An organisation will face numerous challenges when using project management. These challenges will increase/decrease in severity dependent upon an organisation’s set up.
On one end of the spectrum is a functional organisation, an organisation that runs very few projects and is not ideally set up to deal with specific rigours of project management.
On the other end of the spectrum is the projectized organisation which makes a living by doing projects. In the centre is the matrix organisation which combines elements of both functional and projectized organisations. So what are the top 6 challenges of project management?
1. Time, cost and quality – The biggest challenge faced by all organisations that wish to use project management is ensuring that their projects deliver the agreed objectives within time, cost and to the agreed quality. These factors must be balanced in relation to the overall scope of the project.
2. Resources – projects rely on the effective employment of finite resources, whether these are people, equipment or facilities – in other words anything required to complete a project activity – and these will cost money. The organisation faces the challenge of ensuring that they make the most of these finite resources.
3. People – are probably the most important resource on any project and the challenge that an organisation has to meet when using project management relies on the efficient utilisation of these people. It is vital that the right people are used, that they receive the correct training and that they are clear on the objectives of the project.
4. Technical – Due to the unique nature of projects there will frequently be the need to employ new technology. The challenge will be dealing with this new technology – do we have the staff who can use it, will they need training, does the technology we require even exist or will we have to make it ourselves?
5. Legal – An organisation will have to deal with law and legislation when embarking on a project. Project work frequently involves working abroad and always includes the use of contracts. The organisation must therefore determine which legal system they will employ for their project, if they are working abroad. There will also be industry-specific legislation that must be followed.
6. Environment – A project does not exist in a vacuum; in order to deliver successful projects an organisation must be aware of those factors (both internal and external) that will have an impact on the project.
As long as an organisation is fully aware of these challenges and deals with them appropriately, they can easily be overcome. The benefits of using project management, by far, outweighs the challenges.
Through project management you can apply a structured methodology which can then be applied to projects across an organisation. Using a repeatable structure will ensure that staff involved in your organisation’s projects will have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities involved, thus increasing the chances of project success.