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Topics: Risk Management, Talent Management
Help with Project Close - Ongoing Task Support
I have recently closed out a long term project and turned over all ongoing/maintenance tasks to the appropriate people. These are tasks that I expected to be able to walk away from as they are now in the (capable) hands of the appropriate parties. For clarity - this was a project that involved large numbers of mobile tablets (like iPads) that were procured and deployed country wide for use. At the close of the project, the maintenance component for these tablets was given to our IT staff. This included keeping all locations up and running at functional levels as breakage, etc. occurred. I know find myself being called to task by my companies VPs as we head into an extremely busy holiday season with a serious inventory shortage. A shortage that doesn't appear to be resolvable before the holiday. My question is - how do I make these VPs understand that this is now a task turned over for ongoing support to another team at the close of the project? I'm not looking to avoid my responsibility - just for a way to clarify the division of tasks. It may help to know that the decision to give this particular task to IT was not mine alone - and was ultimately made by these VPs.
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Hi Darla,

somewhat difficult situation, but that appears often in work life, especially in the case of long term projects.
I do assume that you has performed a formal closing process where it was documented what and who the tasks where given to. Do you have any formal acceptance from the IT department that they have taken over the tasks?
It is a bit difficult to consult in this siutation form distance, but i would recommend to do a meeting with the VP, the IT responsible and whoever else might be involved and do an open clarification.
You may offer your support in this special situation cause you have deep knowledge about the situation and the circumstances, but it must be clear who is responsible. And a clear ending should also be defined.

Hope this helps a bit.

All the best,

Thank you. Yes, this was transitioned during the formal closing process and has been more than a little frustrating. I think generically we get associated with the projects we manage. What I mean by this is - I have literally been greeted as "hey! There's the project name lady". People tend to have a hard time understanding that I was involved in the development and rollout of "X" but I'm not forever defined by "X". I suppose this is made especially hard because I am a full time employee with the same company for 23 years and not a contractor moving from company to company. Thanks again!
Discuss your situation with the VP that is in your reporting chain. Include your boss if you don't report to that VP directly. Your VP needs to understand your current responsibilities so that s/he can discuss your availability, or lack of it, with his fellow VPs. Your VP will be able to determine if you provide greater value to the company during this critical period supporting your former project, or continuing with your current assignment(s).
You transitioned the responsibilities but you still have knowledge, experience and skills that you learned on the project. I suggest they are using you as a subject matter expert to help resolve an issue.

You might want to think and see if there was anything you could have done during your project that would have prevented the shortage? For example, should it have been identified as a risk? Should additional processes have been transitioned?
My recommendation is similar to John pointed, review your reporting chain and look for your boss support in this topic.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Your transition was 100% in place as you transitioned to the Operational phase. I agree with Stephane, they might want you as a SME, and your responsibility lies in stating facts to the VPs as to what they should expect and how practical is what they are asking for.

It is a difficult situation for you but I am sure you will get through it. Good Luck.
I would go with John suggestion adding Stephane for SME
I would also recommend to make a lessons learned from that with recommendation for futur projects

Good luck,
For me it sounds also like a call for SME.
As I understood your described situation you are the only one talking of responsibility on you. Darla, why not taking such a case as a sign of good reputation or high esteem in your company.
As already suggested, organize a meeting with all peoples mentioned in the posts above, get a clarification about the situation (responsibilities) and work as mutually agreed. This normally ends as win-win for all: You show your experience to handle complex/critical situations, the IT-staff show their ability and capability to handle such support/maintencance cases. And the involved VPs have the feeling that they have well managed a "crisis" ;-).
I had similar situations and in most cases it works, for the others there was no success for no-one.

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