Top Common Challenges Faced By Project Managers In IT Industries
Project managers, who are usually referred to as PM in IT industries, are designated to achieve certain objectives or challenges in a specified period or within the deadline of the project. Now do you think is it easy to be a project manager? Definitely, it is not an easy task as we think. So it is understood that they face various challenges in delivering the project successfully.
Few challenges are the key priorities to be addressed by the project managers in IT Industries. It may involve breaking down the complex elements in managing the project. So to be a perfect project manager you must know the top challenges to be faced in handling the project.
Handling those project challenges are the main responsibilities of the project manager and bypassing those challenges will lead to a successful project deliverable. Thus it is very important for the project manager to foresee those challenges involved in managing the project.
In this article, you will be able to find the top common challenges faced by project managers in IT industries.
Here Goes The List of Challenges:
1. Proper Requirement Gathering
As we all know requirement gathering is the initial phase of any project in the IT industry, here in this phase project manager needs to clearly understand the goals and expectations of the client. This helps to manage the project with realistic solutions.
Following are the issues faced in the requirement gathering phase
- Poorly defined goals of the project will mess up the project objectives and it becomes difficult to plan the project accordingly.
- Unrealistic expectations of the client may arise during this phase. For example, an unrealistic deadline, improved quality with comparatively very less budget allocation of the project.
- Conduct a proper kickoff meeting with the client stakeholders in order to avoid any future miscommunication.
- Understanding the customer expectation on the project milestone, so that you can schedule the time for each milestone.
- Understanding the deliverable of the project and the specific objectives of the project during the client meeting or follow up.
- Adhering to the deadline of the project and delegating the task in well advance to cover up with the milestones.
2. Defining Project Milestone
Once the requirements are gathered properly, the next challenge of the project manager is to define the steps for the well-defined objectives of the project. Here the project manager should delegate the tasks under each milestone.
The following are the issues faced while defining the project milestones.
- Disorganized planning or milestones can jeopardize the overall project deliverable. It will hamper the project schedule or deadline of the project.
- Shortage of the right skill set within an organization to carry out the project task. Project managers may need to identify the proper resources required for the project.
- Defining the proper project milestone in an orderly fashion to accomplish the task.
- Identifying the proper resources to match the proper skill set required to deliver the project task.
- Defining RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) against each project milestone and related task.
3. Building IT Infrastructure
In order to proceed with the milestone or the task to be completed, the project manager needs to set up a proper IT infrastructure. This will enable the project resources to execute the milestones seamlessly.
Following are issues while building the IT infrastructure to accomplish the project milestones
- Inadequate hardware or software platform to set up the project infrastructure.
- Lack of proper network connectivity and communication channel to interact with a different team or to collaborate with the clients.
- Improperly designed hardware or network architecture and which may lead to project failure.
- Assess the software and hardware required to process the task seamlessly.
- Place the software or hardware requirements to IT, manager, in order to source the required infrastructure.
- Review the existing hardware or network infrastructure.
- After reviewing, plan the required changes in order to implement the infrastructure.
- Implement a proper communication channel or project management software to interact with the team.
4. Budget Forecasting
Can you imagine a project delivered without making a profit or can it be considered a successful delivery? Yes! it cannot be considered as a successful project. To ensure project profitability, project cost and profit margin need to be analyzed. This will assist to plan resources accordingly.
Following are some of the issues to be faced during budget forecasting
- Ambiguous service level agreements between the two parties like a client and an IT organization may lead to unwanted issues in the project budget allocation.
- Managing the labor and non-labor cost involved in the project.
- Mismatch of project estimate with respect to the real-time cost of the project
- Analyzing the service level agreement between the client and the organization to understand the scope of the project.
- Gathering and analyzing the budget allocated by the customer in order to overcome the labor and non-labor cost involved in the project.
- Estimate the cost incurred by the organization on various resources and keep a track of the project estimate with respect to the real-time project cost.
- Review the project budget summary.
5. Skill Management
To carry out the task in a very cost-effective way, project managers need to manage the skills of the resources. The skills need to match the responsibilities of the task to be carried out. The proper resource allocation of the project is involved in skill management.
The following are the issues faced by the project manager during skill management.
- Inadequate resources to deliver the tasks involved in the project.
- Inadequate skill set with the available resources in the organization or within the team.
