Challenges PM face
What is one challenge project managers face when handling a project? How would the project manager handle those challenge?
One issue that all project managers face is being able to keep communication between different departments or people. Information distribution such as sending emails and phone calls to people to get updates on certain assignments is a big task. Sometimes, people do not get along in a project team therefore they do not communicate with one another. Its the project managers responsibility to make sure that theirs a line of professional communication between the all project team members. This also includes scheduling weekly or biweekly status meetings to get updates on the each portion of the project.
Agreeing with Betty, another challenge a project manager faces is budget information. Often times, budget information is not distributed to project managers and they are unable to time their projects. And often times when the project is almost finished but the company can no longer afford to keep the team members or contracts expiring, this is also a critical issue which often delays many projects. And overall, as Betty said, keeping communication between departments is the only way to handle this matter. This makes sure that the project manager is aware of all the obstacles and can make proper schedule and timeline for the project.
To extend on tn58's response, a project manager also faces a similar issue with information, not only for budgets but also for product information. It has been a repeated theme in Dr. Simon's lectures that a PM, especially for the medical device industry, may not have all the necessary safeguards and information for a product. This is because project management for the medical device industry is not as clear cut as in other industries and even if it seems as if everything will run smoothly there are many hurdles to overcome with animal trials and even clinical trials if necessary. The PM can have contingencies in place and attempt to predict problems that might arise, however this is not always an easy task especially with devices that need to integrate in vivo. Therefore, depending on the type of device lack of information on cutting technology can prove to be a hurdle for PM during the execution phase and the best preventative measure is research and attempt to anticipate any problems that may arise. The best way to anticipate would be most likely to talk to experts in the field and within the company to develop possible scenarios that may result during the execution phase.
I think another big issue that's faced by project managers is proper risk management. Typically whenever you don't know the answer to something, you have to follow proper risk management process. Risk management is the process of identifying, analyzing and responding to risk factors throughout the life of a project. It is the job of the project manager to ensure that there are no issues in the future and should one arise, the magnitude is not as high. The failure to identify when to use risk management is one of the issues that is faced by managers. If an issue is not identified early enough in the process, the impacts can snowball downstream and affect other parts of the project. As a project manager there are so many things that you have to consider and there is so much information that proper risk management may be missed. Some cases where risk management may be missed include: when you don't realize a one process is key in the project, there is unrealistic planning, goals are not clearly defined, poor communication, amongst other things.
One issue that all venture chiefs face is having the capacity to keep correspondence between various offices or individuals. Data circulation, for example, sending messages and telephone calls to individuals to get refreshes on specific assignments is a major undertaking. Once in a while, individuals don't get along in a venture group accordingly they don't speak with each other. Its the venture chiefs duty to ensure that theirs a line of expert correspondence between the all venture colleagues. This likewise incorporates planning week by week or semiweekly status gatherings to get refreshes on the each segment of the venture.
Another challenge that PMs face is personnel resources or enough people with the right skills to do a job. Sometimes you have a job and you either don't have enough people available or enough people with the right skills to do a job. To resolve this, the PM would have to talk to different people in the company and resolve this internally to the company or go to another company. Identifying this and resolving this can be very convoluted. It is rather hard to find people due to company politics and the need to be diplomatic and professional. Asking someone to work on a project would mean asking their supervisor first and if this person is an asset it is rare that management wants that person working on anything else. If the PM goes outside the company, money and bids can become an issue and sensitive company material can also become an issue.
One challenge project manager face is lack of accountability. A project manager always should clearly state or define each team member’s rules and responsibilities which includes managing the expectations of stakeholders who are financing the project but not involved directly with the project, finger-pointing and avoiding blame are unproductive. A lack of accountability can bring a project to a complete failure; in order to be success, each and every team member takes responsibilities in achieving project success. Learning to direct teams toward a common goal is an important of project management training.
