Project managers face a number of challenges when it comes to starting a new project and ensuring its success. Veteran project managers are aware of many of the pitfalls that a project faces, but new project managers may not be so well informed. Below are some of the most common challenges that project managers face as well as some strategies for overcoming them.
Communication is one of the biggest challenges that project managers face. The success or failure of a team depends on the level of communication. It’s the project manager’s responsibility to provide order by making sure communication is clear and frequent. Since there are so many different stages that a project goes through, it can be challenging for a project manager to inform every team member throughout the process. When communication is timely team members feel like they under what’s going on. It’s also important for project managers to remain open to team member feedback. Project managers need to make sure they are available when their team members need them.
Unless a project’s goals are clearly defined then the project has little chance of succeeding. A project manager must set goals for the project at the very onset. Plus the project manager needs to make sure that individual team members understand their specific goals as well the goals of the overall project. If goals aren’t defined then team members will have little direction. As a result, they may request changes to the project that will ultimately cause more harm than good—all because they didn’t understand the final goal of the project.
Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the most difficult aspects of business. When planning a new project many project managers start with the mindset of: “This is the budget we have to work with, and we can’t go over it.” However, this type of mindset often leads to going over budget. Instead, it’s better to estimate how much the entire project will cost and then ask for that specific budget.
Setting appropriate deadlines is essential to every project’s success. However, when setting deadlines you need to consider how likely your team is to meet the deadline. If you don’t give your team enough time and they miss deadline after deadline, you risk hurting morale. On the other hand, if you give your team too much time they might procrastinate and waste resources. The best project managers understand their team members and what works best for them. You want to set deadlines that are realistic so that your team will meet them and be successful.