Project management is never easy. But, when you’re overseeing projects on a company-wide scale, things become even trickier. The challenges with running a professional services business, and all the projects that come under this scope, can seem never-ending, but it's important to keep perspective when managing a lot of moving parts.

As an enterprise project manager, you have to coordinate numerous teams — each with their own processes, timelines, and deliverables. You also need to ensure that each project is supporting the overarching business goals. And you need to do it all with confidence. 

When you’re the one tasked with getting these large-scale projects across the finish line, there are several unique hurdles you’ll need to make it over. Here are four different project management challenges that enterprises struggle with, as well as some helpful advice for navigating each of them. 

Challenge #1: Miscommunication between team members

There are plenty of challenges in project management that can sabotage your work. But, if you were asked to point to one main culprit, most project managers would be quick to mention miscommunication.

Of course, crossed wires can happen on any team, but they’re especially common on enterprise projects where you have numerous different (and potentially even geographically-dispersed) teams working together.

Unfortunately, ineffective communication is a common occurrence in the workplace. A whopping 80% of employees admit that miscommunication occurs on their teams to various degrees — ranging from occasionally to very frequently.

How to overcome this challenge

You’ll never prevent mixed messages entirely, but they become all too common when project team members are left out of important messages or need to dig through endless email chains to find the latest status updates. 

Using a collaborative work management platform like Wrike will help you streamline and centralize project-related updates, feedback, questions, and more so that everything is in one accessible place. 

Additionally, as the project manager, it’s important that you prioritize frequent communication. You can’t assume that everybody is seeing every message within your enterprise project management software

When you work out your project plan, coordinate a communication plan with it. Even if it’s something as simple as sending a note that recaps project progress every Friday afternoon, you’ll ensure that you keep everybody in the loop. 

Challenge #2: Misalignment about project objectives

Enterprise projects are typically big and complex with many moving parts. This makes it easy for your team members to miss the forest for the trees. The development team is singularly focused on their goal of getting a new prototype ready to go, while the marketing team has tunnel vision for the promotional strategy that will support the launch.

Those team-specific milestones are important. But, here’s what can get lost in the shuffle: the overall strategy and objective. How does this project support the broader business goal? What’s the intended impact? What benefits will this project achieve for the company? 

This challenge is common, even for companies that rely on a project management office (PMO). Only 41% of organizations with an enterprise-wide project management office (EPMO) report that it is highly aligned to the organization’s strategy. 

How to overcome this challenge

This all starts with a successful project plan. Your plan will detail your project objectives, along with the specific metrics and benefits you’ll be tracking throughout the duration of the project.

With your plan in place, don’t neglect to host a kickoff meeting. Along with discussing the plan and proactively identifying other potential enterprise challenges for your project, this conversation is when you’ll give the team an understanding of the broader objectives for that project. Make sure you leave time for questions.

Finally, since you’re the one leading the charge, you’ll need to keep a close eye on project objectives so that you can course correct when necessary. Use Wrike Reports to get a detailed look at how your project is progressing and what adjustments you might need to make. 

Challenge #3: Conflicting and competing resources

Enterprise companies are large, but that doesn’t mean that resources are limitless. In fact, it can often feel like there’s more competition for project resources, because there are so many different balls in the air at one time.

This means that failing to successfully plan and manage your resources (whether it’s time, budget, software, raw materials, or something else) can quickly send your project into a nosedive.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), resource-related roadblocks are common reasons projects aren’t successful. Survey respondents cited resource dependency, inadequate resource forecasting, and limited or taxed resources as the primary causes of project failure. 

How to overcome this challenge

Resource management shouldn’t involve throwing a dart at a board or crossing your fingers and hoping everything works out. It takes careful planning and monitoring to make sure you’re accounting for dependencies and not spreading resources too thin.

Wrike Resource can help you gain visibility into your available resources, particularly the time and bandwidth that each team has available. That allows you to be far more realistic about resource utilization and avoid team burnout and missed deadlines. 

It’s also helpful to build a small resource buffer into your project plan. It’s not common that resources can be transitioned or accessed without any lag time, so account for that accordingly. 

For example, the IT team might need a day or two to switch gears before they can jump right into your project — you need to leave enough time for that. 

Challenge #4: Missed deadlines

From limited resources or unclear objectives to communication snags, all of the above project management challenges slow your projects down and can ultimately lead to missed deadlines. 

It’s frustrating to blow by your target end date without having the project in hand, but it’s surprisingly common. Only a measly 2.5% of companies claim that they complete their projects 100% successfully. The rest fail to meet their original targets, budgets, or deadlines. Yikes.

Even worse is that these dropped deadlines can have a snowball effect within enterprise companies. A delay in the completion of this project means your next one will start later than intended — and the problem just keeps snowballing from there. 

How to overcome this challenge

This is another area where a collaborative work management platform can help. In addition to allowing you to set deadlines on individual tasks, Wrike also makes it easy to create a Gantt chart to establish a detailed project schedule

This schedule gets everybody on the same page about the whole project’s life cycle, and also increases a sense of accountability by showing the domino effect of project milestones. When one piece is completed late, it can send the whole project timeline toppling over. 

In the same way you would build in a small buffer for your resources, do the same for your project’s overall schedule. Things like project handoffs or unexpected emergencies can throw a wrench in your timeline, and you’ll be glad to have a cushion to account for those. 

Kick these enterprise project management challenges to the curb 

Managing projects always has its struggles, but that’s especially true when you’re the one tasked with getting enterprise projects over the finish line. You’re coordinating multiple teams, overseeing limited resources, and always keeping an eye on the broader business goals. 

It’s enough to make even the most skilled project manager sweat. But, the good news is that some foresight and careful planning can help you avoid a lot of pitfalls. 

Use this list of project management challenges and solutions as your guide, and you’ll leap over those potential hurdles and ensure the successful completion of your enterprise projects. 

Start your free trial of Wrike today, and manage your enterprise projects with confidence.