Project Management

PMI Global Insights

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Whether it’s in-person or virtual, PMI events give you the right skills to complete amazing projects. In this blog, whether it be our Virtual Experience Series, PMI Training (formerly Seminars World) or PMI® Global Summit, experienced event presenters past, present and future from the entire PMI event family share their knowledge on a wide range of issues important to project managers.

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Viewing Posts by Joe Shi

Presentation Recap: Session 313: Project Takeover: Transition toward Success

By: Joe Shi
Architect/Project Manager, BDP Quadrangle

I presented at the PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 event held on 9 June 2022.  This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities.

My presentation “Project Takeover: Transition toward Success” focused on navigating the challenges of taking over a project that is well into its life cycle through an understanding the project state and your role, establishing an effective forward trajectory, and approaching the takeover process with a positive mindset.  In describing and analyzing the strategies I’ve employed through many projects that have led to successful takeover experiences, it is my hope that the presentation was able to impart a degree of comfort and confidence in taking ownership of a project and trusting that your skills as a project management professional will allow you to transform any initial obstacles into opportunities for personal fulfillment and success.

During my presentation, I received a lot of great questions that we didn’t get a chance to cover, and my responses are below.

Question 1: How do you address stakeholders that lost interest in a construction project and no longer play their part? How do you get all the parties to play their financial parts?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors at play that are not evident in the question.  In the case study I presented, I was able to get the stakeholders interested again by engaging them and appealing to their interest in the project through the things that mattered to them.  They needed to be reminded of what they stand to gain if they played their parts properly.  If the stakeholders in question are retained by your company, then perhaps it is in their best interest to continue performing their job if they wish to have future collaborations or receive favorable recommendations.  If the stakeholders in question are retained by the main client, then you may not have that power, but you can strengthen your relationship with the client to ensure that they are able to help you get the other stakeholders back on track.

If all else fails, always remember that you are primarily responsible for your part of the project and not for the performance of other stakeholders, especially if they have not been recommended or retained by your company.  Ensure that you perform your role to the utmost quality to maintain the business relationships your company wants to maintain and that the client sees your continued engagement with the project.  Sometimes, things beyond your control are truly beyond your control; you just need to show that you are a stakeholder who is looking for solutions instead of creating problems.

Question 2: When do you consider it appropriate to refuse to take over the project?

The only reason I would refuse to take over a project would be the same reason I would refuse to take on a new project, and that is if I do not have the physical capacity to do so.  I have never refused to take over a project based on the number or degree of complications I foresaw.  When it comes to unrealistic expectations for a project, I’ve found that communications have mostly been the root cause of unwanted stress.  This is why I emphasize analyzing and communicating expectations and goals for the project with upper management prior to taking over any project so that realistic goals can be set or reset if necessary.  You have to understand that your company has nothing to gain from setting up unrealistic expectations and making it difficult for a new project manager to take over a project.  But once internal expectations are reasonably set, you can look at any further challenges on the project as a learning experience.  Moreover, any improvements you manage to make to the project trajectory will become opportunities to further demonstrate your value and skill as a project manager.


I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2023.  Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 for more details.

Posted by Joe Shi on: June 22, 2022 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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