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5 Common Project Management Challenges. How Can You Solve Them?

January 31, 2024

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We have come a long way in the world of projects.  The challenges associated with project management have also changed significantly.  Despite availability of project management literature and experience sharing, project teams continue to struggle to deliver projects successfully.  Let us explore the five common project management challenges and how a top-class online project management software could be of help, whether it is PSA Software or any other industry.

Adopting project-specific approaches (predictive, agile, or hybrid)
Contemporary projects are no longer predictive.  The market forces as well as technology advancements have necessitated different approaches based on project needs.  Project managers must be comfortable to adapt project-specific approaches, be it predictive, agile, or even hybrid.  However, they are constrained by project management software that are inflexible to the demands of diverse projects.  Project teams experience high levels of inefficiency from initiation to closure – leading to lost business value!

Recommendation: Business leaders and decision-makers must ensure that the online project management software chosen (including PSA Software) is easily “configurable” for predictive, agile, or hybrid needs.

Creating a comprehensive and an integrated project plan
Even today, there is a misconception that a project management tool is all about scheduling and resource management.  Project plans must be holistically integrated based on industries, without which, the project health dashboard would render meaningless insights!  For example, in the professional services industry, a PSA Software must consider inputs from proposals, ‘as-sold’ profitability, scheduling, resources, costs, procurement, risks, issues, meetings, collaboration, etc. – similarly for projects in engineering, pharma, FMCG, and other industries.

Integrated Project Management Planning

Recommendation: Project managers must insist on an online project management tool / PSA Software that comprehensively integrates all the project dimensions to reflect a true project health dashboard.

Guarding ‘as-sold’ project profitability
Project managers continue to struggle to deliver projects as per the ‘original’ or ‘as-sold’ profitability – a reflection of the pitiable project health dashboard!  There are two key reasons.

  • There appears to be a lack of collaboration and transition from sales/business development to project delivery.  Either the sales and delivery teams operate in silos, or the project management tools / PSA Software used are not designed to seamless move from proposals to project delivery.  The result must not be surprising – communication gaps, missed assumptions during sales, and unarticulated expectations.
  • Contemporary projects are not without scope changes.  The project teams are unable to effectively create and manage multiple project baselines.  Reliance on spreadsheet is akin to rubbing salt into a wound.  With these, it is no wonder that projects experience severe conflicts sales and delivery teams as the project moves towards closure, when the actual profit is significantly lower than ‘as-sold.’
Struggle to guardrail As Sold vs. Actual Profitability

Recommendation: To gain proactive and accurate view of the project health dashboard, Project managers must be empowered with an online project management software / PSA Software with capabilities to manage planned profits with actual profit with inbuilt integration with project financials process.

Collaborating seamlessly
Organizations are delivering projects with teams that are global.  The biggest casualty of global teams is the ability to effectively collaborate across diverse cultures.  Leaders assume that investing in a ‘messaging’ software would do the trick, when in fact, collaboration has multiple dimensions including –

  • Workflows for deliverable review, acceptance, and signoffs.
  • Informal mechanisms akin to social media platforms.
  • Document sharing and collaboration.
  • Managing virtual meetings.
  • Automatic escalations based on business rules
  • Customer and vendor collaborations
Project Collaboration – Dimensions

Recommendation: Invest in an online project management software / PSA Software that offers seamless social collaboration as its foundation.

Ensuring data integrity across disparate systems
Invariably, we find enterprises running on ERPs, CRMs, Accounting, and other applications to manage their day-to-day business operations.  In many cases, these enterprise applications are disparate or operate as technology islands.  When project managers lead projects, their struggles include –

  • Depending on multiple applications for function-specific data.  Examples are proposals on CRMs, procurement, quality, engineering on ERPs, financials on ERP/Accounting Software, etc.  Imagine the level of wasted efforts / inefficiencies just to collate data – the project health dashboard would not reflect these!
  • When data is sourced from multiple sources, the biggest risk is – data integrity!  Visualize when project scope, schedule, or budget undergoes a change – the project teams need to validate data on multiple systems with no guarantee of data integrity.
Disparate Systems

Recommendation: Project management teams need an online project management software / PSA Software that integrates easily with enterprise applications.

Srikanth PV

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Srikanth PV comes with two decades of global corporate and consulting background across industries with diverse roles including Strategy, Leadership, and Management. Currently, Srikanth is Head, PPM Content Management at ProductDossier focused on content management strategy aimed to empower customers create and enhance value through its flagship digital solution - TouchBase. Srikanth is also a former member of the Board of Directors of PMI Bangalore Chapter.

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