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Top Five Project Management Concerns

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 6/10/2013

Projects can keep you up at night. Some issues weigh on the mind more than others. Many of those concerns often have nothing to do with project management. Learn about the top five project management concerns and how to deal with these issues.

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    Product Quality

    The goal of the project is to meet the customer needs and have a working product. Achieving a working product, however, sometimes can be extremely difficult. Setting up a project quality plan is a necessity. When setting up a project quality plan, a project management team' members need to ask themselves some questions.

    • What are our quality standards as they relate to this project?
    • What are the responsibilities of the stakeholders in order to ensure quality standards are upheld?
    • Whose job is it to ensure that the quality plan objectives are met?
    • If the quality standards are not being met, what can we do to correct that?

    Just the act of thinking about these questions and putting a quality plan into action will assist a project management team in providing a quality product to the client.

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    Risk Assessment

    Risk assessment is often the most difficult part of any project management plan, and that’s why it’s on the list of project management concerns. Basically, risk assessment is looking at aspects of the project that could interfere with its progress. Once a risk is identified, effective solutions need to be put forth in order to ensure that a troubled project can be completed.

    Source: http://www.six.somerset.gov.uk/sccoea/gfs_images/23112007125432risk_management.gif One way to deal with risk is to create a risk assessment plan. A risk assessment plan is done before and during the project. Risk must be analyzed and measured. The goal is to overcome these challenges in order to deliver a working product to the client.

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    Cost Estimation

    Cost estimation must be done at the beginning of every project. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate a project. Then, you can always make the client happier by coming in under budget.

    In order to create a comprehensive cost estimate for a project, you need to consider individual subprojects and then the project as a whole. Items to include in the cost estimation include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Contractors
    • Staffing
    • Other Labor
    • Infrastructure
    • Materials
    • Equipment

    Certain areas will always go over budget and others will always come under. You need to constantly check your budget to ensure that you are meeting it.

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    Staffing

    Since staffing goes along with cost estimation, it’s next. There’s nothing worse than starting a project and then realizing that you don’t have adequate staff or don’t have the money to hire the person to work on the project.

    Resource leveling can assist you with analyzing your resources and seeing where resources are either over-used or under-used. Resource leveling will assist project managers see where conflicts exist between projects (since many projects are scheduled simultaneously) and figure out how to resolve those conflicts.

    Resource leveling should be done throughout the project. Project managers need to figure out which tasks or projects take precedence if it seems that a variety of tasks will not meet deadlines. Staff and resources will be assigned to the most important or the most challenging projects.

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    Customer Satisfaction

    There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a project only to find out that the customer doesn’t like it. This is why customer communication is a necessity. A project manager and team need to actively involve the customer in the process. Set up some type of customer communication plan. Have regular meetings with the customers to find out their input. Regular communication with the customer will ensure success and won’t become another project management concern to be dealt with.