Previously a letter from project managers to team members was featured here on pmStudent (https://pmstudent.com/dear-project-team-members/). It seems only fair to feature a reply from the hard working team members who make project completion possible.
Dear Project Managers,
Thank you so much for your open letter to us, it is always good to get to know you and to understand your expectations. You are right, “We are all in this together”. Here are some things that as your team members we would like you to know. Perhaps we can even dedicate some team meeting time to have an open discussion about expectations.
1) Your project is also our project. If we have not started working on something yet, it is not because we do not think your project is important. If the person who writes our performance appraisal gives us another assignment to do first, guess what? We need to follow their direction first. We don’t like it anymore than you do.
2) We understand that you need our status reports on time. It would be truly awesome if you could all agree on the same status report template. Or even better if you could all share the same status report, so that we only have to create one status each week. It can be very challenging to create multiple status reports, one for each project manager and another for our functional managers.
3) We know that you are frequently handed an impossible deadline. No amount of wishful thinking is going to reduce our estimates. Of course we will do our best to meet those crazy deadlines, but if we could alter the space and time continuum we might just be doing something else for a living.
4) We tell you about issues because we want you to help resolve those issues NOT just because you are a good listener.
5) We know you attend about a zillion meetings and you are allowed to have a life. Please do not make us look for you. Let us know the best way to reach you when we have questions and concerns. Wouldn’t it be better if instead of trying to find you, we spent that time working toward meeting that impossible deadline?
6) We would prefer to attend as few meetings as possible. We love it when you start and end meetings on time, stick to an agenda and value our time. It is wonderful when you are able to attend meetings and then bring information from those meetings back to us. Which leads us to number 7.
7) Share information with us. Don’t hide important information from us. We are capable of discerning which information impacts our work. Do not think that we do not want to be bothered by the details. We are the ones whose work requires those details. It really bothers us when you try to make this decision for us.
8) We really appreciate a good, strong project manager. When we work well together and you facilitate and coordinate and run interference for us, we can concentrate on the work we really enjoy and the work that we do best. The end result is that we all experience success together.
Wow, we feel so much better to have all this out in the open.
With our sincere admiration,