3 project management pitfalls — and tips to avoid them.

For companies undertaking strategic initiatives or transformation projects, few skills are as critical as project management — and yet it's an area where many companies lack mature capabilities in-house. If that's a challenge for your business today, read on for three project management pitfalls, plus actionable insights to help you avoid them. 

1. budget limitations

Many businesses today are focused on streamlining their operations and other cost-reduction initiatives, with the goal of maximizing bottom-line profitability. For these companies, the possibility of hiring a full-time project manager — someone who might only oversee a one-off project — is going to be rejected by senior decision-makers. It simply looks and sounds cost-prohibitive. 

If you're in this boat, what's the alternative? 


One proven approach is to leverage strategic partners offering cost-conscious solutions. It's the most reliable way to ensure vital project management expertise doesn't get shortchanged.

For example, these partners can help you source and onboard highly qualified interim project managers. That way, you'll be well positioned for success. Plus, once the projects wind down, there won't be any long-term cost burden on your balance sheet. 

2. poorly defined roles and responsibilities

In the rush to launch a new project or close a lucrative deal, the transition planning process isn't always comprehensive — and the results can be painful. Any private equity (PE) firm that's gone forward with a deal, despite having less-than-robust transition service agreements (TSAs) in place, can testify to that pain firsthand. 


Strategic partners with expertise in project management can add value in a number of ways. For example, by strengthening operating structures and oversight protocols to help keep everything — and everyone — on track.

Better yet, partners can help you develop a project scope statement: a single source of truth that outlines roles and responsibilities across all stages of the project. Without strategic interventions like these, projects can all too easily get derailed. 

3. operational gaps

For companies undergoing business improvement or transformation projects, there are a thousand moving pieces to take into account — people, assets, services, contracts and more. During M&A activities, for instance, many companies find they need to hire for roles that hadn't even existed on their org charts before. But that's where gap analysis — and strategic partners — come into play. 


Done right, a gap analysis can offer your business benefits that go way beyond enhanced efficiency or optimal resource allocation. That's because, by comprehensively identifying at-risk areas, a gap analysis becomes a blueprint for the development of highly structured improvement frameworks later on. As such, it can be not only diagnostic, but forward-looking and preventative as well. 

By conducting rigorous gap analyses, implementing benchmarks and increasing visibility into processes, project management consultants can contribute business value and ensure you see maximum ROI.  

key takeaways

Project management expertise can make or break business transformation projects and other strategic initiatives. At critical moments in the business life cycle, you need to have these skilled professionals on hand — but that's an area where many companies are struggling today. 

Strategic partners like Tatum can help. Whether you need solutions for a project requiring specialized skills, or if you're trying to execute a complicated initiative with strategic implications, the project management consulting experts at Tatum have you covered.

Ready to find out why we've been leaders in this field for more than 20 years? Reach out to us today to start the conversation.