I’ve heard from many clients and members of the PMI® Massachusetts Bay Chapter (I’m the current president of the chapter) regarding challenges in managing their projects. They are many and include:
- Managing projects that have fewer resources
- Working with teams that are remote or virtual
- Increased scope and reduced budgets
- Increased pressure to meet tighter deadlines
Undoubtedly you could add to this list. These challenges have been around for a while certainly, but in discussions with members it seems as if they are getting increased pressures from their managers to just keep plowing through the challenges to meet the organization’s goals. Not easy to do; and not just because it is frustrating and stressful for us as project managers, but because we also are tasked with handling the frustrations and stress of our team members.
Here are some suggested ways to handle the challenges you face on your projects:
- Take a deep breath! We all have challenges and getting worked up about them and lashing out at others does not help our credibility.
- Talk with organizational leaders. Bring facts and data to the table to improve the situation. Simply saying that we can’t work this way doesn’t help; rather – show proof of the detriment of burning out team members, of the risks to the project when we try to do so much with limited resources and time, or the affect throughout the organization and on our clients on projects that are rushed.Talk with your team. If they don’t know about the challenges – explain them to the team. Ask for their thoughts on how to work with what is available. Listen to them and work collaboratively with them to find solutions. The solutions may not be perfect, but it is a starting point and the team will know that you care. And remember – acknowledge their frustrations but work with them to move past those frustrations.
- Work on long term solutions. Offer to be part of a team that works on long term solutions to the challenges the organization faces in managing projects. You might have some “new realities” to work with on your projects given changes in the environment, industry and your organization. Find ways to work within that new reality.
How about you? What challenges are you facing and how are you meeting those challenges? Please share with others in the Comments field below. Thank you!