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Topics: Resource Management, Talent Management
How to deal with more experienced team members?
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As compared to my technically proficient teammates, I am very young. There is an experience gap of around 20 years. Being a PM, its very difficult to give feedback to such a skilled person. Being a technical guy, the resource try to overdo the things technically which I can clearly foresee that its not required and can affect the project KPIs.
My approach is to create boundaries during task allocation. Instead of managing the task at micro level, I give them activity based deadline and not the task based.
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Respect their skills and knowledge and use them to your advantage.
Present yourself as the facilitator, problem solver , someone who will champion their efforts to the management and someone who will shield them from unnecessary "noise" and will focus their attention on the scope and deliverable.
Be very anal about scope, deadlines, risks, issues, dependencies, budget , change management.
They may be technically very good but they have to work within the tolerance levels set by your sponsor.
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Jan 30, 2019 11:20 AM
Replying to Nguyen Khai
...
You are so lucky to have more experienced members in your team and the truth is that, frankly, your team members will always better than you in their expertise. Manager, specifically PM, is not the best person in project team but the one who know how to use resource (including people) to achieve project goal. In your case, I think you did not set acceptance criteria for work at the beginning as Kiron mentioned above and you also did not communicate well in order to have consensus from your team members.
Sometimes, the acceptance criteria is subjective. Sometimes, the best is not required and just a "good" will do. Its a sort of gray area. Acceptance criteria was defined but wasn't quantified. Consensus was build but not at micro level. I am more involved in a new product development so there are a lot of uncertainties. So we have to be a little flexible based on resource availability, sudden changes etc. That's where I need the experienced people to step up. I just want to be more proficient in such a condition.
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Its a challenge most of PM's encounter during their early years of their PM career.
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Experience is strongly linked with the time spent on a job but workers who have less work time can be more skilled and better at their job than other workers that have worked for more time.

For instance an engineer with over 20 years of experience is almost always better than an engineer with less that 1 year of experience. An engineer with 10 years of experience however can be more skilled and more capable than an engineer with over 20 years of experience.

In a project or in any other work activity it is crucial that the best worker should have the final say when it comes to technical decisions. Experience is not that important it is the skills and competence that matter in the end.

No matter the position you have if you are less skilled then the other team members they will know it and would not follow you or if you have the authority to force them then they will but they will not be happy and in the end they will do a poor job. Not to mention that some workers forced to follow the orders of a less skilled worker would want to find a better job.
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