The Pitfalls of Project Management and How to Deal with Them Proactively


Project management has been universally recognized as the most effective way of managing tasks that are complex, large, and multidisciplinary in nature. The single point authority and responsibility is believed to be the greatest strength of project management but when placed in the hands of a less competent or incapable individual can also prove to be its biggest weakness.

Success of a Project Is Directly Dependent on the Manager’s Capabilities

The idea that project management is a universal remedy, a panacea, is not entirely true. Unless there is a great amount of dedication, commitment, ability to take others along and of course ability to take fast decisions on the part of the project manager, success of a project cannot be guaranteed.

How Project Managers Develop Their Skills Over Time?

There is hardly any reason to doubt the fact that project managers have special, gifted skills. There will be an increasing demand for the best of the lot now and for eternity, as technology continues to soar to newer heights in various fields. It is apparent that project managers are not born with god-gifted talent for effective and successful project management. They develop their skills gradually through education and on-the-job experience. Hands-on project managers become more competent and excel at their job, as they continue to deliver successful projects consistently. They learn vital lessons about project management on the job – even the hard way many a times – to become top-grade managers over a period of time.

The Usual Obstacles a Project Often Runs Into

Let us look at some of the major obstacles a project manager often runs into during the lifetime of a project. A research involving several projects done over the past five decades or so reveals that similar complaints and problems are seen in projects and form the core reasons for project failures. These problems are not industry-specific. They are common to projects from IT, construction, technology, and dozens of other fields. A project manager has to deal with problems of time overruns and excessive changes, due to long timelines of projects, non-availability of critical resources when they are urgently needed, changing priorities of the company or the industry, and others.

Other Key Reasons for Failure

Poor Multitasking Skills

A project may fail on one or multiple fronts due to poor multitasking skills of the project manager. Poor prioritization is one of the key reasons why a project gets time-lagged. Each project has different components. There are constant demands from various team heads to accord priority to their leg of the project, often forcing the project manager to switch tasks repeatedly. This can affect various components of the project and ultimately the project as a whole.

Getting Time Estimates Horribly Wrong

It is common for managers to take estimates at face value and assume that a given component of a project will be completed within the estimated deadline. If a team fails to convert estimate into commitment, it can affect the progress of a major portion or even the whole project.

Procrastination or Being Simply Lazy

This is another common reason for projects failing to get completed within time frames and budget. Putting off work until the last possible moment has been the reason for failure of many past projects and they will continue to hamper projects in the future too, unless an efficient taskmaster is at the helm of affairs.

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