills and make them more qualified to do the jobs you need.  

 

Missing accountability 

Avoid the blame game that occurs when things derail and everyone is pointing fingers about who’s “fault” it is that it happened. Not only will it crush the morale of your workplace environment, but it will completely stop production and force you to kill time in back-tracking.

 

If your team is not taking responsibility for their actions, both positively and negatively, the bumps in the road will tear apart your team’s trust, along with potential clients and customers.

Solutions

 

  • From the start of the project and at several points during the workflow, reiterate the role each individual is to play for getting the project successfully completed so everyone know’s what they’re constantly responsible for.
  • Establish terms that lead to one unified vision for your team to collaborate on, inviting them all to think like on that scale as they continue to go through their tasks. 

 

You need an effective approach to all the elements of your project and ways to analyze all of your data consistently. Some projects may go smoother than others, and there may come a point where the challenges of a project feel beyond your abilities.

 

But with the right mindset and perspective with actionable tools to meet the needs of those challenges, you will continue to build your skillset and achieve more success with every campaign you’re in charge of.

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