Project Management

10 Common Problems Project Teams Face

Project managers can get so bombarded by the day-to-day busyness that we sometimes do not address concerns like we should. Issues fall to the wayside in the hopes they will dissolve or resolve on their own. Sadly, that is not reality. Instead, Mandy Flint says in a post for the Association for Project Management that we must get proactive. Flint addresses 10 common problems project teams face:

  1. Lack of trust
  2. Conflict and tension
  3. Not sharing information
  4. Low engagement
  5. Lack of transparency
  6. No long-term thinking
  7. Badly perceived, not delivering
  8. Poor change management
  9. Working in silos
  10. Not going in the same direction

Talk It Out, Think It Through

Team members need to be conversant with one another on a professional and personal level. This is important on any project, but even more so in projects where tensions may run high at one point or another. Without trust in any relationship, platonic, romantic, professional alike, it will fail: Trust is key to success.

No one is going to have the same mind, ideals, and point of views. Having diverse opinions and conflict can be good for business. If managed carefully, useful debates can transpire. It may lead to innovation, expanding knowledge and insight for other team members. Conflict does not always need to be taken as negative; how we handle it is what matters and can make all the difference.

Everyone brings different expertise to the table. That knowledge (and power) needs to be shared with the rest of the team. Flint says, “Effective project teams fearlessly share regularly and generously for the benefit of everyone and for the benefit of the project’s success. This makes the capability of the whole team grow and gives the team more power.”

As well, team engagement is crucial to business success. Its benefits include more commitment and willingness to go above and beyond for better results. But every team member must be included in order to fully realize those benefits. Everyone needs to be a full-time member of the team and not just an individual contributor. The project will be a success when everyone works together as a team. Likewise, trust is going to suffer if all are not transparent with one another. This starts at the top. Leaders need to set an example for all to follow.

Long-term success requires long-term thinking. We have to get beyond the day to day hustle and think of the overall picture and end goal. Along those same lines, everyone needs to be on the same page and have clear expectations. Everyone must take responsibility for their roles and follow through for a positive team perception.

Be able to adapt to change. Changes starts and ends with communication. Even though you think you have driven the point across, do it again! Communication needs to be interactive: listen, talk and involve.Your vision needs to be compelling, and your purpose needs to be meaningful.

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