Project Management

Let Me Help You With That...

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 Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Project management can be lonely. You have to manage the work and lead the team, and no one else fully understands what you’re going through. Sure, team members are there to support you, but they have their own work to do—and you can’t let them know all of the concerns and challenges you face because that might undermine their confidence and belief.

If you’re a new PM, that loneliness can be even worse. Not only are you managing the project on your own, you don’t have a lot of experience to rely on to help you succeed. When someone offers to help, it can seem like a lifeline.

That person may be the sponsor or another senior stakeholder, it may be another PM in the organization who is trying to look out for you, or maybe someone from the PMO. Perhaps it’s even your line manager. Regardless of who it is, there will be times when you need help, and having someone available to offer it is going to be a huge benefit. But you need to be careful.

No matter how tempting it is to leverage help from others—and no matter how often and willingly that help is offered—you have to restrict your use of it. At the end of the day, you need to develop as a project manager, and you won’t be able to do that effectively if you rely too much on other people.

Managing help
That doesn’t mean you should turn down any assistance …

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