3 Problem-Solving Techniques for Project Managers | TechWell

3 Problem-Solving Techniques for Project Managers

Project manager sitting at a table with a team

Managing software development projects involves a lot of moving parts. You might come across considerable bottlenecks and challenges that you will be required to overcome in order to accomplish desired goals and objectives.

Project managers require resolute methods for expediently addressing such issues. Here are three proven tools and techniques for managing time, planning resources, and solving problems.

Gantt chart

A Gantt chart helps you visualize the project schedule. It’s a bar chart you can use to understand the various relationships between correlating activities and study their current statuses.

This project management tool can be custom-made to suit your personal preferences and to adequately advise you on how to deal with specific projects. Software versions allow you to manage activities within your defined plan and measure them against time constraints.

This will enable you to create a yardstick to measure the performance of each subtask or primary task within your project, helping you realize existing problems with a mere glance over the progress report. If any assignment is taking longer than expected, it shows that you need to put your attention toward that particular task, or you may be required to redirect more resources to meet with predefined objectives.

Ishikawa diagram

Also known as a fishbone diagram, this is a fundamental technique used by project managers to identify the reasons behind any defects, failures, and unsolicited variations. By showing cause and effect, the Ishikawa diagram can help you design better products and prevent potential factors from bringing about mistakes and shortcomings within your project.

Many software developers and companies use the Ishikawa diagram to perform software testing. Project managers also use it to deal with concerns such as low developer velocity as well as slow resource procurement. This tool is quite adaptable in its basic form and theory, which enables you to use it in many ways.

Root cause analysis

A simple yet powerful process for practical problem solving, root cause analysis is a four-step methodology to identify project troubles. This tool is used to distinguish the root cause from other causal factors so that corrective actions can be determined and taken. By knowing the root cause of a fault or problem, you can choose the most practical solution that meets your specific requirements. 

This also helps you get out in front of problems. For example, the goal of incident management is to resume a faulty IT service as soon as possible (being reactive); by addressing an outage’s root causes, you can solve the problem for good (being proactive).

Make These Tools Work for You

Each problem you face as a project manager will be a unique situation, so the right action for you to take will depend on how well you are able to understand the issue at hand and which method or tool you think will work best.

To effectively resolve troubles and bottlenecks faced by your team and department, it’s important to have an arsenal of tools ready at your disposal. You can also combine multiple techniques to develop a more comprehensive program to deal with specific issues, so you can make prompt decisions to take corrective measures.

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