Although an essential part of project management is to plan all possible scenarios and be prepared for any eventuality, it is always possible that a problem or circumstance we did not originally plan for can appear. Therefore, although we cannot anticipate all circumstances, we can anticipate how to react to an unforeseen situation. Here are some tips:



Show leadership

It is very easy to say but very difficult to implement. When things go wrong it is most common that the team lose their nerve and do not know what to do or freeze and do nothing.

When this happens, a leader who reassures the team is necessary, reflects and works together to find the best solution to the problem.

It is not about blame but understanding the problem and finding the solution.

Avoid the temptation to increase resources

1A simple way to solve problems in project management is simply to increase resources for them. However, this is the least desirable solution.

Firstly, you must exhaust all avenues based on the optimal management of available resources. That is precisely project management: getting the best results desired by the project managers and especially by customers whilst making the best use of resources therefore achieving optimum utilization.

On the other hand, increasing resources does not necessarily improve the result. It is necessary to guide them properly. That is if, you finally decide to increase the resources used; project management will be critical in deciding how to use them.

Another aspect to consider is that new resources take time to produce the expected results. This time lag should also be considered since it is possible that despite increased resources, the results are not achieved within the desired timeframe.

However, a reorganization of resources assigned can probably be faster but not easier. Again, the project manager must be able to articulate the resources available to solve the problems that arise.

Show problems as they are

Do not be tempted to minimize problems. If a problem has a certain magnitude, show it as it is.

The only way to find an effective solution to a problem is to know it properly. The members of your team have a right to know what they are facing to adapt their effort and attitude to the needs of the company and the project.

In addition, trust is something that costs a lot to get but very little to lose. If later it is shown that you have not been completely honest with the circumstances, this can take its toll the teams’ confidence they have in you as a leader. Therefore, sincerity should always come first.

Check everything you do

Any project completed from best to worst has hits and misses. And you can learn from both.

It is easy and tempting to indulge in the completed project in the event it went well or forget where you’ve gone wrong. Neither of these attitude brings long- term benefit.

The most useful attitude is, regardless of how well a project has turned out, analyze the successes and mistakes made in it to learn from the experience and to apply it in future projects.

Successes should be recognized and rewarded in some way. However, although it should indicate the mistakes to avoid their repetition, they should not be accompanied by punishment. This only confuses the working environment for future projects.

This principle of continuous improvement (Kaizen) makes it possible to avoid backsliding on errors and instead repeat the successes. Perfection is not a goal to reach but a goal to pursue.

It involves the entire company

Making changes is necessary to include all those involved in the project. From the director of the company to the substitutes and trainees, all of them are important in the project and should feel that their work is valued.

Similarly, changes and analysis of successes and failures should be made at all levels in order to achieve global changes with scope.

At ITM platform we know the business world perfectly, because leaders in different sectors use our project management software.

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Juan Delgado

Blogger ITM Platform






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A project involves devoting effort, capital and human resources to achieve the satisfactory results expected. Early detection of the project not being carried out as well as desired is essential, it is imperative to take steps to improve the measures and its development in order to avoid any unnecessary costs.

In order to improve the management efficiency and detecting problems earlier, or even before they occur, it is essential to have a specialized project management software. Thus, in a simple and economical manner, improving the efficiency of your work an reducing your costs.

There are signs that allow for early detection if a project is not developing properly. In this article we discuss some of them.

1.- Spending too much time solving problems

1Obviously, one of the most fundamental tasks of the project manager is to resolve project issues as they arise.

However, the best project managers are not the ones that solves problems, but who best avoids problems.

Anticipation is an essential characteristic of a project Manager and is related to their ability to predict the risks that may occur during the execution of a project, the impact the risks can have on it, and their occurrence.

Stopping the progress of a project because there has been a problem which needs the project manager to provide a solution. This leads to a delay in the delivery of the project and requires additional effort. This can be avoided if the project has been redirected so that the problem is avoided or there is a quicker solution to the problem which has been planned prior to implementing the project, avoiding improvisation at the time of submission.

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2.- Customers constantly ask for results

A customer who fully trusts you asks not for project results, but trusts that you perform the management of the project in the most appropriate way.

However, since the customer is primarily interested in the project achieving the expected results, it is reasonable for him to ask to be adequately informed of the development and implementation of the project.

Therefore, planning should include checkpoints at which the customer is informed of the results achieved so far, so he can see for himself that project management is still appropriate.

You can also use cloud resources for sharing real-time updates on the progress of the project. This way, the customers can see for themselves at any time how the project is developing.

