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Top 10 Challenges Faced by Project Managers

A project manager wears many hats. From ensuring timely deliveries, to quality control to managing the budget, project managers shoulder enormous responsibilities. It is while managing these duties that a project manager is likely to face many challenges. If not managed properly, they can negatively influence the outcome of the project.

Listed below are ten challenges faced by project managers everywhere:

#1 Undefined Goals

Project managers must ask intelligent questions right from the start of the project in order to determine the goals of the project. Failure to do so can negatively affect the whole team. Think about it! If you don’t know what the aim is, then how do you know what to do or when to stop? A clearly defined goal is the start to a successful project outcome.

#2 Scope Changes

Also called scope creep, it occurs when the project’s scope spreads beyond the original objectives. Supervisors and clients may request changes or edits to the project. It is up to the manager to evaluate how and when to implement these changes and the impact it will have on meeting deadlines and on the budget.

#3 Lack of Skills

Often times, a project may require skills that the team does not possess. Project managers must quickly identify skills and competencies required to complete such tasks. A timely identification helps supervisors opt for other solutions such as hiring additional team members, outsourcing or training.

#4 Lack of Accountability

Lack of accountability can destroy the outcome of the project. Being unproductive, avoiding blame, finger pointing are common traits of poor project management. Every team member is assigned a role to achieve the project. Managers must direct teams towards meeting this common goal.

#5 Poor Risk Management

Managing a project is as much about meeting a deadline and submitting quality work as it is about how well you manage risk. Being able to tolerate risk is a desirable trait in a project manager, because everyone knows projects rarely follow a charted plan. It takes an apt manager to identify risks, quantify them and implement necessary halts in order to mitigate the spread of such risks.

#6 Vague Contingency Plan

Having acknowledged that projects can suddenly take different routes, project managers must have a per-identified “what if” plan at the ready. If this contingency plan is not identified or unclear, the project will face many unexpected problems.

#7 Lack of Communication

A project manager is the captain of his or her ship. They must provide direction at every step of the project life cycle. This helps team member know what is expected. This is only possible with effective communication. Why is effective communication important? It helps increase morale because everyone knows what to do. It keeps the line of communication open between team members, project managers, supervisors and other project stakeholders, thus encouraging feedback.

Without clear and effective written and spoken communication, the entire team would be lost and unmotivated.

#8 Setting Impossible Deadlines

Every project must have a reasonable deadline. Managers cannot expect their team to gracefully face deadlines for complex tasks without adequate time to complete their work. Being repeatedly harassed to complete a task can easily bring down productivity and morale. Setting a deadline according to the feasibility of the project is crucial.

#9 Lack of Resources

For a project to operate effectively and efficiently, the team requires adequate resources. These resources can range from a project management tool to support materials to get the task completed. Without resources, you cannot expect efficiency or productivity. Managers must quickly identify what resources are required and request these from management, preferably at the start of the project.

#10 Poor Stakeholder Engagement

A disinterested client, team member, vendor or CEO can easily destroy the outcome of a project. Project managers must encourage and discuss feedback at each step of the project’s life cycle so that engagement happens with all participants.

Project managers must carry out an enormous roster of responsibilities. With the right project management tool, you can ease much of the weight.

Get in touch with ViduPM to find out how.