How to Anticipate Setbacks at Work Before They Happen as a Project Manager

August 29, 2022


project manager talking with two team members

Here are some of the most frequent issues that project managers deal with, along with solutions and tools that excellent project managers may use to anticipate, prevent, or at least lessen these issues.

Inability of Team Members to Own Their Portion of the Project 

Good project managers clearly define expectations and let team members know upfront who is responsible for what. 

It is crucial to proactively build out the decision-making framework, including how all the major players fit in.

One way project managers can build a decision-making framework is by using a chart where each team member is given a specific role for the assignment.

Removing Important Employees from the Project

The art of managing resources or supply and demand is a skill that only the best project managers possess. For project managers to quickly make choices, re-allocate tools, and eventually decrease schedule fat, they need a project management system that offers resource transparency and visibility tools.

How else do excellent project managers handle the conflicting demands placed on team members? Persuading management that dropping an important team member may cause the project to be put off.

Having Unclear or Unrealistic Deadlines

Give each team member a definite deadline for completing their portions of the project to prevent missed deadlines. The deadlines are always set considerably sooner than is necessary. This gives time for revisions and a second evaluation if something needs to be rectified.

It also helps if you can divide the project into digestible parts or milestones, with enough time between each one to allow for revisions preceding actual completion.

Not Understanding When There Is an Issue or Possible Issue 

A competent PM should have regular status meetings with the team on a weekly or more frequent basis to ensure that all tasks were completed on time, to identify any problems and resolve them, and to re-plan any necessary activities.

The use of collaborative work tracking software is another method that project managers may quickly identify possible issues and steer clear of pointless status meetings. You may spend your time talking to those who are behind schedule or who aren't reporting their progress while giving team members whose assignments are updated and on track more time to complete their work.

Team Members' Lack of Communication or Animosity 

A good PM prevents potential conflict by following up with team members frequently, either by phone or in person, to find out how things are going and whether any work-related or personal issues need to be resolved.

Task management and scheduling are just a small part of project management. You must be able to connect with each team member and communicate with them frequently. You will win the group's trust by doing this, and their commitment to the project will increase.

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