Unattainable deadlines are the biggest stumbling block for project managers in 2020

Stumbling blocks project managers 2020

Unattainable deadlines are the biggest stumbling block for project managers in 2020

Unattainable deadlines are the most common reason that Dutch project managers will not complete their projects on time and flawlessly in 2020. This is apparent from a recent survey by Capterra, an Amsterdam-based intermediary party that connects software suppliers and customers. Through the research, Capterra wanted to gain insight into the common stumbling blocks in contemporary project management.

Five main reasons

Based on the survey, Capterra formulated a top five most common stumbling blocks, with unattainable deadlines — the reason cited in 28 percent of surveys — being number one. The top five also consists of a lack of available resources (27 percent), poor organization of various tasks (24 percent), poor cost management (22 percent) and finally poor agility, which is reflected in difficult responses to unexpected problems ( 19 percent).


Not meeting deadlines is, according to the research, the rule rather than the exception for Dutch project managers. Only 8% of respondents say they always meet every deadline. For more than half of the respondents, more than twenty percent of all deadlines are not met.

The research also shows that parties who systematically use project management software experience significantly fewer problems with exceeding deadlines. Such software can provide better insight into how long certain processes or tasks will take, reducing the chance that a deadline is planned unrealistically short.

Preventing problems

According to Capterra, many of the problems identified in the survey are easily preventable. Resource planning software, for example, can better estimate whether subsequent resources have been released to successfully complete a project, and graphically showing a project in a Gantt chart can prevent tasks from being performed poorly (or even not).

Constant budget overruns can also be prevented more often than is currently the case, according to Capterra. Standardizing risk analyzes is a good way to achieve this. Risk management identifies possible risks – such as impending budget problems – in advance, so that they can be responded to immediately. Finally, unexpected setbacks can be dealt with better if an organization is working in an agile way. This method is therefore highly recommended.

219 respondents

The Capterra . survey was recorded among 219 respondents in March 2020. All respondents had final responsibility for at least one project in the past year.

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