Project Management

Delivering in the Strategy Spotlight

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.

When an organization asks a project manager to lead a business-critical, strategic project, you can be fairly certain that the PM is held in high regard by that organization. You don’t put your most important projects into the hands of an inexperienced or unproven project manager because that just adds to the risks for the initiative. The decision to appoint a project manager to such projects is a vote of confidence, a public recognition that the PM consistently delivers results.

But it doesn’t always feel that way, does it? When it comes to implementing strategy, there are more stakeholders second-guessing every project decision than ever. Everyone is concerned that the team is making a mistake, has forgotten something critical, is not going to deliver successfully, etc.

And of course, the project manager is at the heart of all of that. At a time when they are being asked to deliver one of the most important projects of their career personally—and one of the most important initiatives for their employer—they are under constant external pressure and questioning.

So how do you balance this as a PM? How do you help your team stay focused on its work in such a challenging environment? How do you ensure you don’t succumb to the pressure of being in charge of a high-profile project? How do you keep those stakeholders at bay when they have …

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"One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

- Bertrand Russell