Project Management

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From the Project Confusion in Transition Management Blog
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Projects are about transition from one state to a desirably better state. Management is often viewed as a source of confusion. So lets break down the confusion and build up the means for transition to meaningful deliveries.

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A project manager confided she was distressed by complaints from her project teammates and customers; and being bogged down with increasing workloads. Her peers complained about how people on the project relate to one another, and customers throwing tantrums at her and the team without regards for courtesy. Because she engages people on their gripes, she has realized that she dealt with people issues more than in clearing her own work. How should she recover and move forward?

TBH, I tend to think there isn’t a generic answer. I’d say she should have Started off on the right foot at the start of the project. That's harsh :-P .. There should be experience from running projects and lessons learned from past projects  if not by herself, from others on and outside her project team. (In this KA, in assessing stakeholders at the start of a project). Regardless, she is already in the situation. A way forward could be to Ease off from the noise. Gradually change her approach or style in managing her project.

There are many resources and professional help, out there to maybe resolve or deal with the specifics of her predicaments; I’d suggest to –

  1. Set expectations on how you'd do your work, e.g. what working framework, ITTO approach, etc. you may lead the project team to adopt and adapt. This includes how you’d manage people – such as do you set goals together with the team and let them do their work. Or do you mostly set goals autocratically and micromanage. Most importantly, do you communicate with clarity and manage expectations consistently.
  2. Set guiding principles for success that will help the team in making decisions collectively, e.g. letting subject matter experts do the talking instead of channelling communications through the project manager or office. This is particularly important for your role – do you work on removing impediments and help the team pave ways forward, or do you mostly spend time as a postmaster and fact finding what went wrong. 

It is a commendable principle and practice, by and large, to be attentive, to listen more and acknowledge what was said. In the context of work and that of a project, perhaps conversations ought to weigh in more on what the time is meant for work lah. While it is virtuous to be human, it can be said there is a right time for the right conversation. Be firm, suggest a time and place for casual chats (if you can, make the time). 

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I find it helpful, to steer clear from –

  • Characters and emotions.
  • Talking about personal desires and affairs while at work.
  • Unacceptable actions e.g. hiding information because of mistakes, past decisions, bad feedback, etc.
Posted on: May 10, 2022 01:57 AM | Permalink

Comments (7)

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St├ęphane Parent Self Employed / Semi-retired| Leader Maker Prince Edward Island, Canada
Sometimes the communication channel is the source of the problem. Have you ever noticed how people will say something on social media or an email that they would never otherwise state in a face-to-face conversation? Favour synchronous over asynchronous communication channels.

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Michael Hilbert Director of Project Management| TuWay Communications Bethlehem, Pa, USA
Setting the expectations for the team and the project at the start is a great suggestion, however people will be people and stuff is going to happen. We need to balance empathy and listening to team with sole focus on the goal / outcome of the project. Sometimes, that is simply part of being a leader.

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Elok Robert Tee Project Manager| ST Engineering Electronics Pasir Ris, Singapore
Synchronous communication is the key to effective engagement and keeping a team resilient. I agree with Michael that sometimes, often in my region, we have to stand firm for the project :-D Thank you guys.

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Tiago Romao Program Manager MSc. PgMP | PMP | ACP | PBA | CBAP | CSM| Meo Altice Sobreda, Setubal/Almada, Portugal
Project Manager boss, boss, went up briefing the "big boss" (boss of project managers boss), without listening what the project manager had to say about launching a new product. Big boss decided how to progress, without project manager/team knowledge. Boss of project manager boss came down, and ask him to order the project manager to do things happen as decided by the board...so much for project manager risks, team, expectations management

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Michael Coleman Memphis, Tn, USA
Thank you for sharing.

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Elok Robert Tee Project Manager| ST Engineering Electronics Pasir Ris, Singapore
Hi Tiago, the scenario you described happened to a colleague at another company. That put tremendous risk on the project when bosses at the top make project decisions supposedly for the business with little knowledge of methods and what reality is on the ground. The project will likely not be of quality when agreements are made without consulting the team.
Thank you Michael Coleman for liking :-D

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Latha Thamma reddi Sr Product and Portfolio Management (Automation Innovation)| DXC Technology Mckinney, Tx, USA
If you're wondering whether OpenAI models have knowledge of current events, the answer is that it depends on the specific model. The table below breaks down the different models and their respective training data ranges.

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