PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|Resources|Systems|Water|Solutions|Operations
PROJECT|Project Management|Projects|Resources|Systems|Water|Solutions|Operations

Navigating effective project management hurdles

GROWING OPPORTUNITY Project managers skilled in D365, finance and operation are in demand

TYFFANY DYASON-KIRKLAND The quality of work and drive for contractors to become more knowledgeable is increasing

28th July 2023

By: Nadine Ramdass

Creamer Media Writer


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Project management firms must contend with various challenges, including navigating methodologies that clients may not understand, and shortage of experienced personnel.

One of the main challenges affecting project management is implementing a methodology that is aligned with the project goals, as well as the technical abilities of all parties involved, says digital transformation specialists Altron Karabina project manager Tyffany Dyason-Kirkland.

Project management offices are responsible for delivering solutions to clients. When working with other businesses, it is critical to ensure that the project management office’s standards align with those of clients.

However, clients often use methodologies or systems, such as agile, waterfall or hybrid project management methodologies, which differ from those of project management offices.

Therefore, at the start of a project, it is important to establish the standards or requirements of the project. This includes compliance factors, such as internal audits, which, in turn, require specific paperwork.

Dyason-Kirkland says failure to identify such requirements can result in challenges later in the project, which can affect a solution or efficient delivery of the project.

Efficient project management can also be affected if a client does not fully understand the principles of the methodology and systems, and using this to decide which methodology is most suitable.

Therefore, evaluating the advantages of every methodology can ensure the project is completed efficiently, she adds.

Limited Resources
A common challenge in the project management sector is a shortage of experienced Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365), finance and operations contractors.

Consequently, it has become more costly to hire experienced contractors, but it has created an opportunity for experienced contractors to work on a more global scale.

Firms are losing such contractors as they search for better opportunities, which often include advantages such as remote working arrangements and increased salary packages, particularly if employees are remunerated in a stronger currency.

However, an advantage for project management offices is that they can hire from a pool of contractors who have the skills, knowledge and experience that might not be as widely available locally.  

“Owing to the competition, standards are shifting. The quality of work and drive for contractors to become more knowledgeable and have a good hold on best practices is also increasing,” says Dyason-Kirkland.

She emphasises the benefit of sharing knowledge across continents that can result in a stronger, more aligned global resource pool, with the challenges associated with employing remote workers easily mitigated.

One such challenge is the lack of face-to-face interaction, which can affect problem-solving efforts throughout the project.

As a result, project managers need to develop skills that can assist in bridging the gap between their clients and remote contractors to ensure continuous engagement and mutual understanding.

Dyason-Kirkland adds that, for South Africans working remotely in the country, there are also the additional challenges of loadshedding and water outages.

However, adopting a flexible approach, whereby employees work from the office when such challenges occur, can be immensely beneficial in ensuring work is not affected, she notes.

Value of Every Member
A project manager’s sole responsibility is to look after and protect the project, says Dyason-Kirkland, adding that an important component of doing so is taking care of the project team and using soft skills to ensure clear communication channels.

It is also important to get to know the team members and understand their personality, work patterns, other work projects and daily routines.

She adds that this assists with effective time management, as this develops an understanding of various team members’ diaries and commitments, ensuring that there are no overlaps.

Further, it is essential to check in with every team member throughout the project to understand the members’ progress and provide support to overcome any obstacles encountered.

Keeping communication channels clear ensures that when an issue arises during a project, “employees do not keep the problem to themselves”.

Dyason-Kirkland adds that not feeling safe enough to communicate challenges can result in schedules and budgets being exceeded.

She stresses the importance of assisting team members in developing a plan to remove any roadblocks and meet the project goals.

Providing this kind of support ensures that the project progresses more smoothly, with no holdups and “as little leakage as possible”, she concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor


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