There are many qualities a good project manager must possess, including the ability to plan projects in detail and assemble the right team for each job. However, many will argue that the most important trait is the ability to anticipate challenges and proactively and quickly find solutions to problems as they arise.
CIO magazine looks at seven of the most common challenges that can come up, and ways that managers can effectively deal with them:
- Decentralization: Software with mobile functionality is an essential tool to coordinate employees across multiple locations and time zones.
- Infighting: A good project manager will regularly check in with individual team members and deal with any personal disagreements between team members.
- Lack of accountability: A project manager should always clearly define each team member's responsibilities and decision-making power. This includes managing the expectations of stakeholders who are financing the project but not directly involved in carrying it out.
- Potential problems: Holding regular meetings is a great way to weed out problems before they become too big to handle.
- Resource reallocation: If a team loses personnel, the PM should step in to ensure that the project continues smoothly.
- Scope creep: A change in the project's nature can be the most difficult and disruptive type of challenge, so make sure to take the time to refocus and communicate any change in direction.
- Shifting deadlines: Assign an early deadline for each individual part of the project, so that it will be easier to adjust if the overall deadline changes later.
By adhering to these project portfolio management best practices, managers can face and overcome challenges responsibly and ensure that the project succeeds and meets stakeholders' expectations.