Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Giving Proper PM Oversight on the Project - Part 2

~ By Brad Egeland

Man looking to the future making binoculars with his hands

In part 1 of this two-part series on being all we can be as project managers, I covered four of the seven areas or actions from my personal list that I think we, as project managers, can and should focus on. In this second part, I will cover the final three areas in some detail. Please be thinking about your own focus areas, so you can share with the readers here. The goal, as usual, is sharing and learning, so we can all become better managers for our project customers and teams.

Ad-hoc Communication With the Customer

I mentioned before the need for weekly status calls and the delivery of weekly status reports and revised project plans and schedules. That's a given. However, the real communication with your project team, as well as with the customer's project team, often happens through ad-hoc communications. This can be by phone, IM, email, etc. This is where the quick, but critical, status alerts happen. As the project manager, you must be prepared to share risks, bad news, alerts, and changes, among other things, with the customer in a timely manner (after, of course, verifying all information and clearing critical information with executive management). This will gain customer trust and help to ensure that evasive action is taken as quickly as possible when problems arise. It's never okay or a good option to bury your head in the sand.

Be an Activist for Your Project Team

As the PM, one of your primary objectives is to remove any roadblocks your project team members encounter. For example, if you have a business analyst onsite performing a design walkthrough with the customer and the server is down, you must be ready to get your IT support staff on it and escalate it to the necessary executive to get the server up and running. This is just one example, but the general idea is that being proactive is a key to customer success and satisfaction.

Keep the Executives Out of It

My belief is that your tenure as a PM is directly tied to how many problems and project drudgeries you can handle without needing help from your senior management. The absolute worst thing you can have is your C-level executives or PMO director finding out about project problems from your project customer and not from you. Proactively dealing with the customer, swift information dissemination to the customer and to your executive staff, and aggressive issue resolution and action will give you the greatest job security. If you hear from your CEO on your current project, you want him or her to be congratulating you on the project or latest milestone delivery, not questioning you about a problem that he or she heard through the customer and not directly from you. Ouch!

Summary

This is far from an all-inclusive list, but it is my list. Please share your thoughts on ways to help ensure success on your projects and stay relevant and in the best light as a leader in your PM organisation.


Comments (1)

Topic: Giving Proper PM Oversight on the Project - Part 2
5/5 (1)
Gravatar
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
25th August 2014 1:09pm
Duncan Haughey (London) says...
Nice article Brad. I agree with your last point, you should keep Executives out of the project as far as possible and escalation should be a last resort. I've had many occasions where project issues looked like they were going to be escalated because agreement couldn't be reached. I've always pushed back and strived for a resolution because personally, I think it's bad for your career as a PM to escalate project issues that an Executive might consider trivial. Never escalate something to an Executive that you can solve yourself just because you can't get your team to agree on a resolution.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
1500
Enter the fifth word of this sentence.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Top Three Causes of Project Failure

Businessman in a black suit holding up a white sign reading failed

The top three causes of project failure, which if addressed will greatly increase the chances of project success.

Demand a Strong Project Plan

Gantt chart

What to look for to advance your consulting projects from contract to execution.

How to Initiate a Six Sigma Project

Six Sigma diagram scheme concept

Although one cannot have a project-specific vision right from the very beginning of a Six Sigma initiative, you can develop a comprehensive viewpoint.

How Agile Practices Reduce Requirements Risks

Road warning sign - Risks Ahead

Every software project carries some risk, but many of these risks can be mitigated. That's true of problems related to product requirements.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Justin Thresher commented on…
SMART Goals
- Sat 10 December 3:04am

Samara Grantham commented on…
12 Tips for Being a Good Manager
- Thu 1 December 2:46pm

Adolfina commented on…
Introduction to Project Management
- Mon 21 November 9:52am

Latest tweets

November’s Top 10 Inbound Marketing Must-Reads https://t.co/uz0mRNbVzz about 1 day ago

General Project Management • Re: Prioritising Change Requests https://t.co/hZ2PBgxtLN #projectsmart #pmot about 4 days ago

General Project Management • Re: Project Resource Challenges https://t.co/ITT5p6Pnje #projectsmart #pmot about 4 days ago