Challenges as a PM

I'm a big proponent of the belief that if we are conscious of our problems, awareness will guide our future decisions and actions. I've been working as a PM at a large company for the past six months, and here are several things that I've repeatedly observed. Projects are dynamic and ever-changing, and the role of the project manager is to navigate the team out of these currents. But like the uncertain moment before an expedition, one mixed of fear and excitement of the unknown, you can be better prepared for what's to come if you know what you're expecting.

  1. Foresight - In a project, there are dozens of things that can turn into potential issues if you don't have the foresight to unblock them before they escalate into a wildfire. Even seemingly miniscule details can lead to project delays or certain nuances in communicating the objectives makes a tiny difference exponential in the long run. It's a constant battle of multiple powers of growth and part of the job is to estimate growth (e.g. if an issue is of cubic or quadratic function, etc) so you can prioritize your issues before they get out-of-hand.

  2. Judgment - Working in so many cross-functional teams have its pros and cons. The biggest con is that you have to juggle multiple opinions and when you're just starting at a new company, it's difficult to know who to listen to. You have to build up a filter by validating ideas, cross-checking, and making decisions based on your own internal alignment. It's important to listen to others' opinions, but it's also necessary to stand firm to prevent the project from getting pulled in multiple directions. Once you build up confidence in the project and in yourself, you can push back when necessary.

  3. Speed as a Habit - This goes hand-in-hand with the point I made about foresight. A lot of times, you want to prevent the fire before it starts instead of focusing on extinguishing escalations that get out of hand. Acting fast, be it through day-to-day tasks like emails and discussions, are important to move project along or to compress a potential fire.