Evolving Challenges in project management
PROJECTS are unique and temporary in nature. In this regard they present a new set of challenges which are summarized below.
A project team must be put together at the beginning of the project and disbanded at the end of the project. This is because every new project has different set of personnel requirements coming from different background and cultures. Where will these people come from and where will they go at the end of the project is the issue for concern. They require time to understand each other, blend and form a unique whole.
Projects cut across boundaries and it can become unclear who has authority for making specific decisions, thereby creating gridlock that can affect projects.
Each project is unique and has limited time frame. Therefore, the estimates of cost and schedules may be mere assumptions and not based on facts.
Ineffective stakeholders’ communication is one of the common reasons why projects fail. This can happen when there is no clear guideline on stakeholder’s management or the stakeholders have not been effectively identified during project formulation. Adequate time must be spent at the planning stage to identify the stakeholders and establish procedures for stakeholders’ involvement.
When Things Go Wrong
Successful project managers must constantly bring innovative solutions at every turn in the project life cycle. Sometimes the best laid out plans could go wrong. When they do, the creative and timely thinking of the project manager may make the difference between project failure and salvaging the outcome of the project in a way that may exceed the original project goals. Applying the right mix of art and science is the key to effective project management. Despite the best laid out plans, things could go wrong. When things go wrong, quickly decide and take corrective action.
Just because things do not go according to plan does not mean that we have to abandon the project. When the corrective actions do not work, salvaging works matters and can still lead to some success. Sometimes, unexpected events occur laying waste our plan. In those instances, finding alternatives or creating other uses for the project resources can lead to a result that provide a bigger and long lasting success than the original plan.
Three People’s Skill Principles That Can Make a Difference
Time, Scope and Money are easier to manage than the people. People are not always nice; they can be difficult and uncooperative. People’s skill can make a positive impact in project success. Here are three fluidity people’s skill that can make a difference.
• Beware of people that have to tell you who or what they are. They can destroy the project vision through their words. Listen to what internal and external stakeholders have to say and watch out how they behave.
• Do not take on people who are smarter and have greater expertise than you. Always watch out for what you can learn from others.
• Never go into a battle with someone who has less to lose than yourself.
Engr. Obumeyan is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and is presently engaged as Consultant on the Abuja Light Rail Project.