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Problem Resolution in Project Management

Project manager multitasking and solving problems.One of the things I most like about project management is that you come across different problems. It is not like some other jobs in which you see same issues crop up all the time. When you run a project you need to be aware that you are likely to come across a whole lot of different situations which require different solutions.

Find the Problems

You can’t expect to solve problems unless you know what they are. It might seem strange to go looking for issues but it is the best way of making sure that there are no nasty surprises lurking in there waiting for you. You will probably gain a good nose for detecting problems over time but at first it is likely to be more difficult for you. It is therefore a question of getting into the frame of mind in which you question everything and don’t accept things at face value without wondering whether there could be a problem which isn’t yet obvious to anyone else. The best time to find a problem is when it hasn’t yet made itself known to other people, because this often means that there is still time to resolve it before it does any damage. The worst scenario is where problems and issues are allowed to grow and fester unchecked in the background.

Learn to Solve Problems

Ok, so once you find the problems you need to do something about them. The art of solving problems is something which you will need to learn over time in the project manager role. There are certain techniques which you can use to get the right results and you should try out as many as these as you can in order to find out which ones you are most comfortable with.  A good starting point is in simply working out all the different options open to you and then going through them one by one. In the example of a problem in a project I always like to make as big a list of possible options as possible, from doing nothing at all to completely re-designing the process or the system. The most common solution is usually somewhere in the middle but it is best to think of as many different possible solutions as you can before you make any decisions.

Don’t Rush Into the Decisions

The last point gives us the idea that we need to consider the situation fully before making a decision. However, it is definitely worth going over the point in more detail. You will rarely find a situation in the project world in which making a snap decision is the best approach. We each have our own way of trying to getting to the right frame of mind for making the right decision at the perfect time. Personally, I like to concentrate on something else altogether and let my mind work on the problem almost by itself. Over time you are likely to come up with your own ideas for doing this and whatever works best for you is what you should stick to.

Use All the Help You Can Get

You don’t need to try and solve everything on your own. The rest of the project team and the stakeholders are all there to give you their ideas and opinions. Sure, it feels great to come up with a solution on your own but that isn’t always the most appropriate approach for the good of the project. You should also remember that the people you are working with will also want the chance to add their thoughts and help define the solution. It is one of the project tasks you might be tempted to try and do alone but you should make sure that you get the same level of teamwork going that you do in other aspects of the work.

Think of Past Successes

Every new problem brings with the need for a new solution. However, looking back on past issues can bring with it a number of benefits. For a start, it can give you the confidence of knowing that you have faced up to similar tasks in the past and got a good result. You might also find that an old solution can be adapted and used in the current project in one way or another. Every difficult situation you face and resolve in your career will help you in the future and sometimes simply thinking back on old solutions can be a great start.

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