Imagine for a moment your organization has decided on a major restructure, and as a consequence has initiated a change-management process and appointed a change
The change manager develops the business case for a major program of work. The executives responsible for the organization's portfolio management approve the business case and agree to fund and resource the program.
The program manager sets up the program management team, establishes the program
management office and charters a series of projects to develop the various deliverables needed to implement the change. And you have been appointed project manager for one of the projects.
In this situation, your life as a project manager would be fairly straightforward; you have direct-line management responsibility to the program manager, and the change manager is your project sponsor. The program management office looks after most of the issues of sourcing adequate funds and resources.
All you have to do is deliver the project's outputs as defined in the project charter.
However, part of your project ideally needs the cooperative input from a group of people
who will be significantly disadvantaged by the overall reorganization. This group is led by a 20-year veteran of the organization, whom we will call Mary. At the moment, Mary's loyalties are divided--at one level she wants what's best for the organization she has worked for all her life, but she also wants to preserve her team and keep the status quo.
Fortunately, you have enough domain knowledge in your team to bypass her input and produce the deliverables anyway. So what should you do?
Option one is to work to get Mary and her team's input--if not their positive cooperation--but risk delaying your project's completion and overspending the budget.
Option two is to use the knowledge you already have in the team to produce the deliverable and bypass the problem, thereby ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery. This option also minimizes the chance of Mary interfering in the overall work of the project and program.
What would be your recommendation to the program manager? Option one, two or something different? Post your thoughts in the "comments" section and we shall draw some conclusions in my next post.