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Typical Problems in Managing Projects

By Larry Richman, Contributing Editor

Project management can solve typical problems in managing projects, such as the following:

  • Lack of agreement or commitment to project objectives
  • Unrealistic completion dates or budgets.
  • Project plans that omit important activities.
  • Little or no customer focus.
  • Lack of commitment to quality.
  • Inadequate contingency plans to respond to problems.
  • Late or useless reports.
  • No consistent project management methodology.
  • Short-term decisions that override important long-range objectives.
  • Difficulty obtaining decisions on even elementary issues.
  • Inability to openly discuss issues and solve problems rationally.
  • Unrealistic expectations of the availability of resources or lack of commitment to make them available.
  • Excessive conflict between project and functional staff.
  • Discrepancies in the balance between responsibility, accountability, and authority.
  • Problems adapting to changing conditions.
  • Changes in the time, cost, or scope of the project without the necessary changes in the others.
  • No funds for front-end project planning.
  • No funds for project management support.
  • Inadequate project cost accounting.
  • Poor estimates.
  • Difficulty in juggling multiple projects.
  • Too little or too much communication.
  • Late identification and reporting of serious project problems.
  • Inability to control the cost and schedule of assigned tasks.
  • Inability to determine the impact of current variances.
  • Failure to conduct post-task critiques and learn from mistakes.


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