If you're a project manager, you probably deal with a lot of frustration—and you are not alone. Seven out of 10 organizations surveyed experience at least one project failure in a year. To make matters worse, nearly four out of five software development project professionals say that the business side is "usually" or "always" out of sync with project requirements. And only 40 percent of change-management executives say IT projects generally meet schedule, budget and quality-based goals. So what factors contribute to these issues? The top culprit appears to be giving project teams work that has nothing to do with the project itself, according to a recent survey from Janco Associates. In addition, there are an assortment of unrealistic expectations, time pressures, staffing shortfalls and inadequate tech resources, findings reveal. Clearly, IT projects need leadership that combines technology savvy with effective business-focused oversight to successfully navigate these hurdles. Following are the top challenges facing project managers, according to nearly 180 IT project managers who took part in the research. All of them have at least one year of experience in managing teams with at least five members.
By virtually any standard, Pope Francis has become a beloved and effective world leader. He lives in a modest guesthouse instead of the Apostolic Palace. He wears the same cross he wore when he was a cardinal. And he gave up the famed Mercedes-Benz Popemobile in favor of a 30-year-old Renault. More important, his words and actions have gained favor with a broad range of global citizens, regardless of their faith. The book Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis (Amacom/available in September) frames the life and accomplishments of the pope in the context of today's business environment. Author Jeffrey Krames explains how the pope's humble yet candid approach can be easily adopted by business leaders who need to engage their staff in order to effectively accomplish organizational goals. While Pope Francis is a very likeable figure, history will ultimately evaluate him based on what he accomplishes. The following nine takeaways for IT team leaders are adapted from the lessons highlighted in the book. Krames is CEO and president of JK Literary Services, a publishing and literary agency specializing in leadership, management and business books.