People outside of project management think that, all a project manager does is write emails, conducts meetings and that’s it. But, the role of a project manager is really not what it looks like from the outside. He has many challenges to face on a daily basis. Some of the challenges or obstacles need to be sorted out without even reaching his team. Though, every project manager might not face the same challenges, here are some of them which are quite common –
Manage the project budget
One of the most commonly faced challenge is managing the budget. It is always a challenge to set the project budget and accommodate resources, deadlines, change requests and other delays or dependencies.
Defining the scope of the project
The scope of the project should always be clarified and decided upon so that the deliverables are submitted in accordance to that. The client, the project manager and the team should agree with the scope of the project so that the work is done accordingly and the project can be delivered successfully.
Clearly state and document the requirements
It is important that all the requirements are clearly stated and documented at the start of the project so that all the members of the team are on the same page. He should be able to ask the right question and make sure nothing is missed. Since, estimates will be calculated based on the requirements, it is important that every single thing is taken into consideration.
Managing change requests
It is quite common that the client proposes a change request while the project is in progress. Change requests could be tricky to accommodate if it is going to affect the deadline and if it requires a lot of rework. In some cases, the project manager will have to take a stand and explain the client that how this change request can affect the deadline and why it cannot be a part of this release and that it can be included in the next release. While in some other cases, he might have to deal with the team (developers and other engineers) who might be furious with this idea but have to get it done as it can’t be avoided.
Resolving team conflicts
Team conflicts are quite common especially in large teams. Project manager should be wise and fair. He should listen to both sides and be able to bring them back to working on mutual grounds. Since, it could be a sensitive issue, it is quite tricky to deal with.
Conducting performance reviews
Performance reviews are an important part of any organization. A project manager should be able to effectively communicate his/her team members about their performance. He should appreciate the good work done and point out their strengths. At the same time he should communicate their areas of improvement. Reviews are generally the most dreaded sessions because whether you like it or not, it is impossible to keep everyone happy. But, a good project manager should be able to convey the message effectively even if it is a negative one.
Project Management is a challenging position to be in. A good project manager should be able to –
- Communicate clearly.
- Understand the project and all the risks associated with it.
- Lead the team towards the goal in the right direction.
- Give proper estimates and not create impossible deadlines.
- Be there for the team.
- Be aware of the risks and have a well-thought contingency plan.
- Motivate the team at every step.
- Appreciate the good work done by the team.
These are just a few of the challenging scenarios that a project manager usually encounters. There are more variances to these depending on a number of factors. Have you faced any other challenge that you would like to share with us? Share with us by writing in the comments section below.