Project management is rife with challenges. Planning a roadmap, gathering the resources necessary for its execution, managing the setbacks throughout, and keeping the team aligned behind a common goal are some of the hurdles decision-makers should overcome to see projects through to completion. The digital transformation proceeding at full speed, the ever-increasing competition in the software industry resulting from the introduction of new products every day, and the pandemic-related measures still in effect further complicate things nowadays.
Project management will remain a challenge as teams take on more and bigger projects. The number of projects IT was asked to deliver in the enterprise segment increased by 40 percent in 2021, and 52 percent of projects weren't delivered on time. Delays in project execution puts the company's reputation on the line and can even trigger legal action by other stakeholders. To avoid such risks, companies should either dedicate more resources to projects—which would be costly at a time developers are at a premium—or find ways to become more efficient in using their human resources and time. However, running projects more efficiently is easier said than done. Let's take a look at the common problems associated with project management:
Project management involves bringing together diverse talents and making them work in harmony. This requires ensuring that people involved understand their roles and agree on what needs to be done. Lack of communication can lead to uncertainty about roles, deadlines, expectations and eventually cripple the project. A PMI survey conducted in 2013 revealed that miscommunication accounts for 56 percent of the risk posed against projects. To make matters worse, the recently-popular remote work practices have introduced new barriers to communication, which added to the responsibilities of the leaders. Communication can make or break a project.
When things don't go according to plan, people start pointing fingers. Some of this results from people's unwillingness to own up to their mistakes, but a big part of it is due to a lack of clarity on roles. The only way to avoid the blame game is to promote open and continuous communication. Instead of waiting until the deadline to see how people are doing, regularly checking in to see if anyone is blocked or needs assistance helps avoid disaster down the road.
The uncertainty about what the project aims to achieve can come in different shapes and forms, but it always brings the motivation down and makes people feel like they are drifting along. A few other problems may surface and make the situation more complicated. Scope creep may set in, with the project leadership caving in to pressure from the customers to include new features. As a result, requirements will change, moving the goalposts. Budget and team configuration may be incompatible with the goals, making the team feel stranded, unable to make any progress. At the root of all these problems lies the failure of the project leadership to communicate with the customers and the team members.
Decision-makers should set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals to avoid pitfalls and contain problems like scope creep, budgetary limitations, and incompatibility between the goals and the skillset available on the team.
What if you are working with a distributed workforce? How do you ensure that your team is in sync when team members haven't shared the same office in weeks? Employees taking leave due to Covid-19 or having to work from home and offices getting shut down as per pandemic regulations have been quite common in the last two years. Regardless, companies had to keep going as they needed the cash flow.
It was in such an environment that more and more companies came to embrace agile practices over waterfall project management. Agile methods ensure that projects are executed incrementally, enabling a company to pivot instead of committing resources to a dead-end project. But agile project management requires a new mindset from the team members and a focus on continuous communication. With so much on the line, project teams turned to task management software to get the best out of agile practices. Teams discovered that tools like Asana, Trello, Jira, or Clickup could help ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands his responsibility.
However, having so many options can be a curse, too. Picking the right task management tool for a team can be quite tricky for the uninitiated. While cost can be a concern for some teams, others may find out that their needs do not justify a suite of advanced features.
This is where our TaskAce template comes in. Peaka recently published this template for teams reluctant to shell out big bucks for task management software with features they will never use. TaskAce provides its users with the basic functionality of a kanban board, allowing them to assign tasks to team members and view those tasks as complete, in progress, and incomplete. The template caters to the needs of teams that value simplicity and efficiency over sophistication.
Get TaskAce, customize it for your team and take teamwork to the next level!