Project management is the process of planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing the work of a team to meet specific success criteria. It involves coordinating the efforts of team members and stakeholders to accomplish the project’s objectives. It requires strong leadership, communication, and organizational skills, as well as the ability to handle multiple tasks and make decisions under pressure.
The field of project management is constantly changing. And, today, with the evolution of technology, it’s changing faster than ever before. From the adoption of new technologies to frameworks and tools, the newest trends in project management are disrupting entrenched players and undoing long-held beliefs.
And, although project management is an efficient tool to ensure that business goals are achieved, there are many unique challenges that the current project management landscape faces.
Poorly defined goals and objectives
First things first, no matter what project or task you must complete, you must always start by setting up goals. Simply put, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through all the tasks you complete. It makes sense, right?
But what happens when you fail at defining those goals? Or when you fail to define the objectives of the goals? The answer: you most likely doom your project to fail.
Poorly defined goals and objectives are one of the main challenges of project management because the team members and project managers don’t know exactly what to expect from the project. Simply put, chaos and confusion are set to happen when no one involved in the project has a clear idea of the whats, whys, and whens of the project.
When goals and objectives are poorly defined, measuring progress and determining if the project is on track can be difficult. It can also take time to decide how to allocate resources or address problems that arise. When managing risks, there might be some difficulty in identifying them and planning for contingencies. Lastly, with poorly defined goals and objectives, it can be challenging to communicate the project’s progress and outcomes to stakeholders.
Starting a project without a defined plan and defined goals is exactly like going on a road trip without having any idea of where you are going and how to get there. The results? A waste of time, resources, and effort. Likewise, any project will suffer when there is no clarity right from the moment you start it.
Setting unrealistic deadlines
Setting deadlines is essential at the beginning of any project, right? It is actually one of the main factors to know right from the beginning that offers clarity over the tasks you need to complete and especially when to complete them.
However, while setting deadlines is a must and it is imperative, setting unrealistic deadlines is another challenge that can doom the project to failure. And, very often, it isn’t the project managers that make this mistake but rather the clients and stakeholders. And, it all starts with unrealistic expectations of those clients or stakeholders.
In today’s competitive and fast-changing business landscape, there’s this tendency when targets are set either unrealistically rather than to be driven by calculated business expectations. And, guess who is the most affected by this? That’s right, team members and project members have to go above and beyond to meet these unrealistic expectations.
Finding the right project management software
Today, technology and project management go hand in hand. Or at least, that’s the case for 22% of organizations that use project management software according to a survey from Wellington.
And, the most used and requested features in project management software include file sharing, time tracking, email integration, budget management, and Gantt charts. All these features are essential for project management because they foster communication and collaboration between team members and goals and objectives tracking.
It would be best if the software you choose could integrate with your organization’s other tools and systems, such as email, calendars, enterprise time tracking software, and accounting software. It should also be easy to use and navigate, with a user-friendly interface. It’s also imperative that the software have a robust security system in place to protect your data and confidential information. Lastly, it can be helpful if you can access it on your mobile device.
However, the needs of a project differ, depending on the industry, the size and nature of the project, and the people involved in it, meaning that there is no one-size-fits-all PM software. Therefore, sometimes, it can be challenging to find a tool that meets all your needs.
Lack of proper leadership
Ask yourself this: Is being a boss the same as being a leader? Because that’s what a project manager is: a leader. And, that’s what you must understand to avoid this challenge.
One of the very first steps in successful project management is finding the right project manager that can act as a leader. A project manager must gain the trust of their team, clients, and partners. And, to do so, the manager must have not only excellent communication and collaboration skills but also demonstrate professionalism and open-mindedness. Joining Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner training courses can help you become a well-recognized manager to overcome this challenge.
How often do you hear about communication issues as an excuse for unsuccessfully completing tasks or projects? Most likely, too often. That’s because inadequate communication often leads to conflicts and the inability to complete the project tasks before the deadline. Poor communication is often the most common project management challenge that gets in the way of successfully delivering projects on time. In fact, research shows that about 56% of the expense of a project is put at risk because of ineffective communication throughout the project management.
But what exactly leads to poor communication within project management? From working team members that lack communication and collaboration skills to using the wrong tools, there will always be a challenge that doesn’t allow clear and open communication.
How can you ensure proper communication? From organizing one-to-one discussions or daily scrum or weekly sprints and providing the team members with efficient communication and collaboration software tools, these steps will ensure that the team is at par with exactly where the project lies and what comes next.
Challenges of teamwork
Although teamwork is often promoted as the most efficient way to increase productivity and achieve the best results, like it or not, working in a team doesn’t always go well. Why? Because the truth is that teamwork simply isn’t really teamwork unless the team actually works well together.
A team consists of multiple members who have different personalities, needs, skills, and ways of solving things. Therefore, at times, it can be difficult to create a cohesive team that will function well together.
What should an efficient team be like? An efficient team must consist of people who, although have many differences, complete each other’s weaknesses and strengths. And, in order to ensure that the team functions well together, you must eliminate negativity by creating a positive work environment that fosters open communication and collaboration.
Project management isn’t as easy as it may seem. It takes more than a team of skilled members to deliver projects successfully. It also takes planning, time, patience, and perseverance. And, obviously, a good leader to lead the team.