Top Project Management Challenges In 2021

2020-12-15 10:12:18
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Summary : We categorized the challenges and wound up with several different types. Here are the top three types of challenges. See where your biggest challenge is placed.

Top Project Management Challenges In 2021

When was the last time you ran into a challenge? 

Right before you read this article? Thought so:)

Maybe your developer just let you know they will need a full week’s work to fix a bug they just found, maybe you discovered that a month’s worth of timesheet time hasn't been filled out. Even if the challenge isn’t a strong enough word to describe the situation you find yourself in. Other project managers have been there before.

We conducted a census from our zentao users about their experience, their projects and the challenges they face. We got hundreds of responses which gave us some solid insights into the types of challenges pm’s face and which ones are the most common.

We categorized the challenges and wound up with several different types. Here are the top three types of challenges. See where your biggest challenge is placed.

1. Coming in at number three, Personal Skills.

If you are new to project management or you are thrown into the role head first, you might wonder whether you have the skills and knowledge to do the job well. Even project managers who’ve been around the block a few times. Sometimes they feel unsure of their skills and abilities. If you are still figuring things out your train of thought might sound a little like this.

Should I make a project plan? It seems necessary but it will take a lot of time. 

Ok, I guess I should, but how do I create one?

The personal skills category received quite a few responses with project managers noting they felt like they lacked technical skills, confidence, management skills or soft skills. 

If this describes your current situation as a project manager, there’s a pretty simple solution. 

Training, to take courses network with peers and learn as much as you can. Skill also come with experience so the more project managing you do, the better you will get at it. But skills are obviously not the only challenges that project managers face. 

2. In second place is Resources

Imagine this, you have just created the perfect resource plan for your project. You’ve assigned team members to Tasks, Assigned roles, And identified dependencies

Once you start the project, tasks get delayed, your team members are juggling different projects and tasks are taking longer to be completed than you thought, you are running out of time and your team is burning out. Your perfect resource plan has crumbled in front of your eyes, but don’t worry you’re not alone. A significant portion of project managers in our census, struggle with resource management or a lack of resources. This includes things like managing their own time, delegation and taking on too many projects at once. Resource planning should account for organizational capacity and which resources are in use, when project planning helps as well by giving an overview of the project from a high level. So you can see the resources in the context of the whole project.

3. And now the biggest facing by project managers, The Project Team.

Here’s something that never happens, the project team has a collaborative and supportive dynamic right off the back, they provide status update on the regular and stay engaged throughout the entire project. But wouldn’t it be nice? We shouldn’t be so hard on the project team, after all they help execute the project and see it through to completion. And a lot of how the team performs comes down to the project manager’s ability to lead them. A significant percentage of respondent challenges were categorized as project team challenges and included team management, fostering a strong team dynamic and challenges with remote teams. Sometimes no matter how hard the project manager tries, teams just don’t have a good dynamic, so it’s up to the project manager to make it work and get the project finished. 

Leadership is the main way to overcome this challenge, the stronger the leadership abilities of the project manager, the better they will be able to unite and lead the team. Leadership training is never a bad idea, test out different management and leadership styles to find the one that works best for your team. 

So those are the top three changes that project managers face. Can you relate?


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