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What are the most common problems in project management?

From your experience, what are the most common problem that you face when managing projects?

I personally face the following:

- The indecisive client
- The rebellious team (whose members really hate me)
- The absent sponsor

The above are fairly consistent (I work in the software industry)....
asked 11 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

An answer anyone would give to this question would be completely subjective. Anyways, here are the most common problems in project management, from MY perspective:

- Team conflicts: You cannot have too many of those! Team conflicts include people uncomfortable working with each other, ego issues, personal issues, etc...
- Gold plating: Team members and the project manager start to add features that aren't in the scope.
- Over-complicating/over-simplifying requirements: Client requirements may be over-complicated or over simplified by the project manager.
- Not defining what done really means: This results in those never ending projects.
- Micromanagement: The project manager will waste his time micro-managing resources that he won't have time to do his own work.
- Delegation without explanation of the tasks: Some lazy project managers (there are quite a few, believe me) delegate tasks without explaining what these tasks really are, this results in frustration and unnecessary work overhead.
- Bad requirements management: The collection of requirements by the project manager is insufficient/incomplete because he's relying on the client to tell him all his requirements, without him (the project manager), asking any questions.
- Bad communication: Means that the flow of information from management to the client, from the client to the team members, etc... is not processed properly (a sign that the project manager is a bad communicator). This results in missed/misunderstsood requirements.
- Rare communication: This includes rare communication between the project manager and the team members and/or stakeholders, as well as hiding necessary information because the project manager is just afraid of telling the truth.
- Constant barrage of change requests: This is usually the sign of a project manager who just can't say no the client and/or the stakeholders. Uncontrolled change requests may very well cause a scope creep, which can easily kill a project.
- Bad quality management: Quality control and quality assurance are rarely, if ever done.

The list can be endless here, but these are the most common and the ones that I can think of at this very moment.
answered 11 years ago by humblepm (17,390 points)

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