The Wheel That Gets the Grease

Brad Egeland is an IT/project management consultant and author with over 25 years of software development, management and project management experience leading initiatives in manufacturing, government contracting, gaming and hospitality, retail operations, aviation and airline, pharmaceutical, start-ups, healthcare, higher education, not-for-profit, high-tech, engineering and general IT.

When your team members are simultaneously working on other projects, answering to other managers, focus can understandably drift — and critical tasks can get shortchanged. Here are five ways to keep shared resources fully engaged on your project.

On larger, long-term projects, one of the biggest challenges we face as project managers is keeping our teams engaged and focused on the current tasks at hand. In my experience, this issue doesn’t arise because my team members are disinterested or irresponsible. On the contrary, it often can be traced to the simple fact that we’re all working on three or four different ongoing projects at the same time.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Likewise, the project that has a critical task or deadline at the moment — and a project manager who is being the most adamant about it — is likely the project that shared resources are going to give the greatest amount of attention and effort.
In order to keep your project a priority, it’s critical that your team is focused on the goals and mission throughout its duration. How do you do that? Well, if another project is more critical to the organization or experiencing show-stopping problems, there’s not much you can (or should) do. In all other cases, here are five ways to help keep those…

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"When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us."

- Alexander Graham Bell