Effective project management is essential for businesses to bring new products to market on time and within budget**.** Following on the lines of Maya Angelou’s quote, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst”, it helps to counter the dynamic changes that happen in the project development process. Every project is unique and every business's requirements are unique. There is no cookie-cutter project plan.
Given each plan is unique, there are some common challenges faced when executing a project plan. This article is to share solutions we have identified at Wednesday, for the most common challenges in project management. If I were to give a cheat sheet of my article, it would be this.
💡 Define a clear project scope and keep all stakeholders informed of changes.
💡 Hawk-eye view for timelines. Adapt the timeline as per new information.
💡 Clear roles and responsibilities help manage a global team.
💡 Foster open communication channels within the team to build trust.
💡 Gather knowledge about the project and be involved with the work happening.
💡 Be nimble and adapt. As a Project manager, if you embrace change, the team will too.
I know that I have already caught your interest, so let me now elaborate!
At Wednesday we know the importance of Time, Scope and Budget for a project. We always make sure that these factors meet its given value to accomplish the given requirement.
As we know how entrepreneurs and business owners like yourself are ready to move to the market with the business plans we got you covered. We set clear scope from Day 1 for your business ideas by understanding objectives and breaking them down into smaller, manageable tasks and features. Once the plan is made we never hesitate to deploy the cutting edge technology for your business solution.
We know that as a business owner you will expect your product to be on the trend. So any request changes to the project scope or when new requirements are identified during the project we got you covered. As we develop the products in Agile methodology we make the business owners as a captain of the ship which allows you to drive the product towards the market trend.
We provide maximum transparency for the business owners to track the progress of the development process by setting the milestone and setting estimation for each milestone. We also use tools such as Gantt Chart / Jira roadmap to help visualise the progress for all the stakeholders of the project.
A product team can consist of people from different backgrounds and functions, including business, technical, design, marketing, and more. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective and skill set to the project, and their point of view and vertical expectations can differ.
To make all the stakeholders aligned on the same page we at Wednesday make regular sync calls with the stakeholders to update them with the progress of the product and discuss them with the field related queries if any. We also noticed that sharing Minutes of Meetings after any product call will help all the stakeholders to be on the same goal. As we set clear roles and responsibilities for stakeholders the project development process becomes a smooth ride.
Field knowledge refers to the specialised knowledge and expertise that individuals have in a particular field or industry. It's not necessary or even possible, as project managers, to know all technical details about each task, although why and how pieces fit together is important to know.
To overcome this challenge we always make sure that our project managers do research and get field knowledge about the field before the planning phase. Also we arrange frequent meetings with the business owners to make sure that the requirements are clear in the project kick off state.
Also we have noticed that constant learning throughout the development process can help identify the risk factors earlier and tackle them better.
Under the change management umbrella, I would like to include changes in product plans, transfer of projects from one team to another, changes in project management process like moving to agile from the waterfall and personnel changes within a team.
Though each of the above transitions requires embracing the change itself, some pointers which can help are:
Managing a global team can present unique challenges for project managers, including differences in time zones, cultural norms, and communication styles. Something as simple as different national holidays across locations is a consideration a project manager has to take when planning deliverables.
Apart from leveraging technology and tools for video conferencing, and project management tools, two pointers that have helped us overcome this challenge are :
Technology is constantly evolving, and new advances are being made every day. While technological advances like ChatGPT can certainly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of project management, they will not replace the need for human intervention.
The rapid pace of technological advancements means that project managers must remain nimble and adaptable in their approach. They must be willing to incorporate new technologies and processes into their project management strategies to stay competitive and achieve better results.
It is natural for humans to become attached to work that they have done, especially when they have invested a lot of time, effort, and resources into a project. This attachment can make it difficult to adapt to the new changes. By being nimble in thoughts and actions, project managers can set the path to make changes or adopt new technologies or processes that may be necessary for the success of the project. Getting all stakeholders on board for the changes that need to be done is important here.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, there is no cookie-cutter project plan. Likewise, when executing a project, no situation is exactly the same.
Situational leadership is a leadership style that involves adapting one's approach to meet the needs of different situations and team members. Apart from the known project management tools like effective communication, and collaboration, empowering team members and feedback, situational leadership highlights :
You can read more about the same here.
The pointers listed above have helped our project management team at Wednesday to overcome challenges when managing projects. I would love to know if these helped you or any others, which might have helped you. Get in touch @ firstname.lastname@example.org.