If you do not use these resources, you can resort to more traditional methods, such as making periodic meetings. In this case you must be careful with the frequency and duration of the meetings, seeking to improve the efficiency and utilization of both your teams work time and your customer’s time.

Transparency generates trust between the project manager and the customer that will be beneficial for both parties.

3.- Workers spend too many hours

If the project is properly planned, employees should only be actively working in the allocated work time that has been planned prior to the implantation of the project, neither more nor less.

If less time than expected is used to execute the tasks, this could mean that the quantity or complexity is insufficient, therefore you should review the relevant work of each of the team members or assign any member of that team to another project.

However, if the opposite happens, it means that workers are overworked. This has negative consequences in both the short and long term.

In the short term, this will mean that tasks cannot be developed at the satisfactory level required.

In the long run, the employees will most likely end up burned out from being overworked, which will decrease productivity and, above all, creativity.

If there is a specific need, you can and should ask the team members to make an extra effort, but this should not be the norm. If so, project planning has been inadequate and must be reviewed.

It should also influence the work methodologies. It is possible that the workload is correct but the way to do it is not optimal.

4.- Too many changes to the project

If customers constantly demand more changes and this prevents you from staying on course for the project, it means that there is a planning problem.

In these cases, the most convenient way to deal with this would be to meet with the customers and talk to them about what they believe the purpose and scope for the project is. Once everything is clarified, the project should go ahead.

Proceeding aimlessly with the project, is a waste of resources and effort and will in turn decrease confidence that employees have in you.

Rethinking the project with the customers will allow you to plan it properly and find the solution together that is most satisfactory.

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city buildings surrounded by a road Projects are carried out within an organization whose culture, style and structure influence the way in which these projects are carried out. Project managers should be aware of this reality and adapt to the environmental factors of the organization where the project is developed.

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It’s worth beginning with a caveat: the environmental factors of a project should not be confused with considerations of the environmental impact of an organization's activities, which are especially important in the case of public works or industrial activities that could result in chemical waste or other forms of pollution. While these assessments are limited to certain areas of activity and are highly regulated in most developed countries, environmental factors always exist in each and every project: from a small-scale internal project to a macro-project of hundreds of millions of dollars in budget.

The notion of environmental factors in a project is much more general, referring to all circumstances surrounding the project during its execution. Thus, we can consider environmental factors as all the conditions that are beyond the direct control of the project team and that influence positively or negatively on the project. All these conditions must be considered in project management and vary significantly in type and nature depending on the organization.

As a reference, the main environmental factors that can affect project management can be classified into three categories; organizational, human resources and technological systems.

Environmental factors inherent in the organization

  • Shared vision, mission, values, beliefs and expectations of the organization

  • Culture, structure and organizational governance

  • Availability and geographical distribution of facilities, resources, infrastructure and materials

  • Industry or government standards that affect the organization

  • Internal standards, policies, methods and procedures

Human Resource environmental factors

  • Existing human resources, skills and knowledge

  • Personnel management, motivation systems and incentives

  • Perception of leadership, hierarchy and authoritative relationships

  • Organizational risk tolerance

  • Project stakeholders and organizational stakeholders

Technological environmental factors

  • Operational environments and company authorization systems

  • The formal and informal communication channels established in the organization

  • Available databases

  • Project management information systems

In addition, the environmental factors of a project can be classified as internal and external factors. While internal factors will be stable for each organization independent of the project, external factors are more susceptible to change and require superior analytical attention from the project manager. For example, the location of the project in a country where it has never been worked will expose itself to an unknown regulatory environment, generating many risks in terms of legal feasibility, the labor framework, etc.

It is essential that each organization knows which of the internal factors act as limiting conditions and which are the drivers of the projects. It is appropriate that this analysis be shared.

In project management, it is possible to influence those factors that are closer and more directly related to management, such as resources or project management information systems, but it will be more difficult to affect the more general cultural and environmental factors or external to the organization. For example, although it may seem that organizational culture is a flexible factor and can be easily shaped, it is necessary to always consider the inertia produced by resistance to change and how such culture is not an abstract idea, but is part of the daily practices of all members of the organization.

Changing environmental cultural factors that are more detrimental to effective project management can be a much longer and more expensive decision than to just support such management with new information systems. In turn, the adoption of new information systems can serve as a catalyst from which to modify the behavioral aspect of human factors, influencing the corporate culture from its base.

In all cases, the project manager must be aware of these factors and act accordingly, including the project risks to the detrimental environmental factors over which the project manager cannot exercise any control and communicating to all his team the importance of being alert about signals indicating the emergence of the risk or the change in environmental circumstances.

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