One challenge that the project manager face on a daily basis is the ability to properly communicate the deadlines of multiple projects. There are many active projects going on in a company. Many times, the project manager doesn’t have the time to attend different project meetings. As a result, he or she will miss out on the critical information discussed in the meeting. At other times, the people in the project team sometimes do not agree on a particular idea. The project manager must be able to feel comfortable with this and he or she must communicate effectively to resolve any issues that may arise. The project manager should also try to schedule additional update meetings.
In agreeance with all the above responses, the project manager has a lot of important responsibilities. I believe, however, that all these responsibilities fall under the single biggest challenge a PM faces which is effective communication among all the departments working together on the project. The need for this transparency is critical to the success of the project because it keeps everyone informed and accountable about the current goals, progress, issues, and deadlines along with holding individuals responsible for work they need to get done. However the PM decides to organize the information structure of the company, (whether it be though frequent meetings, email, phone, etc.) it is imperative that it accurately portrays important aspects of the project while promoting an open and effective lines of communication for essential feedback. It is only once this transparency is achieved amongst all the departments that the project can progress as quickly, efficiently, and effectively as possible. If effective communication is not achieved, it will be very hard for the PM to organize an effective work force and meet all required deadlines.
While these are all challenges project managers most likely face on a regular basis I would like to add on specifically to gingeranderson's input on the lack of people with right skills to do a job. I definitely agree that either resolving this issue internally or outsourcing talent from outside the company then this brings in other conflicts such as resources and ultimately time. While it is difficult to find the talent a project manager may need, there still has to be someone to do that job. Unless that role gets filled then a person that could most likely end up doing their job could ultimately be the project manager him/herself. If a project manager spends the time doing or even learning the the skills of a job that should be somebody else's then this takes away from what the project manager does best. This takes away from the project manager from doing his/her roles such as communication, planning, etc.
However, if a project manager wasn't the one filling in the role for someone else, then someone else from the project team definitely will be. This will be the same case scenario as in it will only take away from that person's original job. Project team members themselves are considered resources and a project team should have enough of them that they're able to allocate their duties efficiently since everyone has a job to do.
PMs face a great deal of challenges in a project. One of the most occurring and difficult to deal with in my opinion is employee conflict. When team members are not willing to perform their duties due to internal conflict among themselves it leads to project delays and many other issues. This is also often a question asked in interviews to determine the prospective employees ability to resolve conflict. There are many ways to resolve these conflicts including diffusing the situation, coming to a compromise and ensuring that the timeliness of the project is respected and followed.
there is a huge range of different challenges that project managers could face. Since a lot have been mentioned, and I have read other posts, a major unforgotten challenge was mentioned in one of the other posts. The challenge is having members of a team that don't take their responsibility and acting unprofessionally. Dealing with a team member who plays a major role in the project but doesn't take it seriously can be very challenging and would delay the entire project as a consequence if not dealt with it fast and in an assertive way.
There are a lot of problems that project managers that have to deal with, too many to list. For this post, I will focus on one which I am currently experiencing. In real life, PMs take on more than one project at a time this means that each project will have their own numerous team with even more members. This means that the PM must be able to allocate the resources at his disposal. The PM must be able to motivate each member of the team and must also be able to balance and organize each task of the individual project. This is important so that no project falls behind its schedule. The PM, when making the schedule, must keep in mind the different schedules that each member of the team has due to their different composition and priorities. The PM must be able to adjust their set schedule due to the different members and even problems that may arise during the process of doing the project.
One interesting aspect of a project manager's responsibility is meeting customer expectations. I bring this up because this is something that I see my project manager deal with on a regular basis. Customer's will often come to my manager with parameters for a custom product. He will then take this information and consult with the R&D and any other subject matter experts. Once a consensus is reached, the information is then brought to the processing/manufacturing team to see what available equipment can handle the customer's request. Once all this information has been gathered and assimilated, my manager then returns to the customer and negotiates additional costs, development budget, and specification ranges. Being able to work with a customer is certainly a critical challenge faced by project managers.