What separates an amateur from a professional is not a lack of mistakes or problems. Instead, it is the ability to recover from these mistakes and move forward in achieving your goal. In project management, complications are a major part of the process. These problems can leave even the most battle-tested project managers curled up under a desk in the fetal position. Check out our list of 10 Things Everyone Hates About Project Management and get a glimpse at some of the solutions we’ve found for each.

1. No Control

Nothing puts a damper on project management like waiting on a third (or fourth, or fifth) party to finish their part of a job. Regain control by working with a single-source partner for your project management. The days of unanswered emails and phone calls straight to voicemail can be history.

2. Finding Suppliers

Anyone can find a supplier. With over 30,000,000 active companies in the United States (120,000,000 worldwide!) there is no shortage of potential partners. However, this abundance creates a new set of problems. Locating the best supplier for the job is harder than ever. Having a partner you can trust in each facet of your project is a must. Gaining referrals from other providers is a great way to sift through the surplus and find the perfect company.

3. Delays at Port or In-Transit

Sometimes delays are unavoidable. Storms along the coasts of the United States are becoming burlier each year. If your cargo is delayed because of mother nature there isn’t much to do for anyone involved. Reducing delays caused by human error are easier to control if you have the right transportation provider. If your TSP has a solid strategy for loading and unloading your materials will always meet your deadlines. This is an invaluable asset when phase planning is tight. At the very least, your provider should offer timely updates on vessel pick-ups, vessel transit times, and deliveries.

4. Balancing the Budget

We know. The struggle is real. Often, balancing the budget can seem like an impossible feat. As you watch your margin slowly seep from the corner of each invoice and quote, find comfort in the fact that – you are not alone. Issues with budget and funding is the number one pain point we see for project managers in every industry. Finding a trusted partner, who will fight for your right to make money, is essential for hitting your revenue sweet spot. The Approved Freight projects team works collaboratively with each of our clients to

5. Unforeseen Costs

The number one killer for any budget is an unforeseen cost. Not knowing your terms and conditions, and not understanding your full scope of work before beginning a project sets a fast track for failure.

6. Problems with Manpower

Does the success of your project hinge on 1 or 2 individual pieces? Are those pieces, in fact, humans? Humans with families, pets, commutes and the common cold? It might not happen on this project or the next, but relying too heavily on one asset can spell disaster. Find a partner that has a large network of assets to help relieve the pressure caused by one or two workers calling in sick. This way those who have fallen ill can take a sick day without guilt and recover more quickly.

7. Finding Storage

A good warehousing solution is hard to find. We see clients struggling to acquire adequate floor space for their project materials. Especially in locations like Hawaii, Guam, and Alaska, warehouse space is like water in the desert. Hard to find and desperately needed. But like a mirage, warehouses in Hawaii can often be deceiving. Enough space but in a poor location. Great location but the prices are too high. A warehouse space that seems like the perfect solution can quickly milk your cash flow dry.

8. Securing Proper Permits

Time after time we see companies get tripped up by missing permits and documentation. A gung-ho project manager will miss some fine print and a job site is left quiet and stagnant. Cut through the red tape by planning efficiently before beginning your project. A good strategy will help you cruise through to completion.

9. Lack of Visibility

An inability to track and trace where your materials are is one of the most frustrating difficulties of project management. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most regular issues we see at Approved Freight. Choosing a partner who gives you access to your data in real-time will help any project become more efficient. For a manager who is phase planning remotely, tracking and tracing of freight, storage, and materials stock is vital to success.

10. Scheduling Transportation

As a freight company, this is one of the more prevalent challenges we face. Often, a project manager will come to us when he or she is at the end of their proverbial rope. Complex deadlines, conflicting dates, and subpar performances from transportation companies are the cause of intense headaches. Instead of waiting until it’s too late, try collaborating with a trusted 3PL partner at the beginning. If your transportation provider is involved in the planning stages better schedules can be built. Better scheduling means a stronger likelihood of success for the project.


So there you have it. Those were 10 of the most common things everyone hates about project management. However, their commonality means there are solutions. While the problems themselves might never disappear, there are more efficient ways to deal with them than hiding under your desk. So go forth and start planning your next project with confidence and grit – we’ll be here when you need us.


The Project Management Center at Approved Freight works every day to find solutions to each of these problems. Schedule a quick introductory survey to help you start planning for your next project

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