How To Reduce Project Stress

Projects are stressful, but project stress can leave your team feeling exhausted and incapable of completing a project on time.

Rather than reacting to problems, which builds more project stress, use these seven techniques to reduce project stress proactively.

1. Reduce Project Stress by Keeping Planning as Simple as Possible

Having a detailed schedule and plan is critical to the success of a project, but you can make a schedule too complicated to follow. All planning processes and activities should be as simple as possible and only include pertinent information. This will help everyone stay on the same page and know what needs to be accomplished.

2. Develop Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflicts are not limited to problems between workers. Conflicts may arise between different parts of your project. For example, welding may need to take place at the same time as plumbing, but only one team is available to handle both jobs. Your conflict resolution skills can be applied to nonhuman issues by evaluating what is most important and why both sides need to be considered.

3. Know How to Avoid Scope Creep

Scope creep is the producer of project stress. It increases workloads and makes deadlines difficult to meet. As a project management professional, you should manage scope creep at all times. Some scope creep is acceptable, but you must learn when to refuse to expand project scope. This will help keep your team on track and in accordance with your budget.

4. Avoid Assigning Resources That May Be Unavailable

It is easy to stretch resources during the planning of a project. Yet, stretched resources increase the risk of problems and delays, which will increase project stress. Avoid assigning resources unless you are certain they will be available.

5. Determine Who Is Responsible for Each Task, and Hold Assigned Parties Accountable

Assign responsibilities to members of your project management team, and make sure these parties are held accountable. This may include tracking key performance indicators for the team and percentage of assignments completed. By sharing responsibility, your project will be more agile and resistant to stress.

6. Avoid Reminiscing, and Learn Lessons Quickly

When a problem arises, it is easy to reminisce on the past. However, every moment spent thinking about what could have been changed will only cause additional delays to your project. Determine what went led to a problem and how to avoid it in the future. In other words, learn something from each failure as quickly as possible.

7. Look at Problems From an Outsider’s Perspective

In your project, you may be too close to see how problems and stress evolve. Try to look at your project from an outsider’s perspective to determine what is contributing to project stress. This may include requesting feedback from your team members about your performance as a project management professional as well.

Learning how to reduce project stress is one of the best ways of increasing employee engagement and satisfaction throughout the project. You need to start following these seven steps today to help keep your project stress in check.

Key Things to Remember

  • Do not over complicate your plans.
  • Learn how to manage conflicts.
  • Avoid scope creep, and only allocate available resources.
  • Hold team members accountable for assigned responsibilities.
  • Learn from project mistakes, but do not dwell on them.

Look at problems as if you were just starting to work on your project.