CXO

Why everyone is now a project manager

A report from Planview detailed the five biggest challenges to effective project management and the top tools in the profession.

Despite technological advances changing the work environment, a new report shows that the need for effective team management remains constant.

Effective teams create effective businesses, but a new study from Planview found that many project managers report problems with work collaboration that result in negative business impacts.

More professionals have found themselves in project management positions, sometimes when they don't plan on it.

SEE: How to select the right project management methodologies (Tech Pro Research)

Even if you don't have a formal title, training, or the credentials of a project manager, chances are you may still be expected to manage projects. According to the report, two-thirds of professionals noted that they manage projects as part of their official responsibilities—even though they don't carry the project manager title.

Additionally, some 20% of respondents defined themselves as "accidental" project managers. These are folks who find themselves managing projects on top of their daily responsibilities.

These increased responsibilities could also be due to the growing need to create revenue producing products, services, and customer experiences. According to the report, Project Management Offices (PMOs) govern 72% of respondents' projects.

The report noted that this governance could create another issue for project managers whose teams are struggling with collaboration and may not understand the role of a PMO.

According to the report, communication issues dominate the list of collaboration hurdles. Here are the top five challenges:

  1. Too many emails- 52%
  2. Ineffective communication between team members (48%)
  3. Effective project management tools are not in place (37%)
  4. Time consuming to report on project status (34%)
  5. Ineffective communication with external project contributors (33%)

Despite reporting email as the biggest collaboration hurdle, the report found that respondents also named it their no. 1 collaboration tool. Legacy tools are still appearing in the work environment. Here is the list of the top four forms of communication that professionals use in project management:

  1. Email (93%)
  2. Audio conferencing (75%)
  3. Web conferencing (73%)
  4. Spreadsheets (70%)

On top of this, the report found five other things that respondents believe are essential to project management success: Project planning (69%), a dashboard to track multiple projects (66%), document sharing (63%), ability to include external collaborators in projects (59%), and visual task management (56%).

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Despite your resume, you may be expected to be a project manager at your next job.
  • Poor team communication is the no. 1 hurdle that stands in the way of effective project managing.

Also see

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Image: iStock/Jacoblund

About Laurel Deppen

Laurel Deppen is the 2018 summer Editorial Intern for TechRepublic. She is a student at Western Kentucky University.

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