As the Project Manager (PM), there is one aspect that is applicable to all of the projects I have come across – none of them are exactly the same in terms of the challenges that they offer. The projects might share similarities in the case of the industries, technologies that are used to work on them, and the workflows that are meant to be followed, yet there will always be details that will differentiate them. Every project, therefore, requires applying the proper approach, which has to be developed based on multiple variables to deal with any obstacles that might appear.

Quick Jump

1. Requirements and Priorities

Setting up goals and requirements for the project is part of the challenges that are especially important at the very beginning. Proper communication with the client at the early stage is something that should be considered equally crucial. The method that is highly effective in these terms is organizing workshops (eCommerce workshops in BitBag); conducting such meetings before starting any development work is very helpful in defining and prioritizing project goals. It allows the project manager, development team, and client to align the vision of the future website. It is during the workshops that we can better understand the project’s business goals, prepare the list of objectives and necessary functionalities, and prepare a ground for building the backlog.

Such meetings also allow us to understand the timelines for the project. Clients often have deadlines in mind from the beginning, and it is during the workshops that we get familiar with these deadlines in more detail, which, in the end, helps the project manager and the team to prepare the workflow as effectively as possible to meet them. Properly executed workshops ensure project alignment; if the important details are not shared and agreed on during such meetings, it might lead to problems later on during the project. Listing the requirements in a clear form before starting the project allows for a proper understanding of the essence of the project, including the requirements regarding who should be involved (at the appropriate stage) and the whole development plan

In addition to establishing the details listed above, the topic of priorities should also be addressed at the initial stage of any project, which allows you to arrange such elements as deadlines, budget or technologies to be used in the appropriate hierarchy. Each element of the potential order can affect each of the others; for example, the time to complete the project may be the most important, but it might affect the technology options in the result; therefore, it is good practice to specify the right order in cooperation with the client and the development team.

All of the things mentioned are important not only for the PM and the team that will work on the project but also for the client, who will be able to verify whether he has not omitted anything important. This is a big challenge for everyone, but it is crucial to conduct these processes properly at the initial stage of cooperation.

2. Communication

As mentioned earlier, proper communication between the clients, project manager, and the development team is a vital aspect, and preparing an effective method to conduct the project is equally important. If done well, it will lead to great collaboration and build trust between all sides, ultimately leading to the project’s success. However, if done poorly, it will lead to conflicts, misunderstandings on every side of the project, differences in prioritizing tasks, and many other problems. 

In order to do it properly, efficient communication channels have to be established at the very beginning to ensure that no obstacle is blocking contact between all parties. It is also very important to make sure that the development team is going in the right direction, which is aligning with the client’s expectations; this requires effort from all sides, and it is the project manager’s responsibility to make sure that all of the sides put much effort into the project.

Building the correct way of communication between the PM, the team, and the client (using appropriate tools) is one of the biggest challenges when working on a project. Frequently, there are moments when consultation and approval are required for a particular task. When this process is efficient and swift, it facilitates prompt action and avoids delays.

In an ideal scenario, developing good communication happens immediately, but sometimes it takes time to perfect the process. Understanding on all sides plays a key role here, but it is the PM’s responsibility to facilitate this understanding.

3. Risk Management

Even if the project was properly planned from the start, the communication channels have been established, the communication is flawless, and the project’s first days are going exactly as planned, it is always important for a project manager to assess risks at all times. Identifying risks and managing them requires constant observation and examination of the project by the project manager; whether the risks concern the development team, the technology the team is using, objectives, the stakeholders, or anything else, the project manager should be able to properly assess the risks and, if possible, work on minimizing the chance of potential issues. 

Observing risk factors requires the PM not only to efficiently use the tools used to run the project but also to develop an appropriate method of communication (mentioned earlier) with both the team and the client. Nonetheless, aspects like an appropriate understanding of the project, the elements it consists of, and the specificity of the sample functionalities the team is working on are required to prevent unexpected problems. The challenges created by risk assessment are different, but proper planning of activities can make project problems avoidable before they can occur.

