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Biggest problem that PM’s face in our jobs
G’day folks - what is the biggest problem you have to deal with? I’ll kick-off by stating mine is influencing stakeholders when I am not their direct boss / functional head. Getting them to do what I want. Soft, inter-personal skills are important.
What is your biggest problem?
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Mine used to be ensuring that my personnel and resources didn't get poached.

The view was that my project was way ahead of where previous projects had been historically. I had to have a lot of conversations about the impact of losing resources/personnel so that I could get them back while minimizing risk to the project. One can only lose so many spokes to the wheel before the wheel ceases to perform.

If the risk to cost, performance, and/or schedule was minimal or we could work out a mutually beneficial agreement, I let it go.

Later issues were that team members supporting the project didn't have the right skillset. They either really needed a mentor or some other type of assistance. The organization was in a tough spot. Unfortunately, the work was not slowing down.

Currently, my biggest challenge is figuring out the right questions to ask so that we can tease out what the Stakeholders really want.
Grant -

The challenge I've hit most frequently has been a lack of reliable allocation of team members to the work being done. Without that, any type of forecasts are speculation.

Kiron
My challenge is coming up with outcomes (realized benefits) that will be meaningful in five or ten years from now. Maybe we shouldn't have such long-term outcomes but we often have to try because of long-term strategic planning activities.
My Challange is about Short Dateline,with limited resources and scope creep
Stakeholder engagement, monitoring risks, measuring risk response, monitoring communications are challenging tasks for me
Hi Grant,
I Certainly find influencing without authority a challenge.
For those of us not "born with the gift of the gab", the soft skills can be the hard ones.
These include communication, rapport, influence and negotiation to name but a few.
Contrary to popular anecdotes these skills are not genetic they are learned.
Einstein said he was not a genius... he just stayed wit the problems for longer than others, in that he persisted.

Here is a word string that helps me influence without authority.
It is certainly something I have to go reflect on regularly.

• Praise
• Positive
• Optimistic
• Proactive
• Objective
• Calm
• Respectful
• Listen
• Question
• Comprehend
• Empathy
• rapport
• congruent
• encourage
• Negotiate
• Assert
...
1 reply by Rama K Goberu
Apr 18, 2022 3:50 AM
Rama K Goberu
...
I agree and have been in these shoes of having to get projects running and progressing without formal authority. As was correctly pointed out, we need to gain their trust and legitimacy in the larger setup of the company for the team to follow our advice.

Other challenge I encountered was untimely inputs from the customers that often sabotaged my plans and I had to rework on the schedules and set expectations with the other stakeholders many a times.
Mar 09, 2022 5:18 PM
Replying to alan rossney
...
Hi Grant,
I Certainly find influencing without authority a challenge.
For those of us not "born with the gift of the gab", the soft skills can be the hard ones.
These include communication, rapport, influence and negotiation to name but a few.
Contrary to popular anecdotes these skills are not genetic they are learned.
Einstein said he was not a genius... he just stayed wit the problems for longer than others, in that he persisted.

Here is a word string that helps me influence without authority.
It is certainly something I have to go reflect on regularly.

• Praise
• Positive
• Optimistic
• Proactive
• Objective
• Calm
• Respectful
• Listen
• Question
• Comprehend
• Empathy
• rapport
• congruent
• encourage
• Negotiate
• Assert
I agree and have been in these shoes of having to get projects running and progressing without formal authority. As was correctly pointed out, we need to gain their trust and legitimacy in the larger setup of the company for the team to follow our advice.

Other challenge I encountered was untimely inputs from the customers that often sabotaged my plans and I had to rework on the schedules and set expectations with the other stakeholders many a times.
Hi Grant,
yes managing projects having, none to zero, is hard.
Stakeholders management, engagement, its a challenge that many of PM have to thrive, reason why PMBok has a chapter dedicated to the theme.

On a project i'm working, have this guy, "product owner", "UX specialist" who was constantly superimposing my management. I stopped worrying his overlap, started working, following him, from "above", assuring his instructions to the teams, go accordingly what the project was supposed to delivery. Gain more time to learn, study and work on organization parallel projects.

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