The top 6 challenges for Project Managers in action
A company will sometimes not properly define the goals or objectives of a business before going into it, which might challenge the agile project management methodology. On the short run it’s ok, but on the long run it could become a problem.
A poorly planned project will definitely fail at the end. It is very important that goals, budget, and timeframe are discussed before the project even commences. It's better to see how you can approach an Agile approach to Project Management here.
Challenges with your team members. Of course...
A big mark in the project’s success is dependent on the people that execute it. But what happens when you have in your team inexperienced team members or team members who lack the skill to handle the tasks at hand?
This challenge will slow down the progress of your work and in some cases will lead to the termination of the project, unsuccessfully... so it will become a failure. More than that, people don't usually learn from this experience and the next time they face it they might have the same results.
It is very important that you provide the team members that are open minded with the product mindset which is different than the project mindset. The ideal approach is to create self-organising teams that are having a growth mindset. Of course the team should have the proper training in order to succeed.
Ensuring that the risks are low. Really?
In more and more projects I’ve heard from Product Owner/Manager that “Ensuring that risks are low”.
What happens when there are no risks? There are no challenges.
Don't search for a fixed mindset, full of certainties because - in our times - you might fail fail miserably. But what about the approach to have risks but address them efficiently in early deliverables?
Communication issues. Yeah right!
Most of the important communication issues come from misunderstanding between Business and Technical teams because the organisations are having little experiences with collaboration between these different mindsets.
Of course issues in communication also arise between members of the same kind of team. This is why in Agile frameworks there are activities in which the important goal is to learn and communicate better and in this way the risk is lowered in project failure.
Managing expectations. For sure...
My personal advice is to take care of the expectations not only at the professional level but on a personal level as well. Once you know each other’s expectations, then it will be easier to reach the desired goals.
The important aspects in trusting and managing expectations is to have discussions (for example in Retrospective meeting) in order to set and facilitate the communication inside the team. Lack of it could make a lot of harm at the team level with a high negative impact at the product/project level.
Geographically dispersed teams
With the rapidly changing times and technologies evolving every year, you may have a team that is spread across the different parts of the globe. The team members of a project aren’t just company employees but it also extends to clients, vendors, and stakeholders.
These virtual teams come along with their own set of challenges – different time zones, language barriers and communication skills and tools. The solution is to use different Project Management tools specified here.
Some (final) thoughts
With the right mindset, approach and tactics all these challenges could become minor, but you need to rely a lot on the project or product team. This is easily to do when the trust exists inside the team but sometimes is hard to obtain.
This article is part of a bigger topic called Agile Project Management.