6 Major Challenges in Project Management and the Strategies to Tackle Them

Author: Cathleen Hampton
The term “Project” describes effort outside day-to-day operations. The key features of a project are: purposeful and distinct in character, contribute to the management of change, clear purpose achieved in a limited time, clear end when the outcome has been achieved, resourced to achieve specific outcomes, has someone acting as a sponsor who expects the outcomes to be delivered on time, a one-off activity and will not normally be repeated. Every project meets with certain challenges in its smooth functioning. Here are a few major challenges in project management and the strategies to tackle them.
1. Responsibility versus Authority Trap
The responsibility you’ve been given isn’t commensurate with the formal authority you need to accomplish the mission. Strategy: Draw on your expertise, knowledge, and track record to influence and persuade others to support your efforts.
2. Unrealistic Targets
Your boss insists on a project deadline that you know is unrealistic and impossible to achieve. Strategy: Resist the temptation. Start with the completion date and work your way backward and then show your work.
3. Territorial Team Members
Cross-functional project team members show more allegiance to their function than to your project. Strategy: Foster a strong sense of team identity by holding a kickoff meeting for the project and communicating shared objectives and benefits of success.
4. Serving Multiple Bosses
Someone other than your boss asks you to lead a project that falls outside your usual job duties. You report to the project leader and your boss. Strategy: Negotiate conflicting demands. For example: “I’d really like to meet that date, but it wouldn’t be in our best interest since the XYZ deadline takes precedence.”
5. Juggling Multiple Projects
You’re managing several important projects at once. Strategy: Create separate work areas and filing systems for each project so you can focus on one at a time while working on each.
6. Uncertainty
You have limited information on the details, available resources, and requirements of a project. Strategy: Use ranges of values instead of single figures when providing estimates on project costs & schedule.

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