Strategic Challenges Project Managers Face: How Ready are you?

Strategic Challenges Project Managers Face How Ready are you?
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In today’s hyper-volatile business world, It’s not enough for projects to be delivered on time and within allocated budget, but they also must be in sync with the organizational strategy. There are instances where even the most forward-thinking strategies fall flat. According to PMI’s “Pulse of the Profession: The High Cost of Low Performance”, it found only 42% of organizations reporting high alignment of projects to organizational business strategy. The role of a program or a project manager in an organization is very challenging to say the least and they face lot of challenges to ensure their projects deliver the value that is required. What are the strategic challenges faced by project managers, and how ready are you?

  1. Coping with fast paced changes: 

    In today’s complex business landscape, changes are inevitable, but quick changes at regular intervals can impair your organization’s vision. With both external and internal changes happening at the same time, it becomes all the more difficult to bring that continuity to a project and an overall program that it is part of. Changes will be mostly in the form of changes in requirements; changes in the resource; changes in technology; and changes in organizational structure.

    Now we know the fact that changes can come from any aspect of the project, enterprises need to address them by approaching flexible frameworks in the form of Agile project management. Agile addresses most of these challenges in a systematic way and can effectively minimize or resolve the challenges faced by the project manager.

  2. Type of PMO to be implemented: 

    This is one of the crucial strategic challenges faced by a project manager in an enterprise. Yes, not every organization needs a PMO (Project Management Office), but certain signs indicate you need one. Some of the signs that your organization needs a PMO are: there are no fixed management and oversight processes; senior management has trouble while gathering information on project/program progress; and project goals not aligning with business goals.

    So, when your organization decides to implement a PMO, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. PMI suggests top 5 PMO frameworks to choose from which addresses the current existing shortcomings, which are as follows:

      • PMO Center of Excellence
      • Business Unit PMO
      • Project-specific PMO
      • Enterprise PMO
      • Project Support Control Office

    To read in detail about these PMO’s click here.

    Understanding what type of PMO will help you to achieve your goals will become all the more important. The right PMO will help in setting the organization’s Project Management strategy, process improvements that are related to organizational goals, growing the business, and entering new markets with improved services.

  3. Team members inexperience with new tools: 

    Handling a project requires an understanding of new development tools and methods that are key to its successful completion. When these tools and methods are subject to changes on a monthly basis, even the most knowledgeable organizations find it difficult to keep up with the changes in technologies. When clients find that the team members have not upgraded their knowledge and are not better equipped to handle their work, then they might look for an advanced service provider who is more reliable with new tools and methods.

    When new technology brings new possibilities, the competition will be more, and you have to react positively towards these changes. With so many technology changes, you should be able to convince management to get your key resources trained in next-gen technologies and methodologies to cater to complex market demands.

  4. Addressing deficit in qualified professionals: 

    One of the most critical strategic challenges that many organizations across the globe face are the shortage of qualified professionals who can work on projects. Be it any area such as IT, finance, healthcare, engineering, there is a dearth of the resource who can fill job roles of critical importance. Even when your company finds quality candidates, you have to train them for the new business environment and get them up to speed with regards to new technologies and methodologies that your team is part of.

    Because companies are reluctant to outsource their key business functions elsewhere, it is imperative that you convince leadership in your organization about the importance of training and development in your own organization. With internal training, your key personnel are being mentored by some of the best of minds in the field and will be able to seamlessly integrate into key projects in no time.

  5. Decisions influenced by rising competition: 

    Any project/program for that matter has many stakeholders interested in it due to various reasons. But enterprises take decisions that are often influenced by rising competition. Leadership understands they have to intervene to organize their business to respond to emerging technologies and their influence, so as to respond to the competitive market demands. In a way, they are right to do so, if not they will face losses and could affect the overall results. But, as a project manager, you need to protect

    your team from external interference and see whether decisions taken by the management are in the right context. If it is an unrealistic expectation where they want numerous changes in features and other things, then it becomes difficult to deliver the project on time and within the allocated budget. Moreover, during the project kick-off itself, it needs to be decided about the type and complexity of changes that need to be accommodated in the project lifecycle.

  6. Frequently collecting requirements from clients: 

    This collecting requirements frequently from clients can be both good and bad in a project environment and can be challenging at times. Good thing is, you can deliver the project that is in line with client requirements and the bad thing is too many requirements can affect the continuity of the project lifecycle. There should be a right balance to effectively address the new requirements that clients are asking for.

    There should be a unique approach to handle this customer relationship and act accordingly without disrupting the project environment. More often than not, this comes a major obstacle between the organization and the client as this becomes a significant change for all the parties involved that communicate with the clients.

To address these strategic challenges you need to be an experienced project/program manager. Some of the challenges can be seen from time to time whereas some even you will be encountering for the first time and this becomes a tricky situation while handling a project. Resolving these challenges requires experience and key personnel having the right skill set to overcome such critical challenges. Do let us know in the comment section on how you have addressed strategic challenges in your organization.

Invensis Learning specializes in providing Project Management certification training courses such as PMP, CAPM, PRINCE2, and Change Management Foundation. We also offer courses related to ITSM, IT Security and Governance, Quality Management, Agile Project Management, DevOps, Cloud Courses and Digital Awareness. If you would like to know more about the benefits of Project Management certifications for your career, call our training consultant now on: USA +1-910-726-3695; UK +44 2033-223-280; Hong Kong +852-5803-9039; Switzerland +41-22-518-2042; Germany +49-2119-5987-989; Denmark +45 8988-4544; Netherlands +31 202-622-348; Australia +61 253-002-805; IND  +91-96202-00784. Or email support {at} invensislearning {dot} com today.

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Arvind Rongala, an engineer by education, has deep experience of serving the IT-BPO industry for more than 8 years. With his keen interest in the learning and development sector, Arvind spearheaded the launch of Invensis Learning as the training and certification arm of Invensis Technologies. As the Director of Invensis Learning, and with offices in the US, India, and Australia, he ensured the company became a trusted training partner for many Fortune 1000 clients and gain global recognition in a short span of time. { YourStory.com has featured a story about Arvind about his achievements over the years. } With his expertise in Project Management, IT Service Management, Quality Management, and IT Security Governance, he has been a guest author for various popular digital publications such as Business Insider, Business today, Project Times, Customer Think, Tech Sling, and Businessworld.
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