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What are the Common Project Management Headaches and their Cures?

The discipline of Project Management has been the crucial factor behind several successful projects for organizations around the world. However, it is safe to say that mastering the project management methodology is not an easy task for many. Even the most seasoned project management professionals (PMPs) struggle to keep up with the demanding but gratifying profession. Apart from managing the three constraints of project management – scope, schedule, and costs; project managers take care of several other elements and ensure they are aligned in harmony with the others to achieve outstanding project success.

Common Project Management Headaches and their Cures

Although project managers are skilled in managing all the elements involved in project management, they face inevitable headaches or obstacles from time to time along the way. This article lists the common project management headaches and the cure to dissipate these headaches.

Project Management Headache 1 – Unclear Project Objectives:

As a project manager, you are responsible for understanding the project requirements and setting the project goals. The lack of clarity in defining the project objectives will result in losing the organization’s valuable resources and assets. Thus, by setting the project objectives clearly, project managers ensure that the project management team works towards the common goal.

Cure for Headache 1:

Project Managers can use popular approaches like SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) and CLEAR (collaborative, limited, emotional, appreciable, refinable) to set clear project objectives from the onset of the project. After defining the project goals, project managers must ensure all the project stakeholders and the project development team are fully aware of the defined project objectives.

Project Management Headache 2 – Insufficient Communication:

Project Managers use their practical communication skills to make the project stakeholders and the project management team aware of the defined project objectives. Poor or insufficient communication between the project manager and the project stakeholders leads to conflict or misunderstanding. A project manager should avoid conflicts by maintaining a healthy communication channel between them and the project stakeholders. Also, miscommunication affects the project development team causing obstacles to effective project completion.

Cure for Headache 2:

Meetings are an effective communication method used in a professional environment. In project management, meetings can be a powerful tool to communicate important details with the project stakeholders. Organizations can also use several project management software available in the market to improve communication and avoid conflict in project management.

Project Management Headache 3 – Scope Creep:

Scope creep is considered the top obstacle in project management by many PMPs. However, sometimes scope creep can be good, especially for projects that do not have a clear objective and needs revision from the start. While this is effective for some small projects, most projects suffer negatively because of scope creep. Thus, project managers should understand their client’s requirements and clearly establish the project limitations.

Cure for Headache 3:

Project managers should be proactive and understand the various needs and requirements of the clients. While setting the project objectives, they can also set the boundaries and milestones of the project. By doing this, project managers can effectively manage their client’s expectations and avoid scope creep creeping into their projects.

Project Management Headache 4 – Irregular Budgeting:

Cost management is one of the top challenges in project management as it directly affects project development. From procurement to the allocation of resources, all essential project management activities depend on effective cost management. Therefore, project managers try to keep the project’s budget in check and prioritize critical tasks. 

Cure for Headache 4:

Successful project managers use various project scheduling and budgeting tools to ensure effective cost management for timely project execution and completion. Proper documentation about individual project task requirements and the budget allocated to these tasks helps project managers complete the project within the estimated cost.  

Project Management Headache 5 – Unworkable Deadlines:

Another major headache that project managers face is an unworkable deadline. Project managers sometimes indulge their clients by overpromising and underdelivering. Thus, project managers should try to avoid this practice at all costs. A project manager should always focus on quality over quantity. Also, a project that fails to add value to the organization, in the long run, is considered a failure. Therefore, project managers must always set a workable deadline for the project management team.

Cure for Headache 5:

A good project manager manages their client’s expectations at the planning stage. They set clear goals, deadlines, and milestones for the project management team. By doing this, project managers avoid common project management challenges like scope creep that affect the successful delivery of the project.


The project management methodology involves planning, executing, and concluding the project in the best possible way. Learning about this vital discipline will help future project managers successfully lead and direct projects for their organizations. Aspiring PMPs can use the PMP Certification Training Course to understand the project management discipline thoroughly and avoid these common headaches to become successful project managers.

Posted in Project Management

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