Collaborative Project Management Challenges

6 Collaborative Project Management Challenges

July 28, 2016 by

An increasing number of organizations are turning to collaborative project management to secure project success.  Changes in the business environment and workforce now mean that project teams are moving away from traditional rigid processes to engaging the talents and energy of the group.

However, collaborative project management brings its own challenges. We have identified six areas that new project managers should be aware of.


6 Collaborative Project Management Challenges

Challenge 1

More initiatives than ever are now delivered, or designed to be delivered, as collaborative projects across different offices, countries, and companies in organizations around the world.


Challenge 2

Project teams are staffed with intelligent team members from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines who expect to be involved in the decision making of a project. They are no longer interested in the old ‘command and control’ type of projects where they were allocated tasks, did them, and didn’t think as much about them or their greater success and impact on the project.


Challenge 3

Many project teams are using a project site and/or shared directories, or both! Often, these sites are populated with just some, but not all of the project information. Ideally, the project site should have all of the project information. This allows the extended project team to consider all the information before forming their opinions, making their decisions and giving their inputs.


Challenge 4

Although some team members may be formally trained in project management, for example, the PMI’s PMBOK or PRINCE2, many are ‘project managers by accident!’ or P-MBAs’. Often these new project managers are business leads or technically qualified people who by default end up leading projects. It is a great idea that the person with the most knowledge is in a leadership position. However, if organizations don’t have the time or budget to send these individuals on project management training, they and the project are challenged from the outset.


Challenge 5

Projects also succumbing to the ‘Millennial’ or ‘Generation Y’ challenge. These team members, born in the 1980s and 1990s, need to be more convinced that what they’re doing makes sense, is worthwhile and is for a greater cause or purpose. They’re less likely to be involved in something simply because they were told it was the right thing to do!


Challenge 6

Finally, as organizations become more informal and less structured, there is a lack of guidelines and standards for the project managers to follow. Why is this important? What if an organization wants to move people around to drive larger projects to success? Some common ways of managing projects would be useful. Similarly, what if an organization has problems delivering projects with these new project managers? In this instance, it would better to have a project management process to fix rather than a person to blame.


These challenges present new opportunities to manage projects in different ways.  If a group of very smart people wants to help manage your project and make it successful, why not manage to this rhythm? It makes a lot of sense not to fight these challenges, but to embrace them.


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Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our free book, Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook

Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook

Eamonn McGuinness

Éamonn McGuinness is the CEO and founder of BrightWork. From 1995, Éamonn has been involved in the development of commercial software products on Lotus Notes, Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365, with the same basic product mission (process-driven and people inspired collaborative project management).
Eamonn McGuinness

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