The biggest stressors in project management and how to combat them

Every role has its trigger points and project management is no different. One of the many benefits of project training is that you should be equipped with the skills to face these stressors head-on. 

Broadly speaking, there are four common stressors within project management;

1 Giving bad news

When things are not going to plan or there needs to be a change, it is the project manager’s responsibility to deliver the bad news to the client.

Often, the bad news is that the project and the team are behind schedule. And here’s another stressor wrapped up in this: avoiding the conversation with your client doesn’t make the bad news go away or get any better. In fact, it can make it worse. 

Some project managers suggest that the best way to face this is head-on. Lay your cards on the table, deliver the message but be ready with the options for dealing with the problem. 

2 All the responsibility but no decision-making authority

One of the most common reasons behind project manager burnout and failed projects is when the PM has all of the responsibility but none of the decision making authority.

There are many stories of this happening from senior managers sitting in on stand up meetings and then billing their time at a high hourly rate. What this effectively doing is eating into the already under-pressure budget and that without consulting with the project manager, they are effectively removing the tools they need to be the leader the project team needs. 

3 Poor communication and misaligned expectations

If the teams involved in the project are not singing from the same hymn sheet, then it can become a stressful mess in which the final outcome is one that leads to failure. 

And that means including every team in the whole process from the developers through to those that deliver a less technical aspect. By freeing up the project manager to truly focus on their own role and not try to towards everyone else’s, the project barrels its way towards success. 

4 Doubters to new ways of doing things

Agile project management is coveted by many but there are doubters. But Agile is not something that has to be stuck to, no matter what. For example, sprints can be shorter and the Kanban-style of doing things can also be integrated. The project team doesn’t have to change or teams are only rotated when it is right to do so. 

Doubters bring a lot of negativity to a project but also to the way that projects are managed and the tools used. But helping them to understand Agile and its benefits is key to less stress and more success.

Project management training courses consider a number of issues, one of which are head-on stressors. But more importantly, possible solutions are identified and how they can be implemented.