Every project is difficult, unique, and has its own set of problems that come with it. Nowadays more often than not, projects involve business change as well, which essentially means that people will need to learn a new way of working. They might get reassigned to another department or the company may no longer need them anymore. This can be daunting for a newly appointed project manager or someone who hasn’t been a project manager for long.
Some Ways to Understand and Work in Difficult Projects
No matter what, these projects elicit strong feelings and generally negative sentiment from most people. Here are some ways to understand and work in such project environments.
- Take time to understand the stakeholders involved and most particularly what they stand to lose and gain from the project’s success.
- No matter what the odds, look for the positive and highlight it for them (stakeholders).
- Make sure you speak to the senior management to allocate a budget for the team working against the odds e.g. the network and communications department is under staffed and can simply not put up the required upgrade in the given time; however, they might be the only people in the industry doing such a project and that will do wonders for their resume/CV, not to mention the added benefits they will get if they complete the upgrade on time.
- Praise them. Too many people forget to acknowledge the hard work put in by employees. People want to be seen and not be taken for granted.
- Assure the old timers that they will get training and visibly start working on it. Identify the alpha personalities (leaders) of the group and have them attend meetings with your training provider or ask them to give advice on what training is required for them.
- In projects where the workforce is being reassigned, work with HR to ensure that they are also working on it and ready for the transition. Do not expect HR to do the work on their own, follow up and make them. The success of your project depends on it.
- Last but not the least, be empathetic. Listen carefully, understand the issues and address them. Communication is key to such projects.
Most projects are not top secret, thus being transparent to the stakeholders and addressing their concerns is key to having them root for the success of your project rather than becoming obstacles. Everyone loves to be on the winning team, then why not be on the same side and have no competition?
Recommended Project Management Software
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.
Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.
Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.