Project Management

A Matter of Style Matching

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

A client of mine recently reached out to me for some advice because they were having some issues in replacing a project manager who had decided to leave. There was no great mystery or drama in the project manager’s decision--they just felt as though they needed a change and wanted to take on some new opportunities.

The organization had another PM available who had worked on similar initiatives in the past and now had the bandwidth to take on the role because their other project had recently been cancelled. It seemed like an ideal opportunity to replace one PM with another without the potential disruption caused by having to recruit and manage with interim PMs in the meantime.

However, the decision wasn’t working out very well and the new project manager was taking a lot of the blame for that. Senior team members and stakeholders were expressing concern about the way the project was being managed under the new PM’s control, and the increase in tension was having a negative effect on productivity and engagement. That’s when the client reached out to me to try and help out.

Not all project managers are created equal
It’s easy to look for problems with the replacement project manager in this situation. If the project was proceeding well before the original PM left and is now struggling, the assumption will be that the new PM isn’…

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