It’s often said that project management is a marathon, not a sprint. Like a marathon it requires pacing and usually takes place over an extended period of time. However, like a sprint it also requires the technical skills and capacity for executing your goal — getting over that finishing line victorious. In both there will be challenges that you have to push through.
Much like these events, you’ll also find web pages, diagnostics, advice, forums and so on dedicated to how you can overcome these pitfalls. Let’s just say running and project management aren’t so different. 🏃♂️
That being said, this article isn’t going to race through these 5 challenges. For each issue raised, we will provide a possible solution that can help. And if keeping up with these running metaphors have left you out of breath, don’t worry; we’ll take it from here. 🤝
Gridfox is the work management platform that supports project management teams with accessible and easy-to-use tools for managing project information. Providing a centralised space for managing data, including tasks, contacts and overall progress, Gridfox is an essential tool for project managers looking to unite their teams and achieve goals.
Here we examine some of the challenges facing Project Teams and how they can overcome them.
Often, a deadline gets decided before the project starts. Sometimes this deadline results in a rush to get started. The assumption is that the sooner your team begins the project, the quicker that they will complete it. ⏩
This rush can lead to a project team working with a set of unclear goals and objectives. Research shows this to be a key factor in project failure. 39% of project managers see a change in organisation priorities as the top reason for project failure, according to a recent survey.
Taking the time to set clear goals and objectives at the beginning of a project will set a strong foundation and prevent teams from straying off course. It is also helpful to encourage your team members to ask questions and clearly explain the reasons behind each task. 👐
Ensure that goals are clearly defined from the inception of your project. Ask questions, and once you’re ready to validate the scope of the project, discuss the expectations as well. It may even be useful to describe specifically what is outside of the scope of work.
Make sure that these goals and objectives are recorded in a Gridfox project so that your project teams and stakeholders have visibility of what they want to achieve from the project. Use a Table to input this data and add Fields to specify the details of each task-in-hand. 📑
Having this repository of objectives gives team members and stakeholders ownership over their duties, improving focus and productivity when the project begins. Ensure that your team also fully understands the business objectives for the project.
Unclear goals and objectives are a gateway to a lack of direction. From here, team members can feel disillusioned with the work they are doing and begin to lack productivity. Teams who are lacking direction might not understand the purpose of their work or what it is they’re actually doing at all. 😣
Leaders have a big responsibility in steering the direction of their project teams. Ensuring that everyone on a project team knows what they’re doing is the minimum expectation for project managers.
Ensure that teams have visibility over the project that they’re working on. This includes employees being aware of tasks and responsibilities that are assigned to them.
Viewing a huge Task Grid can be overwhelming to employees, especially if there is no distinction between which tasks are assigned to team members. In Gridfox, the Users Field allows project teams to have visibility over which team members are working on certain tasks. 🔍
Teams should also have visibility over the progress of a project. Gridfox has useful features like dashboards which give teams’ visibility of their project data. Providing clear and colourful visuals, teams can see how they are progressing with tasks, sprints or other modular working processes.
At a wider team level, this setup means that employees have visibility of the wider goals that they are trying to achieve with their individual tasks. It is easy for users to switch between individual tasks shown on the task grid and the success of the wider project that these tasks contribute to. 🥳
It’s all too easy for the initial surge of communication to break down. As team members get involved with their own tasks, others can fall out of the loop. ➰
Lack of communication among teams leads to silos. At a team level, this leads to duplication of effort, a loss of productivity and morale, all of which is detrimental to a project’s success or completion.
If a silo attitude has taken hold within a project team, it may be difficult to break, becoming the toxic “new normal” of your project teams. In other words, companies should try to avoid them as much as possible. ❌
Communicate regularly and effectively. A Project Manager should facilitate these communications through group meetings where progress and concerns can be shared.
Setting a recurring date in the calendar is not always enough, however. While people are at the core of good communication, technology also plays a massive role in facilitating effective, open communications in project teams.🔊
That’s why real communication also benefits from a centralised repository where notes and important takeaways can be recorded. The Gridfox Team Meeting project template is an ideal tool for ensuring that all attendance and actions are recorded for each meeting.
Delays — no matter how small they may be — are likely to impact your project. It is typical for delays to take companies over budget, cause them to miss deadlines, and sometimes even derail projects. ⌛
Changes in project scope, a lack of planning and insufficient resources are just a few issues that can cause a project to run over. Whatever challenge that project managers are faced with, they need to be able to rely on their software to map out all their deliverables, complete with due dates and any additional deadlines.
It is essential to spend the time to create a good project plan that has input from team members and relevant stakeholders. Not having a good project plan leads to continuing changes throughout the project’s completion. Once these changes begin, time and budget get used up quickly, which leads to added pressures on project teams. 🤕
Unfortunately we can’t magic you up an extra couple of weeks (or months) to help your project get over the line. That lies outside of our realm of superpowers. 🦸♀️
However, Gridfox can give you all the necessary tools required to effectively manage your time. Each of our project management templates are equipped with a number of features that facilitate effective time management.
As an example, the Project Manager template covers all aspects of project management, from planning to implementation to execution. With the ability to track forecasts and actual time spent on work, you’ll be able to iron out any issues before they escalate. 🤗
Another great feature is Task Boards, which provide a visual overview of all active tasks, as well as filters that allow users to view specific tasks based on their stage of completion. This provides a neat map of the project’s components.
Also included in all templates is a handy Calendar View, so that you can keep track of whether your team is on track to meet deadlines. It is easy to change these dates by clicking on a record and then editing the due date from there. Having this flexibility avoids last minute strategy changes or, worse yet, missed deadlines. 📅
No project team ever overcomes its challenges by pointing the finger or avoiding blame. Project Managers play a big role in ensuring that everyone is taking responsibility for their duties.
When ownership and accountability is not actively encouraged at the start of a project, teams can quickly fall by the wayside.
Starting with strong leadership, as well as clear goals and objectives, will ensure that teams are united under a clear vision of what they need to achieve. 🏅
Again, visibility is very valuable. Ensure that your project management software has the capacity for displaying users by name. Having this will optimise accessibility and ownership of this work. This shouldn’t be used as an excuse to point the finger of blame, but rather as a way to increase the efficiency of operations.
Using Gridfox, you can add a user field to keep track of who is responsible for what. You’ll be able to ensure that everyone in your team knows what to do, where to do it, and at what time. 👍
It is possible to add these fields to a project at any time, so you can adjust your tools to match changing business requirements. Click ‘edit current view’ to customise your screen and build a project that is tailored to your business.
Better still, with Gridfox Workflows you can notify team members about the latest task activity. Want to let someone know when a new task is assigned to them? No problem. Keep project managers in the loop when a task is underway and, later, completed? You got it. Workflows can be used for a variety of project management activities, all with the aim of maintaining visibility and open communications between colleagues. 🙂
In project management, challenges are constant. Here we have shown 5 of the most common project management challenges that teams will face, as well as some key solutions for overcoming these setbacks.
Gridfox is the common thread tying all these solutions together. Gridfox offers secure, accessible and powerful project data management. The information in this article can not only help you plan and implement your project effectively, but also fight back against the challenges that any project can bring.
Get Started with Gridfox for free here.