Upfront Issues Challenge Project Managers

Aug. 26, 2004
Gaining project approval and developing functional specifications are seen as the biggest obstacles, with scope creep a close third.

Upfront issues are among the biggest obstacles to successful project management, according to the results of the latest Automation World reader survey.

When asked about the biggest challenges faced when managing projects, an equal number of survey respondents (39 percent) identified gaining project approval and developing functional specifications as the leading issues. This was followed closely by scope creep, at 38 percent (multiple responses were allowed). Almost a third reported problems with agreeing on performance requirements (30 percent) or gaining internal agreement on project scope (29).

Most out of the total of 102 who responded to the survey questions reported using some kind of software application to assist project management. Three-fourths of respondents use a spreadsheet, with almost the same number using Microsoft Project. Almost a third (29 percent) use Microsoft Visio. Eighteen percent reported using a legal pad.

While the latter may work perfectly well for smaller projects, it is probably unlikely that the legal pad users are among the group who reported managing the largest projects. When asked about the average size of projects managed, 13 percent said their projects typically cost more than $1 million. Just over a quarter of respondents reported average project size of greater than $500,000; another quarter reported projects of less than $100,000; the remaining half managed projects with costs in between.

For a chance to win a $250 shopping spree at Amazon.com, please take our current online survey on product lifecycle management, by clicking the survey link on our home page, or by clicking here.

If you have an idea for a survey topic, or have a comment about our Web site, please send Editor Gary Mintchell an e-mail at [email protected]

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