If you’ve managed projects for a long time, you can start to look like this guy on the right. It seems like you need every skill in the book to manage people, schedules, stakeholders, project finances, risk, and more.
Managing project is inherently challenging. Have you ever experienced any of these type of projects?
The Impossibly Late Project
This type of project has been commissioned with a completion date set by external parties. The project manager has been told to complete such-and-such work by such-and-such date. You can always find a way to get it done, right…right?
The Competition-for-Resources Project
The project manager has to bully other project managers for access to people or equipment to get the project done on time. The attention of the project manager is divided between managing the project and finding the resources they need to work on it.
The Creeped Out Project
Projects have a finite scope, period. When people add work tasks to projects just because they can, it’s called scope creep, and it’s a veritable cancer that eats projects alive. The only solution is complete amputation of the offending tasks.
The Micromanaged Project
When the project sponsor thinks they can do a better job at managing the project than the project manager, you might have a micromanaged project. Maybe they would rather be a project manager themselves, and haven’t had the chance in their career. Or maybe they are just so insecure that they don’t trust that anything would ever get done without them. Whatever the reason, micro-managers are not your friend anywhere, but project management in particular.
The Trailblazing Project
The project has never been performed in this way, with these people, in this environment. By definition, a project has a finite start and end, so they are often blazing new trails into the great unknown. Difficulty in estimating costs, schedules, and resources is a given in these projects, and stakeholders must be kept informed.
The Conflicting Stakeholder Project
The project has many stakeholders who expect many different, often conflicting things. For example, a sensitive environmental area where the owners want to keep schedules tight, adjacent landowners don’t want adverse effects and regulators need the applicable information.
The Cutting Edge Project
Unlike the trailblazing project where something is done differently, this involves cutting edge technology. There is no assurance that the development of new technology will succeed, without a compromise in other functionality, on time, or without additional funding.
The Badly Estimated Project
When a project manager inherits a project that has been estimated by someone else, it’s invariably a problem, particularly if it was by and executive level manager who estimates more on the basis of what they think the project should cost than what it is likely to cost.