Wednesday 16 March 2022

Methods of analysis of the most typical problems of project management

In the past, it was believed that the experience of project management is almost impossible to summarize, since each project is unique, as a consequence, little attention was paid to problem management. But it gradually becomes apparent that problem management is a key ingredient in the success of a project: problems must be dealt with, or progress will slow down and the project will suffer.

The accumulated experience allows us to draw up a certain algorithm for solving problems, consisting of sequential steps.

Recognition of the problem. First of all, it is necessary to answer the following questions: whether the symptom is associated with an existing problem; whether it is possible to combine the symptom with something that is happening at the moment; what are the characteristics of the problem; what priority should be assigned to it; what to do with the problem first.

Analysis of the problem. A combination of direct observations, interviews, document reviews and meetings is used. When collecting information, it is not always advisable to draw attention to the problem - it is advisable to talk about symptoms and possible actions. It is recommended to start with the employee who proposed the improvement, collect as much information as possible, determine the category of the problem, give its interpretation - from conservative to radical, focus on actions.

Identify alternatives: (1) do nothing; 2) restructure the project without new resources; 3) add resources to solve the problem, not paying attention to the cost; 4) redistribute resources within the project team; 5) eliminate resources from the project; (6) expand the scope and/or purpose of the project; (7) narrow the scope and/or purpose of the project; 8) solve the problem outside the project; 9) change the technology of work in the project.

Decide. Actions in this context usually involve either policies or changes to the plan and measures for resources. After choosing a solution and defining actions, you should inform top management about the problem and the recommended approach.

Announcement of the decision and action (simultaneously).

Performing an action. Actions should be performed simultaneously: if you do this sequentially, for some time there will be a "hybrid" of the old and the new.

Verification and control of execution. The results of actions and decisions should be manifested soon after their implementation. To do this, you should answer the questions: the "disease" is cured or only its symptoms; whether the by-products of the solutions create new problems; Whether there are additional areas where you can apply these actions and solutions with little extra effort.

For practical application, three different levels of detail can be proposed ways of structuring and analyzing emerging problems:

  • formulation of the problem and possible consequences;
  • identification of certain problem areas and monitoring of potential difficulties;
  • structuring of problems and possible ways to solve them.
  • Each of these methods has both advantages and disadvantages. In practice, any combination of them is possible. The main thing is to realize that problems can be structured and analyzed using certain algorithms. The following are examples of how to address issues in a variety of ways.

There are always several options for solving the problem, but using the wrong approach can only aggravate the situation. Even excessive attention to the problem can be harmful - sometimes it causes panic. Another option is to recruit new team members, but they will have to be introduced, which will distract employees from productive work and slow down coordination and decision-making.

First method

The problems arising in the process of project implementation can be divided into several groups and recommend some methods of their most effective solution.

Problem 1. Team morale: If morale is weak, it is reasonable to strengthen it "from the bottom up", increase the self-confidence of employees, provide additional support. If morale is strong, don't fool yourself with the fact that everything is going well – the team may simply have inflated self-esteem.

Problem 2: Team composition: it is recommended to solve personnel problems independently and peacefully. If such measures do not help, it makes sense to discuss the problem with top management.

Problem 3: Inefficiency in managing a large project: you can divide the team into subcommands, planning their interaction.

Problem 4: Creating a friendly atmosphere: If the project involves employees who have complex relationships with each other, you should not force them to work together. You need to organize the execution of tasks in such a way as to limit their contact.

Problem 5: Technology Management: It is unwise to take technology for granted – any technology requires management and active evaluation of its use.

Issue 6: Removal of critical resources from the project: it should be borne in mind from the outset that such a threat exists; clearly understand the needs, insist on obtaining certain resources, while taking into account the state of the company's business as a whole.

Problem 7: Low performance and behind schedule: first of all, it is necessary to identify the reasons for its occurrence (tasks were not included in the plan; the project does not receive resources on time; the team does not perform work on time, etc.). Some problems can be prevented through clear planning, however, if a problem does occur, it is worth talking to the team and figuring out what can be done to resolve it with the available resources.

Problem 8: Coordination of work with suppliers and contractors: even before the start of the project, you should find out the personal interest of the supplier or contractor and use it. When choosing suppliers or contractors, it is necessary to clearly formulate the objectives of the project. To facilitate coordination with them, identify dependencies between projects; identify ways to control quality and change schedules and priorities; Establish a coordination process between projects at the project manager level and below.

Second method

Let's consider three problems that can arise in groups, their causes and possible solutions.

Problem 1: Poor performance. The client believes that the group is not interested in solving the problem and its members are not able to work together.

Possible causes:

  • members of the group cannot agree on the task of the group;
  • the task of the group with regard to results and resources was not clearly defined;
  • managers do not cope with the work;
  • the project team leader does not have the appropriate authority or leadership qualities;
  • the members of the group do not have sufficient technical and functional qualities.

Possible ways to correct the situation:

  • more clearly articulate the task of the group;
  • clarify the division of labour and accountability within the unit;
  • organize training for the head of the leadership group;
  • conduct training for group members on technical and functional skills.

Problem 2. Personality conflicts in the group. There are very strong contradictions in the project team. Based on experience, let's assume the following causes of interpersonal conflicts in groups:

members of the group are confident that they, and not the manager, are fully responsible for the results of the group's work;
the team leader did not distribute tasks and responsibilities among the team members.
Possible solutions to problems:

  • make it clear to team members that the leader is responsible for the result of its work;
  • explain to each employee the scope of his duties and responsibilities and hold a general meeting to resolve the conflicts that have arisen.
  • Problem 3. Team members cannot work as a team. One of the most common problems in both functional and project teams. Possible causes:

managers cannot agree on the specific task of the group and accountability;
the task of the group was not clearly defined in terms of outcome and resources.
Solution: advise top management on the distribution of powers and responsibilities between them.

In all three cases, we looked at situations with the hierarchical structure of the group. Suppose we are dealing with a group of partners. Depending on the intended cause of the problems, you can suggest one of the following solutions:

  • develop a collective vision of the team's task for resources and outcomes.
  • to develop a personal vision of the task of each in relation to resources and results;
  • to discuss together the significance of the division of duties and to distribute responsibilities among the members of the group;
  • Train team members in leadership, interpersonal skills, and technical skills. Special emphasis should be placed on collective discussions, conflict resolution.
  • Of course, this is not a complete list of problems, the causes of their occurrence and possible actions. But the methodology for analyzing the situation is quite universal.

Database of problems. From experience, it is useful to have a database of problems that does not require much effort to compile. Here are its main elements: the identification code of the problem; status (identified, resolved, analyzed, completed, etc.); priority level; what it affects; Date of occurrence; description; the person responsible for the problem; the date of the expected decision; solution code (replaced with another, resolved, postponed indefinitely, completed); solution to the problem; Actions Comments.


The occurrence of certain problems in the process of project implementation is a normal phenomenon. There are many different methods of structuring and resolving them. The choice of the most effective method depends on many different circumstances. The main thing is to work on solving problems systematically and in an organized manner. The accumulated experience allows us to identify common errors in solving problems:

  • ignorance of the problem;
  • incorrect "diagnosis";
  • the decision is not "sold" to top management;
  • making decisions without planned actions;
  • actions in the absence of a solution framework.
  • inability to act when necessary;
  • actions that do not correspond to the decisions taken.

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