Successful Project Manager skills: Problem Solving Sharing, Customer Denies a Reason

I did a project in Indonesia and I was definitely sure the bottleneck for getting data into system was in network connections. Usually these bottlenecks are due to priority or security reasons. Customer had difficulties to solve this problem. They kept it open and accused the system.

I knew that only solution is to do testing or communicate with network team. At the end it escalated to meet network engineer, local from customer side, who draw the diagram and exactly said where the issue is. There was no other possibility than customer solution, wait for approvals and delay the project until it was solved.

You can’t always control every part of the project. You can help in finding a solution and discussing, negotiating, but that’s all you’re able to do.

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Successful Project Manager skills: Problem Solving Tools

To find a solution I have used legendary Post-it papers on the wall with the team. This method can be used also for collecting any kind of information. Or getting to know each other.  For more advanced methods I have also continued by finding options with these techniques (multiply) or narrow solutions.

If you are making a new product proposal, you can also adapt design thinking. It defines a problem in second step and continues later to prototyping and testing.

Listening is important for collecting information.  Some people easily stuck with problems. You can follow and talk with your team, ask them to tell about problems. This is a good way for a manager to find another task to continue once problem is solved. It will save resources.

IT projects have typically coding problems and changes to solution. This will need communication and solution proposals, change requests, etc. Prepare documents and people possible changes in advance. Don’t promise exactly what’s in the contract.

 

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Successful Project Manager skills: Problem Solving

I like problems, and that’s why I’m a project manager. Actually not all days are full of problems in projects, but you need to solve efficiently when anything arises.  There are techniques you can follow to be better. Think possible outcomes, crisis before they happen. For example recognize possible problems before they arise at all.  Risk management is related to problem solving, for sure.

To avoid problems communication is important. You must be clear and open.  Recognize before any issues exist in relationships between teams and departments. Sometimes also with people can be conflicts and project manager needs to be a peace maker. 

In a good problem solving strategies are needed to give direction. Since strategy is high level idea of outcomes, goals and objectives, make a project strategy. Put it part of risk management, recognize more than just the end products. Think about quality.

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Successful Project Manager skills: Leadership Sharing, Long Working Time and Motivation

I had quite a small project team on-site and often just worked with one local assistant and implementation engineer. My job wasn’t to do much that time – just communication and on-site making sure all goes forward. My engineer had to work overtime daily. He wanted to stop the day, but it was so little to go so I asked him have his smoking time for awhile or took him for a coffee. Often I didn’t have to ask him again to continue. He just needed a break and time to think what I said.

Make sure your team can find solutions by themselves. Don’t always push and ask. Give and take time. Make an environment where responsibility is shared. This might be cultural in some countries.

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