Project managers are faced with a multitude of complications and challenges that come with each and every project. Failure to overcome these can easily set a project onto a downward path that ultimately leads to project failure, so identifying and tackling the issues is essential. No two projects are alike and roadblocks vary, but we have identified some common challenges and ideas on how to overcome them.

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Constructive feedback can help to improve productivity and boost your team’s morale, but do annual performance reviews do the same?

An article by Elizabeth Harrin on Projectmanager.com thinks the answer is no.

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Poor team dynamics can be as detrimental to a project as poor management. Good team dynamics mean a productive successful team. You may think your team doesn’t need an intervention, but consistently working on team dynamics is important for any team to keep it running smoothly and effectively.

Here are some common signs that your team dynamics need to be reviewed:

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Project management methodologies are an integral part of the project management process, but with so many to choose from, how do you know where to begin?

This article from Moira Alexander looks at some of the different methodologies, including Agile, Waterfall, Critical Path Method (CPM), Six Sigma and others, and how to determine which is best suited to your needs.

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It happens to a lot of people. They are good at their jobs and a manager comes along and appoints them to manage a new project. Just like that they have become an unintentional project manager and like so many, they feel ill-equipped to deal with this new role.

If you’ve found yourself in this position or if you’ve been an unintentional project manager for a while and still feel out of your depth, DON’T PANIC. We’ve got some really helpful tips to get you back on track with your future in project management.

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Project requirements form an integral part of every project, and yet a large number of project failures are attributed to poor requirement identification and management. As a project progresses, ‘scope creep’ occurs largely because requirements and change are not being managed. Scope creep cuts away at the project budget and can ultimately result in failure.

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Is there any such thing as a project that is too complex? Projects definitely vary in complexity, and obviously a more difficult project environment will result in a more complex project. But when the project complexity is resulting from risks or issues within your project, it could be time to take a step back and try to simplify the project to get it back on track.

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CoLAB Project Management looks at the importance of effective stakeholder communication and how project managers can advance communications using best practices and technology.

All projects have stakeholders, even the very smallest initiatives. Stakeholder communication is a core competency of project management. Studies have shown that successful communication in a project is one of the most crucial factors for success. When properly executed, it connects every member of a project team to common strategies, goals and actions, and allows project managers to head off potential problems.

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Return on investment (ROI) is difficult to measure when it comes to project value. Ultimately, ROI is the driving force behind any project, but how do you measure its actual monetary value?

“Depending on the industry, there are multiple interpretations of ROI. For the purposes of this article, ROI is an indicator used to measure the financial gain/loss (or “value”) of a project in relation to it’s cost. Typically, it is used in determining whether a project will yield a positive payback and have value for the business.”

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Business Process Management (BPM) forms a part of an organisation’s infrastructure management, focussed on improving workflow and making it more adaptable to change. The core goal of BPM is to ultimately reduce human error and improve efficiency of organisational processes, making it an effective methodology to use in times of crisis as well.

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Jennifer Bridges of www.projectmanager.com has presented an interesting whiteboard session on how to fuel change in your projects.

The video How to Fuel Change on Your Project, Three Critical Elements to Generate Sparks and Hit the Nerve looks at inspiration for projects from the project management perspective, using Lady Gaga as an example (yes really!).

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When can a Project Manager celebrate project completion? Most people will agree that it is when you have completed scope, time, cost and quality within the expectations of project stakeholders. But do we as project managers consider what is happening after project completion and after the product or service has been delivered to the business owner?

This raises a concern. Do we place too much weight on project outcomes and do these outcomes on their own deliver specific benefits? Studies have shown that over 70% of business improvement projects fail to deliver their expected benefits. For this reason we need to ensure that value is created and sustained and that benefits are realised even after a project has been completed.

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The Project Management Hut outlines eight practical points for quality management in projects. They look specifically at software projects, but we think that many of these apply nicely to almost any project.

“For many project managers, quality seems to be an esoteric concept.”

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CoLAB has put together an easy-to-understand, visual guide to the 6 basic stages of project management. Know a beginner project manager or someone who would like to know more about the project management process? Feel free to share it.

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“To what degree does the mindset of a project manager affect the achievement of project value? Some project managers question the constraints of a project and, despite these constraints, achieve extraordinary results because they implement projects with a different mindset.”

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Jennifer Bridges, Director of ProjectManager.com, has a series of interesting videos for beginner project managers in which she explains some core project management principles.

In Project Risk, Explained looks at defining project risk more clearly, differentiating it from an issue, as well as some examples of the effects of project risk and how to identify risks in a project.

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We usually like to do our own reviews of project management books, but sometimes we find a good review from someone else that is worth sharing.

Project-management.com has a list of their top 10 best project management books, which gives a number of different options to the project manager depending on their style and preference.

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Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling is a project management bible written by Dr. Harold Kerzner, one of the most respected experts on Project Management. Now in its 10th edition (2015) it offers an extremely comprehensive knowledge of project management.

There have been many mixed reviews and opinions about this book. Some people have felt it is too long, too intimidating and does not contain enough case studies. At a whopping 1200 pages, it is indeed long, but its length ensures that is offers an exhaustive, encyclopaedic type of coverage.

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Amye Scavarda wrote a quick, tongue-in-cheek rundown about her experience of the hard parts of project management on www.phase2technology.com. It’s an interesting perspective for new or aspiring project managers.

“When I look at what the real truth is to a talk about project management mistakes, I go to the source.

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