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Identifying project management problems is one thing, but what about solving them? No one wants to work with someone who simply raises issues without suggesting the best ways to fix them. That type of negative approach can slow down a career in any field, but in project management, it is simply not acceptable. Today’s enterprise PMs are expected to not only predict and address project risks, but to have contingency plans in place to deal with risks before they become full-blown project issues.

The more you prepare in advance for project management challenges, the more easily you’ll be able to overcome them and put your projects back on track. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most common project management issues, and the ways you can tackle them when they arise.

Scope Creep

Why it happens: No matter how diligent the project manager and other stakeholders are in the early phases of a project, most projects eventually encounter gaps or shortcomings in the scope of work. When project managers allow the project team to continually take on new requirements without change orders, project timelines and budgets inevitably suffer.

How to solve it: The only way to battle scope creep is to put things in writing. When your customers ask for deliverables or other work that was not described in the scope document, insist on following a formal process to document the request, estimate the additional resources needed and identify the effect on other tasks and deliverables. This way, you’ll have all your bases covered.

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Lack of Resources

Why it happens: Given the long timelines involved in enterprise projects, project managers often face challenges in predicting who will be available to work on project tasks months or years in advance. The challenge becomes even greater when team members are expected to split their time between multiple simultaneous projects.

How to solve it: Organization-wide project and portfolio management can take the guesswork out of resource allocation. By using tools like Clarizen that provide visibility into assignments and utilization across departments and business units, project managers can not only plan for the future, but also find the best fit for their current needs when project timelines change.

Conflicting Methodologies

Why it happens: Enterprise projects tend to involve multiple distinct teams, often from separate business units or companies. Given the wide range of project management methodologies in use today, it’s very common that two teams that use different PM methods will be expected to work together on a common task or deliverable.

How to solve it: Asking one team to use another team’s project management methodology can create serious delays and quality issues. A better approach is to use enterprise project management software that lets teams translate task information and other project details from one methodology to another. Clarizen, for example, offers tools that help software development teams work simultaneously in the waterfall and agile methodologies while sharing information in real time.

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Buyer’s guide to project management software