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My thought would be to use the first months to understand the projects, the teams, and the processes currently in use. This will allow you to identify the project risk and opportunities and establish respect and trust with the assigned staff and external stakeholders. I typically start with a risk assessment.
I suggest that your assignment is to effectively deliver the projects rather than impose your methodologies even should the current ways not be as effective as they could be. The idea is not to disrupt the projects but to improve where possible.
Although the china shop may need some adjustments and refocus, it doesn't necessarily mean its time for the elephant. Steady as she goes!
I agree with Peter that for the first period, you need to carefully observe how things are currently working before trying to change too much.
Think of a time when you've had a new manager who starts trying to change everything to how it was done at their previous job where (supposedly) they excelled, without taking the time to understand the new job. It tends to backfire and alienate the team.
Observe opportunities for improvement in your own projects where you have the most control, and also the overall operating rhythm outside your projects. Be very strategic about how you present those opportunities. Timing and tact are everything. When senior managers are stuck on a problem, I might wait until they have exhausted their ideas during a discussion rather than interjecting, and when it seems like they have run out of steam, I will state, "It sounds like they problem you are facing is X, and here is a possible solution..."
Approach it in a helpful manner, and not like a know-it-all telling everyone how they are doing everything wrong. Insert your best ideas this way, not every single one. You want them to realize that when you speak up, it is worth listening to, and that you are their ally. If you can achieve that, they will be far more open to listening, and you will likely get more autonomy in making prudent changes.
Would try understand why I was hired, what the expectations of the decision makers in my hiring are. And what exactly does a 'difference' consist of?
These expectations probably cannot be fulfilled in 90 days (or they would have gone for gig), but I can start to prepare for them.
List them, prioritize them, OKR them and go for it.
Many take a phased approach, e.g.
30 days meeting as many as you can
30 days identify areas of focus
30 days make first impact
There is a big mistake in this statement: up to you on how best to deliver both projects. A project manager will help people to select how best to deliver the project. That´s key to make the difference.
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