Overseeing a project is a big responsibility. Projects have many moving parts and varying levels of risks. A project manager has to focus on a project as a whole. Such as, the day-to-day tasks of the project that affect schedule, budget, scope, resources, and more. While there are many challenges we could talk about, below lists our top four that we’ll discuss.
Scope creep happens when a project goes beyond its initial planned objectives and takes on a different path. Many times, requests for edits and changes to a project can lead to scope creep. Scope creeps can be detrimental to a project if the project manager doesn’t take every aspect into account. Project managers must properly evaluate requests to determine if they still fall within the project’s goals and objectives. If they don’t, it’s their responsibility to communicate the effects these requests have on the project’s budget and timeline.
A project needs clear goals and objectives. These help to define the project’s purpose, what the outcome should be and steer it in the right direction. Project managers need to make sure that they ask the right questions and do proper planning for the project. Without clear goals the team is unsure of what they need to achieve. Consequently, setting up a project for failure.
Every task within a project has a timeline for when it can be completed. With proper planning and goal setting, you can determine how long tasks within a project should take and set key milestones for the project, including a realistic completion date. Unreasonable deadlines happen when they are set for a project without evaluating the real-time effort needed to complete the work. Sometimes, these requests are made by a client who do not understand the work that needs to go into the project. Due to these pressures on the project manager, they may push the team to attempt to achieve the impossible. As a result, team stress levels will rise, productivity will drop and the project will be at risk of failure.
Resources are a big factor in project success. They are the ones doing the work and are part of the project team. It is a project manager’s responsibility to make sure that the team doing the work is clear on their tasks and objectives, have the right skills to perform the work, are able to provide quality and be accountable for their actions. When team members don’t get along or don’t have the right skill set, the project will suffer. Poor communication, language barriers and even geographic differences can prove to be challenging for a project as well. It is important that the project manager is able to analyze a team’s weaknesses and strengths and come up with possible solutions that can combat these problems should they arise.
In conclusion, every project has its challenges and the project manager is the leader responsible for lessening or eradicating the challenges faced in a project. With proper planning, goal setting and clear communication, project managers can arm themselves to take on the challenges that are within their control.