Defending Your Workforce from Political Delays

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.

You can’t eliminate organizational politics, but you can reduce the damage they cause. Yes, politics can be good--and being good at politics can be even better. But if people use politics to interfere with your project directly or indirectly, you must come to your project’s defense.

What Reacting Is
In a project, politics keep workers reacting to unplanned events, situations and pronouncements instead of acting appropriately to complete the project. “Reacting” is seen when teams try to meet the needs of a bully of a stakeholder, or how they fall into disarray when their responsibilities are usurped by someone outside the team, or how delays in deliverables appear as leaders in conflict impede progress.

Workers are supposed to be producing a set of deliverables by following a process defined by the organization. If there is interference with the process or deliverables due to politics, you must respond effectively as a supportive leader.

Don’t React Yourself
Don’t focus on how you or everyone feels about the political games. You’ll miss the opportunity to focus on what needs to be done to get your project back on track. Don’t accept the limited options that seem to be foisted upon you or your workforce by the situation.

Do Change the Point of Interaction
One tactic when faced with a political issue is to …

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Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

- Robert Frost