Unlike engineers, developers, or architects who work only on the technical side of projects, project managers, no matter what industry, need to work with the social and corporate aspects and at the same time have to be familiar with all the technical details also. To make it more intricate, they are often managing several projects at once.
Their work does not end here, project managers also need to make sure that communication lines between different departments stay clear so that teams coordinate with each other and any other risk factors that can affect the project do not get neglected. Naturally, all these complex factors lead to a lot of problems for project managers that cannot be solved solely by project tracking tools. Here are the two major problems that every project manager faces, along with their practical solutions.
Problem #1: Project Schedule Updates
It is understood that every project needs a schedule so that every individual involved can keep track of their responsibilities and progress, including the milestones that have been set for them. It is the responsibility of a project manager to manage all the activities of the team. He is responsible to update the status of any ongoing project and act as a connection between the team and any stakeholders, which can include upper management too. All of this is an extremely time-consuming activity for project managers. Instead of administrative busywork, their expertise and skills should be better utilized by having them perform the actual work on the project.
Solution: Automate schedule updates by means of a project tracking tool whenever possible, so that your valuable time is not wasted in collecting them manually. Holding meetings with your team to ask each member for project status is very time-consuming. You can make use of project management tools available online that allow your team to simply update the status of a particular task or mark a milestone as finished and provide real-time status reports. By saving time on administrative tasks, you will be able to focus your expertise and efforts where it’s really needed.
Problem #2: Multitasking
It is sometimes difficult for a project manager to manage it all. But with so many responsibilities on your shoulders, multitasking becomes unavoidable. The problem arises later when it turns out that it actually decreases your productivity, adversely affects the quality of work, and creates massive delays. One delay leads to another and a setback in one area will definitely cause problems for other dependent tasks. Later these tasks are kept on hold until the first task has been done, and so on. It quickly creates further delays and results in a chain of delays.
Solution: Before we go into what you can do, you should also look at the company you are working for. Companies should be creating a dynamic and independent work environment, one where you have a balanced workload. Whilst some companies may not be like this, there are more and more adopting this model. A good example is Excello Law, who as a new-model law firm allows their lawyers to work in an independent environment, taking control of their own workload.
There are a also few ways that you can overcome this personally, irrelevant where you are working. Try your best to limit the number of projects that are under progress at the same time. To ensure fewer delays and a higher quality of work, don’t keep more than 25 to 50% of your projects running simultaneously. As a project manager, doing so will make your job much easier with fewer projects that demand your time and attention at once. Do not forget to take advantage of the many online tools for project management that can help you shed some of the burdens. An instant project managing app like Leankor allows for real-time visibility, lets you work in Waterfall and Agile modes, and has other helpful features like Gantt charts, etc.