How to Overcome Uncertainty in Project Management After Your MBA Degree

May 18, 2021

Manage risks and reduce uncertainty

symbolic pic for an MBA in Project Management
Taking on an MBA program provides students with valuable insights that boost efficiency.

Project management requires a wide variety of skills, including the ability to handle responsibilities and make big decisions. Before starting a project, managers must consider multiple factors that can influence progress and end-results. However, unexpected situations can still arise despite previous planning and preparation.

Understanding risks and knowing how to successfully manage uncertainty are important skills that project managers need to develop. Uncertainty can be defined as any aspect of a project that leads to a wide range of possible outcomes. By relying on specific methods to address these outcomes, project managers can prepare in advance to resolve obstacles. This blog post will explore how project managers can face uncertainty and work towards accomplishing their goals more confidently. 

Understanding Risk Management and its Relation to Uncertainty

In order to overcome uncertainty, project managers must understand how to manage risks. Risks are considered unplanned factors that can either positively or negatively impact a project - calling for strategies that either maximize or minimize effects respectively. Whether they are working with known risks or unknown risks, project managers must adapt and develop methods that help them reach their goals. These methods can include relying on a contingency plan for known risks or using a management reserve to handle unknown risks.

Ultimately, managing these situations limits unanticipated factors and serves to reduce uncertainty. Skilled project managers rely on their knowledge and experience to analyze projects, preventing or adapting to uncertainty by developing extra measures whenever the need arises. For example, looking at decision milestones can give project managers an idea of what to expect in the future - providing an insight into potential obstacles before they become an actual problem.

pic of an mba program student making a decision
Project managers can carefully analyze their projects in order to reduce uncertainty.

Skills and Actions that Can Help with Reducing and Managing Uncertainty

Students taking an MBA program know that successful project managers need to possess certain abilities, like multitasking or organization skills. These skills are particularly useful when handling uncertainty since the end result is typically left unclear. Being able to focus on different tasks and knowing how to organize information can provide necessary structure that makes anticipating uncertainty much easier. 

It should be noted that working with a small number of factors can help reduce uncertainty. Having a simple project with a fixed scope can be easier to manage than larger projects with shifting scopes and schedules. In these cases, it’s important to analyze what can be controlled - developing alternative measures for the other factors. Here, it can be useful to allot extra time in a schedule to address these uncertainties. Alternatively, employees may receive additional training that enables them to respond quickly and efficiently whenever unexpected situations occur.

pic of a person with an mba in project management working on a pc
Understanding the project's scope can help project managers overcome uncertainty.

How an MBA in Project Management Improves Your Skills

Even though risks and uncertainty often go together, they are easily confused and misunderstood. Project managers working to reduce risks can employ response plans and risk strategies that directly address their concerns. However, that is not the case with uncertainty - since not enough information is available to do so. As a result, being proactive and flexible while also knowing how to analyze a project and restructure its tasks are essential skills.   

Taking an MBA in project management can help project managers improve their efficiency and productivity. Students learn how to incorporate key tools and techniques into their projects, gaining valuable insight on how to develop alternative project plans along with iterative, agile, and hybrid approaches to project management.

Are you interested in earning your MBA degree?

Contact WU Executive Academy for more information!

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