4. QA Process

Testing and quality assurance during the project development phase should also be of big concern for the project manager. Creating new functionalities is one thing, but they also require proper testing before they can be presented to the client. Although project managers are not responsible for the QA work themselves, it is their responsibility to establish a proper flow of the QA process, which would be explained accurately to the development team, the tester himself, and the client. 

Attentively planning and executing testing phases, reacting to the bug situation, and applying needed resources to deal with them are things that should be organized by the project manager. Although the internal organization of such flow is important, it is also crucial to explain it to the client and inform whether a certain asset is ready for a client review. Planning the QA process accordingly and developing new functionalities can be one of the challenges during the eCommerce project. If all of the details are not discussed and established with all parties, it might result in failing to provide deliverables for the client in time or providing them in an unfinished state.

However, if the flow is properly developed, consulted with the team and the client, and understood by each party, it can make the challenge of the QA process smooth and effective. This will result in potential errors being dealt with quickly, and the client will be fully aware of the status of the project and the amount of work required to complete a specific element.

5. Integrations

Integrations are also something that might prove challenging during work on the eCommerce project. Such projects often involve integrations between complex systems and technologies such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, inventory management systems, payment gateways, and third-party APIs. The project manager’s responsibility is to align properly with the development team and decide on the right approach for such integrations. When considering implementing an external system to the existing setup, it’s important to read through the documentation for the various technologies involved carefully. This helps you figure out how much effort it will take to integrate these systems to perform a specific task within a website and what kind of problems you might have to solve as a result. 

When considering implementing an external system to the existing setup, it’s important for the project manager to examine the documentation together with the development team carefully. This helps one to figure out how much effort it will take to integrate these systems to perform a specific task within a project and what kind of problems one might have to solve as a result.

Familiarizing oneself with the documentation can be time-consuming (but it doesn’t have to be); however, the time spent acquiring the relevant information is well justified, as it reduces the chance of encountering unexpected difficulties along the development path.

6. Feedback application

Client feedback during the development phase should always be considered while completing the project. Even though the initial phase during which the requirements are specified can prove helpful enough to ensure the work will go in the right direction, there is also an aspect of the client’s feedback. The PM is responsible for preparing the right way to collect such data from the client, efficiently transferring such information to the team, and ensuring it is applied to the project scope during the development phase. 

This is connected to the communication aspect mentioned in the earlier part of this blog. It is important to use the communication channels effectively, but in the case of feedback, these ways of conveying information sometimes might need to be extended. For a project, it is recommended that the PM effectively gather information from the client regarding potential changes/corrections. Then, one can confront this information with the team to make sure it is feasible given the budget and deadline. In the first case, the PM’s duty in such a situation is to confront the feedback with the information one has and with the information one can acquire from the team, assess whether it is possible to implement the proposed changes, and then educate the client on possible options and jointly determine whether the feedback should be implemented. 

If this communication is done correctly (with the correct use of the mentioned tools and with proper contact with the team and the customer), there is a high chance that the feedback will be properly implemented. There are situations where the feedback is definitely beyond the team’s ability to implement changes (taking into account, for example, the aforementioned budget or deadlines).

In such a situation, a discussion is required within the team to determine possible options, taking into account existing limits and then communicating the result of the discussion to the client.  Such feedback, working the other way around in this case, very often allows one to find an effective solution to the situation.


The above points clearly show that the most demanding challenges PMs face are interrelated and can be overcome with a set of the same skills. This is primarily the ability to analyze data, an experience that facilitates the selection of appropriate tools, the ability to observe changing variables accurately, and proper interpersonal skills. When all these skills are at the appropriate level, it significantly helps (but does not fully guarantee) that the project will be successful. 

Even though the project manager impacts many aspects of the project, creating a robust eCommerce website requires input and commitment from all parties working on the project to overcome any challenges.