Challenges A Project Manager Faces in Their Career + Their Solutions
As a project manager, you know you will have a few challenges during any project your company undertakes. However, project management challenges cost businesses around $109 million for every $1 billion invested in a project. This means added pressure on your shoulders.
Do not worry; we are here to guide you.
Here are the top project management challenges you will face in your career.
Being on the Same Grounds as Others
Around 27% of project challenges are related to project members and stakeholders. A project manager needs to work with a diverse group of project members who possess varying skillsets and personalities.
Therefore, to deal with the people problem, a project manager must practice people management skills as well.
To deal with your team, PMI offers an excellent guide you can refer to if you are still not PMP or PRINCE2 certified.
As for the other stakeholders, here are some good tips to follow.
- Identify stakeholders’ preferred method of communication. That way, they will remain content and ensure their confidence in you.
- Ensure stakeholder engagement through timely updates before, during, and at the end of a project.
- Make sure to map expectations. This will help you determine how to measure the success of a project and avoid conflict.
- Map your strategy after identifying which stakeholders are considered advocates and which may act as road blockers.
Allocating Limited Budget and Time
Unrealistic deadlines and inaccurate costing can mark your project as a failure. As a project manager, you are expected to set realistic and achievable deadlines and practice effective cost management.
Since you already know about the dangers of mismanaging time and budget, let us get directly into the solutions.
- Consider working on proper budgeting schedules. Otherwise, the false assumptions would result in a major loss for the business.
- List down all the must-have resources required for successful project completion.
- If possible, document the budget allocation of your project. You can use a cost maintenance tool to avoid any challenge amidst the project.
Occurrence of Uncertain Incidents During a Project
In your career as a project manager, you will come across unfavorable situations during project execution. For example, an important team member may become unavailable or a system you need may stop working.
Accept that the unexpected will be part of every project you handle. You need to be on top of these issues or else your team will panic. This will result in lower performance and lesser productivity, two things that can result in project failure.
In addition to these tips from our blog, here is some important advice for when you are faced with this challenge.
- Master and control your emotions. Unforeseen issues will cause you to feel surprise, panic, and anger. But these are not what you should show your team to avoid adding to their stress.
- Be ready to bounce from changes. A good project manager is flexible and ready to take on the unexpected however it may come.
- Always include a contingency plan into the schedule. This additional buffer will help everyone deal with issues during execution.
- Keep additional resources ready to help with unexpected issues.
- Create a playbook that would help you prepare for when problems occur. For this, you need to look at the history of previous projects as well.
Inadequate Skills of Project Team Members
The skills of each member determine the performance of your project. Even if you are a project management superstar, your project will fail without your teammates’ skills.
The easiest way to deal with this challenge is by defining the resources you need to accomplish your project. This is usually done with a project initiation document.
In addition to technical expertise, the most desirable skills any project team should have are:
- Leadership Skills
- Effective Communication
- Strategic Thinking
- Team Management
- Risk Mitigation
- Negotiation Skills
- Critical Thinking
You can also look for tools that can fill any skill gaps or automate a few tasks.
What Other Challenges Do You Face as a Project Manager?
If you faced something aside from these in your career, do share them in the comments. And do not forget to mention how you overcame your challenges.
Need a surefire way to be more prepared? Study the materials for PRINCE2 or PMP certifications. That way, you can learn how to manage projects more effectively. And if you choose to get certified, these issues will not bother you anymore because you have the knowledge and skill to overcome them.
Best of luck!