The Four Big Issues in Project Management Today

- Soumya Patil


Everywhere we see people debating or discussing the complexity of management in the Project Management arena. In the past, it was all about the Benefits, Ethics, Processes, Stakeholders, etc. Today, the debate seems to be riven, there isn't one big topic by virtue. At this point, Companies are facing some uncertain issues that seem to be happening simultaneously. According to PMI's Pulse of Profession report, due to poor Project Performance Enterprises are wasting approximately $97 million for every $1 billion invested. This is the result of improper Project Management Strategies. The persona of a Project Manager should not only be comprehending to Project Management Methodology, but also entail handling challenges on numerous fronts. The most saturated and painstaking concerns in Project Management are listed below.

#1. Leadership

Nowadays, Project Management means traditionally following best practices, adhering to standards, and using processes to move an idea from the concept stage to implementation. Project Managers mainly focus on setting goals, managing benefits, helping teams understand the business case, and putting the project into the organizational context. But, leadership is not limited to these practices. Many enterprises can still deliver their projects without proper leadership goals, but the lack of leadership leads to several negative effects on the company, project, and employees as well.

Apparently, the role of a Project Manager is changing to a Project Leader. Project Leaders inspire their team and act as mentors. Leaders not only get their projects done, but also improve the communication, employee satisfaction, and quality of work. Organizations must provide more flexibility in terms of work and moral values. Here are a few facts that strongly lead to opportunity loss of not having leadership principles in place:

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• Poor leadership creates a lack of vision amongst employees.

• It causes huge gaps between strategy and execution..

• It is the root cause of the culture of mediocrity and low morality.

Today, employees resist to micromanagement. Command and control structures are hardly seen. A study report from U.S. Department of Labor says people of age group 18-to-38- years stay at a job for not more than four years. Today's generation has a distinct perspective towards work than the generation before. Hence, effective leadership is mandatory for the betterment of project and a healthy team.

#2. Risk

There are many Project Managers who often tend to give too little emphasis on project risks. The activities such as risk identification, contingency, and mitigation plans must be started from project tendering and pre-tendering phase. Some consequences of not having proper risk management plan are collated here:

• Organizations lack in confidence.

• They deal with potential problems in an illogical manner.

• Companies not working on real-time risk planning cannot actually take critical business decisions easily.


Generally, it is misunderstood that risk is a problem, but ideally, risk is the recognition that a problem might occur. Virtually, it can be said that there are different approaches to project risks:

• Avoid: Risk can be avoided by slightly changing the project scope.

• Accept: Some of the risks are bound to occur, irrespective of mitigation plans. The best strategy is to accept it and take certain obligatory steps to reduce its impact.

• Contingency: If the risk cannot be avoided, then place a mitigation plan to minimize its effects.

• Reduce: Reduce the existence of risk at the initial stage.

• Transfer: Some risks can be transferred to a third party. However, it comes with a certain associated cost for curbing negative risks.

#3. Value

Enterprises must have a clear vision and differentiation between benefits and value. Benefits mainly connect with finance, sales, marketing, etc. that are tangible parts of business and value is all about customer-centricity and stakeholder satisfaction. Of course, benefits and value go together but value is more difficult to earn. But despite being the top driver of project existence, a project shouldn't be executed only for benefits. The qualitative work and business relationship with stakeholders add value to the organization's success. Today, stakeholders are more interested in the return of value than the return on investment. There is a reliable relation between value and leadership qualities, value can only be delivered with good leadership skills. But the challenge is to quantify the value drivers.

#4. Talent Management

A research from PMI says that there is a shortage of talented people across the global organizations, and it is the underlying problem in every firm. To reduce the project cost, process team leads are enforced to perform the role of a Project Manager. Many of them do not even hold the title of Project Manager.

Such Project Managers or Team Leads cannot perform efficiently due to the lack of training and experience. Such accidental Project Managers must be recognized and credentialed with supportive training and certification. They must be accomplished with Management Skills to address the talent gap so that they do their jobs to the best of their ability. However, certification is not enough to excel in Project Management. A person needs enough domain experience to handle certain critical situations.

There is an authentic relation between talent and business performance. The value creation discussed earlier comes with great talent management tactics. Enterprises must encourage a culture and scope of career development with higher learning abilities of their talented employees, who in turn will get the quantifiable value to the organization. However, organizations which don't have suitable Talent Management Strategy will probably undergo certain critical situations in the long run like:

• Lack of employee engagement.

• Retention of productive employees.

• Lack of growth and innovation in employees.


Project Management requires an awareness of the strategic issues during the Project Life Cycle. It is essential to deal the project challenges with a practical approach. Thus, it is feasible to anticipate the project issues before they have an opportunity to ascend and saturate. This helps the Project Managers to address the issues assiduously, thereby increasing the project success rates.

Disclaimer : This article is owned by Computer Aid Inc aka CAI ( The person mentioned in the author's section coordinated to get necessary approvals to publish in PM Essence for sharing the knowledge with Project Management Community.