21/09/2016

The 7 pain points of project management

learn how to cope with the 7 pain points of project management

learn how to cope with the 7 pain points of project management

Managing any project is a multi-disciplinary undertaking. Making sure you’ve had the proper training to allow you to do so is vital.

Here at Off Peak Training we’ve highlighted seven key issues which will be faced by all project managers in our – 7 pain points of project management – advice.

Mastering these seven pain points can help managers improve their management practices and develop a management style which works not only for them, but for all their colleagues on the project.

Facing these problems ultimately enables project managers to run their operations smoothly and with less room for error.

  • Pain Point 1 – Organization

This is usually the most time-consuming aspect of any project manager’s work life. Planning, delegating tasks and then keeping track of those tasks, are all processes which are vital to a project running in a smooth manner. But once these processes have been established, and good project management training will give you the tools to learn how to delegate and monitor, the project manager is then able to switch to other important responsibilities.

Getting this organizational aspect of a project manager’s job together is a great basis from good practices to be set in motion. Organizational tools, such as online task management programs, help to ensure teams stay on target and stay organized without requiring the constant supervision of a project manager or for someone to have to remember each action item which is delegated to a colleague.

  • Pain point 2 – evaluation

Providing feedback is a key responsibility which is a vital role for project management. Project managers can only fulfill this responsibility when there are established processes which collect data on a colleague’s performance.

But evaluation needs to be supported by evidence and must be analyzed so that team members feel the project manager has their best interests at the forefront of all activity. Online management tools can offer ways to provide feedback to colleagues based on performance and overall task completion which allows a project manager to give thoughtful but, more importantly, fact-based evaluations.

  • Pain point 3 – feedback

Running alongside evaluation is feedback. Providing good feedback can be problematic for project managers who dislike confrontation. While it’s easy to offer feedback to colleagues who are doing well, the project manager must also be able to deal with situations where there is improvement required.

Telling someone they are doing well and encouraging them to “keep up the good work” is far simpler than the tact and finesse needed to reassure someone that while they may need improvement, not all is at a loss, and that they can be supported to do better.

Colleagues must feel they have time to improve their work and then be able to come back to their project manager with improved performance results.

  • Pain point 4 – accountability

This can be the hardest aspect of project management for people to deal with. It requires those who have had a task delegated to them to carry it out to the best of their ability. No-one likes to feel responsible for things which can go wrong on a project.

Project managers need to learn the skills to be able to allocate accountability to their colleagues clearly and without any opportunity for misunderstanding. This allows for a clear chain of command and for transparency about who is responsible for ensuring which task is completed.

  • Pain point 5 – consolidation

This is often a tricky process to carry out, especially for newly qualified project managers. When a large team is working together, the likelihood that things will get overlooked or some aspect of communication is lost, is quite high.

Having the ability to see all processes in a single location where the project management task is consolidated can help project managers keep track of all individual processes, tasks and projects which are required to complete the overall project. It also allows access to all versions of a task or project and means the whole team can be updated with changes at the same time.

  • Pain point 6 – follow-ups

Although these can seem boring and time-consuming, they are a critical part of the project manager’s experience. They are essential so that any project manager can have an idea of the overall state of direction the project is going in.

Project managers must ensure that the follow-up process becomes easy to deal with. This helps keep things on track in the long term. Online task management platforms can be an asset for this, allowing project managers to save both time and efficiency.

  • Pain point 7 – visibility

Making sure information is available to all those involved in a project is vital. Sometimes it may not always be readily available and this can cause communications mix-ups. When everyone is privy to the same information, it generates a healthy transparency within teams and leads to continued improvements.

While the 7 pain points are difficult to deal with, the old maxim holds true – practice makes perfect. Project managers should strive to use their skills and experiences to make sure these 7 pain points become a routine part of their daily processes, preventing larger issues with both projects and colleagues.

We have also created a 7 Pain Points of Project Management Infographic which you can view by clicking the image below:

 

7-pain-points-of-project-management-infographic-v.2

Further Reading

A Reintroduction to PMP Learning

By 2020 the Project Management profession is expected to have grown in value by more than $6.6 trillion – with 15.7 million new project management roles created in seven project intensive industries.

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