Don’t Be An Island

Filed under Leadership | Posted by PMStudent
Don't Be An Island - by ??m?? ?m?? via Flickr

Don't Be An Island - by ??m?? ?m?? via Flickr

Some comments here on recently have reminded me of how crucial it is to involve the right people when managing projects.

Here’s an example of a reply from Glen B. Alleman:

“In the Risk Management guidance ALL team members are in the risk identification business”

This is true for just about everything else on your projects too.

Don’t Make Plans On Your Island

Tempting - by Hamed Saber via Flickr

Tempting - by Hamed Saber via Flickr

It’s tempting.

“If I do all this planning myself, then my team can focus on their work!”

Don’t do it.

You need your project team engaged. ?They need to provide their expert input. ?You can generate a sense of ownership over commitments they have made. ?So many times when I used to be a developer, this was a common conversation right after conference calls or meetings where the project plan was dictated from on high by the PM:

“Is he joking? ?There’s no way we can meet that schedule.”

“Why didn’t you say anything? ?You were bobbing your head up and down in there like it was reasonable.”

“Hey, if he doesn’t even care enough to ask for my input when dreaming this stuff up, so be it. ?I’ll probably be on that other project that’s starting up in about 4 months anyway.”

Don’t Make Decisions On Your Island

Island decision making

Island decision making

This is a key complaint I have heard over and over from developers and other project team members who write to me in frustration. ?They are fed up with their project managers and are about ready to mutiny.

When you boss wants you to commit to an accelerated due date, or see if your project team can do something “extra” what should your response be?

How about “Let us look into that” or “Let me check with my project team” or “I’ll need to consult with my leads”.

Don’t Change Your Mind On Your Island

every day my boss changes his mind...

every day my boss changes his mind...

Change is hard on project teams. ?Sure, your scope is GOING to change during your project. ?It happens. ?But be sure there is a solid configuration management process in place so that proposed changes receive the proper scrutiny.

It should be a group of project stakeholders, including some of the project team, who help decide what changes are in the project’s best interests.

It’s extremely painful for project team members when they have to be taken out of their flow to replan work and change directions all the time.

What else? ?There are tons more. ?Leave your thoughts below.

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