Have you ever wondered what separates the good from the great when it comes to project managers? Simply put, the way a project manager handles problems when they inevitably rear their ugly heads is what separates the so-so from the great project managers. Have a look at these six weak-signals in your project’s environment.

1. Team members aren’t aware of what their responsibilities are – A great project manager lets all team members know who is responsible for what. He/she doesn’t wait until the last minute. A great project manager will also lay out expectations.

2. Key personnel pulled off the project either temporarily or permanently – A great project manager treats key personnel as resources. There are a few ways of dealing with this situation. The easiest way, by far, would be to speak to management about how removing a vital team member might delay the project.

3. Missing deadlines – A great project manager avoids deadlines by giving each team member specific deadlines for their role in the project. A trick that you must keep up your sleeve is to assign dates that are much earlier than when you need their contributions. Doing this gives you plenty of time to fix an issue if it presents itself.

4. Scope creep – Changes which affect requirements usually do a great job of stopping projects. Good project managers need to make it their duty to document a change as well as validate the impact that the change brings and find a solution. However, great project managers will not simply react to changes but will do proactive risk and quality management the whole way through.

5. Being unaware of problems or potential problems – An important step that must be taken to avoid this situation is to have weekly status meetings with team members. This will ensure that everything is being achieved as per schedule and will also allow everyone to come up with a plan of action should any issues arise.

6. Collaborating with team members residing in different locations and time zones – A great project manager will turn a decentralized team to his/her advantage. A decentralized team can be unified with a mobile collaboration tool. A mobile collaboration tool is a game changer for project managers.

There are plenty of weak signals that you can follow monthly in your project’s environment. However, these are the main ones you should be looking at fixing.