In the previous post we looked at some ways to overcome project hurdles but there are so many solutions that we’ve gathered even more ideas from delegates on some of our recent project management courses. Here they are…
One of the biggest project hurdles is keeping your team engaged and motivated. Monday mornings may always feel a bit rough, but if that feeling persists throughout the week – you’ve got real trouble on your hands! Every project is going to have hiccups and perhaps even a few disasters but a PM will only have a problem if they don’t know how to gather the troops and inspire them to keep pushing through. There is a saying that people don’t leave jobs – they leave because of the management, so in order to keep your team tight – you have to treat staff right.
Money, money, money
Let’s be honest – business is all about money, and every project will need to result in a healthy profit margin and contented stakeholders in order to be deemed a success. Poor budgeting, therefore, is one of the biggest hurdles a PM can face when it comes to costing a project that requires effective time management and economical solutions that still produce high-quality results.
Being a PM is not for wallflowers. Having a thin skin WILL be one of the biggest project hurdles when it feels as though you are needed everywhere at once whilst dealing with a mix of personalities that may be less than complimentary at times! Being an assertive diplomat will go a long way to establishing a sense of order, but broad shoulders (literally and/or figuratively!) is important too. For a healthy work/life balance, you will need to be able to leave any criticism at the office door and remind yourself that things are rarely personal.
The dreaded meeting. Meetings are not everyone’s idea of fun, but they don’t actually need to become a hurdle. Add coffee and cake – or something healthier – and keep the tone informal yet productive, and they will feel like a meeting of minds instead of feeling mindless. The key is collaboration; allowing everyone to have a voice so that all present are informed, interested and on the same page. A PM, therefore, already needs to have or be quickly able to build confidence to set the stage and “play” to the audience to get the job done.
A common hurdle to overcome is the inability to look along the timeline of a project and identify potential “hotspots” where problems could arise. A PM needs to be able to do their job with confidence but not be so overconfident that they think hurdles couldn’t possibly pop up in their path (because despite everyone’s best efforts they undoubtedly will). Being proactive is imperative, as is keeping up with the latest methodologies such as agile and design thinking. These creative yet practical tools can be used to brainstorm solutions if a standby plan is not already in place.