The Virtue of Patience

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

“What is going on here?”

That is the question in your mind early on in the Control phase after a key customer service team manager accuses you of inappropriate interference in his process, which--for your edification--happens to be “a key strategic priority.” This is the latest example of a series of communication breakdowns and a pitifully slow project performance ramp-up. You have simply been following your charter and great gantthead-based project management practices, so…I repeat…what is going on here?

When you are in a project that is part of a large organizational change, there is a generally predictable response from employees as a whole. It doesn’t matter whether the change is replacing an old clunky system with a major new efficient system or creating support for a new corporate service or integrating a merger or acquisition. You get a predictable response as the organization gradually progresses from anxiety to acceptance to participation.

But this organizational response is an amalgam of the response of individuals--the individuals you work with. For you as a project manager, the problem is that you are trying to complete your project collaborating with these individuals, who--depending on how long after the change was announced--may appear disoriented, stressed out, confused, irrational, stubborn, unstable, …

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If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers

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