Biggest Challenges Faced as a Project Manager

The primary obligations of a project manager can be boiled down to handling difficult projects and obtaining positive results. This may sound as if being a project manager is easy, yet a well-paid job. Nevertheless, in order to balance all the elements of a complex project, a project manager has to work hard on a daily basis. Therefore, a project manager has to possess an array of skills surrounding communication, decision making, delegation, and risk-taking, to name just a few. Project managers are always expected to deal with tasks, resources, time and budget, as well as manage projects.

In order to understand the hard work of a project manager and the challenges they encounter daily, let’s take a look at what are the most significant difficulties regarding their job. But, before we continue with the article, if you’re a project manager and you are looking for writing services and analytical essays, make sure to find an analytical essay example for the best help.

Challenge 1: Poorly Defined Goals

One of the most common challenges a project manager has to face usually regard corporate, internal issues. These issues can be most of the times related to having poorly defined goals by a company or a firm. So, the problems for the project manager arise even before going into a business. If the goals and objectives of a project are not clearly defined, the project is doomed to fail. The project manager, together with the team will, therefore, face confusion and chaos unless the ‘whats,’ ‘whys’ and ‘whens’ of the project are not explicitly specified.

Solution: Starting a project without properly defined goals is a quite stupid, yet a common mistake. Such a project will only waste time, money and effort. Therefore, in order to avoid such a situation, a project manager should hold a kickoff meeting with their team members. The project manager can also use planning software and team-collaboration apps to define precisely the goals of the project and the obligations of each team member.

Challenge 2: Poor Team Skills

Even though a project manager might be excellent in their work, if the team that the manager leads lacks skills, the results of the project might not be satisfying. The members of the project team are usually assigned on their availability for a particular obligation, but sometimes they may not be experts in the fields or capable of dealing with the task. That is when the project manager faces a significant issue because if the team members cannot perform and complete the assigned tasks, the project is at risk of failure.

According to Proof Hub, some project can be challenging and could demand a certain level of knowledge and expertise; therefore, it is up to the project manager to decide whether the team needs additional training. If so, the team should get the required training in order to keep the project moving. Not to mention that lack of accountability, responsibility and quality can halt the project and leave the project manager in an unpleasant situation.

Solution: Before the project even starts, a project manager should map out all the skills the team members should possess in order to provide excellent work. It is essential to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the team members to know what kind of additional training they need. After all, this can help the project manager decide whether they want to hire new people for the project or stick with the current team as well.

Challenge 3: Inadequate Communication

A project manager should provide direction for every step of the project, so each of the team leaders know what to expect from their teams. Therefore, poor communication on both sides, the manager and the team, can serve as the biggest project management challenge. Poor communication gets in the way of delivering the project successfully, so the communication skills need to be the manager’s main assets.

A project manager needs to have exceptional oral and communication skills that can help increase morale by establishing clearly defined expectations. The project manager also needs to provide the team leaders and members with clear directions and feedback on their performance and obligations regarding the project.

Solution: If a project manager lacks in the communication field, some things can improve their communication. For example: they can use a collaborative or project management software, such as Proof Hub, to inform the project members about recent developments in the project, or, encourage the team leaders and members to communicate openly with each other. Another way to eliminate any issues or negativity in the communication is by creating a positive work environment. A project manager can incorporate team building activities to foster teamwork and good communication.

Challenge 4: Risk Assessment

As a project manager, one must ensure that the risk of working on a particular project remains low. This might be one of the hardest tasks to deal with, especially if the project manager is affected by internal issues, like unrealistic deadlines, poor teamwork and lack of budget. Because projects can often go the other way and evolve into a failing task, many project managers simply have to continually oversee the risks that might creep up in a project at any time.

Solution: According to IBQMI, a project manager can reduce the risk level by conducting thorough research and gathering information regarding the project, team members and the possible issues they might face during each of the project phases. A project manager can anticipate which part of the project might fail and prepare beforehand for such an outcome. The control measures can also help deal with the risks accordingly.

Other challenges a project manager can encounter:

  • Impossible deadlines
  • Resource deprivation
  • Ambiguous contingency plans
  • Lack of accountability
  • Scope Creep/Scope changes
  • Lack of stakeholder engagement
  • Great expectations
Online 1/24/2019
Eveline Heston
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