Project managers are accustomed to do balancing acts when it comes to running their tasks in project management. This usually concerns time, budget, and people management, and it is crucial for managers to oversee everything and make sure that tasks are executed in a timely manner, resources are properly utilized, and people are motivated to give their best contributions according to the tasks delegated to them. The role of the project manager is essential in establishing a well-defined and strong organizational structure that is geared towards achieving the project’s objectives successfully.
Challenges in Project Management
According to a survey of 1,500 management executives conducted by IBM, it turns out that 58% of them see that changing mindsets and attitude is the greatest barrier to a project’s success. Forty nine percent attributed it to differences in corporate culture, and 32% mentioned that it is due to the lack of senior management support.
Consequently, a project manager faces a lot of challenges, even on a daily basis, when it comes to project management. Here are the top challenges that project managers face when it comes to project management:
- Goals That Are Not Properly Defined
Unclear objectives at the very beginning will result to collateral damage from the project. Having no or little information about the goals to be communicated with the team will cause their efforts to be misaligned, and such non clarity can lead to misunderstandings, disagreements, and consequently, an unsuccessful project.
- Major Changes in Scope
There is an acceptable limit for some changes to occur at the onset of project execution, but when the threshold has been reached or overcome or when the project management methodologies, processes, and resources can no longer accommodate them, it will result to scope creep. The project manager should be able to assess what is acceptable from what is not and must be able to sustain the effectiveness of his project management despite of some uncontrollable factors. This is why risk management is important to minimize the negative effects of changes and unforeseen circumstances.
- Lack of Skills and Experience
Project management training is sometimes important to undertake first, in order to be more effective with implementing the best interests of a project manager towards the successful completion of the project.
- Lack of Accountability
Good leadership qualities should include a sense of responsibility and accountability from the manager himself. By staying on top of the project everytime, it will allow the project manager to stay informed of all the activities that the members are doing and also able to evaluate each individual performance alongside. Learning to direct and guide the team to be more effective with their tasks is a way of effective leadership.
- Lack of Risk Management
Risk tolerance is the way the project management copes with uncontrollable and unforeseen circumstances that will happen within the course of a project. The lack of which can possibly disrupt a project big time, which may cause the whole project to veer away from achieving its goals and objectives fully.
- Ambiguous Contingency Planning
Lack of anticipation and knowledge about realistic “what-if” scenarios that may come along your way will render you helpless when it does come. By empowering your contingency planning with clever solutions, it can lessen its negative impact towards your project.
- Poor Communication
Lack of excellent communication skills will render all the efforts of a project manager about planning and decision making. If objectives and expectations are not properly communicated, the tasks might not be executed right.
- Setting Impossible Deadlines
Realistic from ambitious deadlines is hard to distinguish, but by being an analytical project manager, it can make him effective in imposing strict but achievable deadlines according to tasks and risks involved in a project.
- Insufficient Support and Resource Allocation
In order for the project to run smoothly, the organization or the business should support it with sufficient resources. In order to do this, the project manager should be able to provide an accurate and realistic estimate of all costs and resources needed.
- Lack of Stakeholders’ Presence and Engagement
A stakeholder can make valuable comments and suggestions for a project within the bounds of his or her concern. Letting a stakeholder participate in various stages of the project will peak his interest in providing feedbacks for the greater improvement of the project.
Importance of Project Management
According to Project Management Institute’s (PMI) white paper about the value of project management, 80% of the surveyed executives believe in the core competence of deploying project management especially during the time of recession. Different kinds of project have also varied degrees of importance to an organization or for a business. But fundamentally, a project is any undertaking in which all processes, methodologies, and resources to utilize should be aligned in order to achieve a common goal or set of objectives. All projects, solve a certain problem, but some are initiated in order to test alternatives or determine a group of feasible solutions for some anticipated problems in the future. A project typically has these primary characteristics:
- Objective – the common goal in which all processes and methodologies to use are in accordance with this specific thing.
- Schedule – this defines the time frame of the project, including its start and end dates. Milestones are also effectively assigned within some points in order to serve as a reference or success points.
- Complexity – this determines the level of challenge or difficulty that the team will need to face in order to achieve the project’s success, which includes technicalities, risks, and implications to the organization.
- Size of the Task – this will determine how long the project will take, how much resources is needed, and how many staff will be needed.
- Resources – this refers to budget, time, and workforce.
- Organizational Structure – this refers to how well the project’s overall structure can be incorporated with the organization’s existing structure.
- Communication and Control System – this one needs to be well structured in order to have proper coordination, and the lines of authority will be established and followed.
Today, as projects evolve into something more sophisticated and complex, a project management system must also be optimized in sustaining its effectiveness in enabling projects to be completed in a timely manner using the best methods and the right technology. Projects are also becoming vital as far as imposing leverage in a market competition is concerned. The importance of project management is becoming more significant as its benefits are reaching to more businesses and organizations nowadays.
Processes in Project Management
The project management process involves four fundamental key phases, which is essential in establishing the structure and workflow management of all tasks included in the project.
This includes fostering a relationship with the client, forming the project team, establishing the project action plan and procedures, knowing what methodology to adopt, consolidating all tools needed for the project, and preparing the environment where the processes will take place.
The planning stage includes discussion about the project scope, requirements, and the feasibility of its implementation. This is also where tasks are defined and delegated. Resources are also properly planned and allocated. Work breakdown and its corresponding schedules are also formulated, as well as the an effective communication plan is adopted. This is also where risks were given attention, and a strong contingency plan is done.
During project execution, the project manager constantly monitors the tasks as members take responsibility for them. Simultaneously, a project manager must also maintain the lines of communication to be open among its members and stakeholders, for greater visibility. Regular updates and reporting is also crucial at this point.
Formally closing down the project means the completion and turnover of documentation and the project itself. The project management team will conduct after implementation training if necessary.
Project Management Tools
In this modern setting, businesses and organizations see the significant value of deploying technology based tools in order for them to see major improvements in the way they handle everyday operations, decision making, management, and risks. Fortunately, there is a project management software that greatly improves the way project managers handle more complicated and time consuming tasks. It also helps with the team’s collaboration efforts, which enables them to work in a one platform. It also centralizes communication and document sharing, for increased transparency and visibility. This kind of project management tool enables all those who are involved to be more efficient with executing their core tasks.
Project management tools and techniques are important best practices to utilize in order to be more effective in project management. A project manager finds value in partnering with a task management software because it gives him wider control over task management overall. It helps him monitor the daily, individual performance of his team and even gain valuable information out of the data that it can consolidate from task execution. Applied with analytics, reporting using the software is made more detailed. It is also more accurate since the tool can perform an assessment and evaluation against a measurable criteria.
A top project management software should be flexible enough to be useful for varied types of projects. To know the feedbacks and ratings of clients to different software providers available in the market today, check out CrowdReviews.com’s reviews of project management software.
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