- Handling the unexpected attrition rate involved in the project.
- Validate the required skill set available within the organization before hiring from market.
- Up skill or cross skill the existing resource to meet the immediate requirement which will help to bridge the resource shortage and avoid hiring delay.
- Hiring the appropriately skilled resources to handle the project in a more effective way or to cover-up within the project deadline.
- A certain percentage of resources to be reserved to take care of the attrition / unexpected absence of resources.
6. Productivity Tracking
Effectively utilizing human resources is key for successful and profitable project delivery. Productivity /time tracking enables project managers to manage the time in a more organized way, understand the wastage and take corrective measure
The following are the issues faced by the project manager for effective productivity management
- Lack of digital tools to track resource productivity
- Accuracy and authenticity of data provided by the resource.
- Time to analyze the data in the conventional method, like capturing on excel reports.
- The perfect project management software can be used to track the productivity of the resource.
- Real-time data captured by digital tools are accurate and can be used for effort-estimate of the task.
- The project management tool can be used to process the data based on the time spent on each activity. It can help in generating more efficient output.
7. Team Conflict
Project managers are people managers too, who handle the resource with a different viewpoint, personal objective, and egos which can get escalated under certain circumstances. Project managers should ensure that these differences are amicably dealt & settled so that are not impacting project deliverable.
The following are the issues faced by the project manager when handling team conflict
- Building good relationships with team members during time-bound activities.
- understanding the circumstances lead to Miscommunication within team members.
- Reaching into a common agreement to avoid further escalation/conflict.
- Find time for team building through various events such as team dinner, weekend day outings, birthday celebrations, etc.
- Separately hear each member of the team clearly understand their viewpoint of conflict and discuss the solution you have for it.
- Have a common call with all those involved in the conflict, discuss the solution you appraised them separately, build a circumstance to reach a resolution that will avoid miscommunication in the future.
8. Stakeholder Management
Stakeholders are the main party involved or interested in the project deliverable. They are the customers or the users of the deliverable of the project. The project may involve more than one stakeholder and it depends upon the size of the project. The project manager needs to maintain a good relationship with all the stakeholders to run the project smoothly
The following are the issues faced with the stakeholders of the project.
- Miscommunication with stakeholders regarding the project deliverable.
- Stakeholders may not be in the loop when there are changes to be done in the project.
- Unrealistic expectations of the stakeholder in accomplishing the project.
- Be aware of all the stakeholders involved in the project.
- Maintain proper communication with customers or stakeholders in a timely manner.
- Make use of the proper project management software to interact with stakeholders so that they get updated with the current status of the project.
- Get a consensus to make changes to the project in order to avoid future conflict.
9. Lack Of Accountability
The common challenge which arises in any project is the lack of accountability and it should be focused by the project manager well in advance. Who is responsible for the task is to be clearly defined by the project manager.
The following are issues faced with a lack of accountability in the project.
- Resources are not clear about their roles and responsibilities in the project.
- Lack of governing structure within the project team
- Not having a clear RACI chart to know who is responsible for the task.
- Draft the job description for each role within the project team and explain each resource role/responsibility during the project kickoff call with the team.
- Project manager to define the Governing structure, document it & share it with the project team
- Clearly defining the RACI matrix against each project milestone and deliverable.
10. Risk Management
As a project manager, it is important to foresee the potential risk which may arise in the future due to any unexpected event. The project manager needs to have a mitigation plan to identify to reduce or curb the risk for the smooth handling of the project, else overall delivery will get impacted or can’t meet the deadline.
The following are issues faced by project managers in risk handling
- Early detection of potential risk across all project milestones.
- lack of resources to mitigate the risk identified.
- Regular tracking of all identified risks until its closure.
- Review each milestone & its related steps with technology experts to identify the risk, Owners & its mitigation plan in the project planning phase itself.
- Tag each risk against identified owners with a clear deadline post discussion.
- Have a regular followup meeting with risk owners and both company and customer stakeholders on a weekly basis and track the progress.
Finally, you got to know the main challenges involved in managing the project. Here we can conclude that the responsibilities of the project manager are huge and need to focus on all the challenges to successfully deliver the project. I hope this article helps you to find the bottleneck involved in your project.
Choose the right project management software that will assist you in managing the project more effectively.