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Do you have a PMO? Are you a program/portfolio manager? Are you a functional manager in a weak matrix organization?
I'd consider having the people who report inaccuracies sign off on their. If there are discrepancies that you find, have 1 on 1 meetings and try to determine why there are discrepancies. Document anytime you find discrepancies. Usually your projects have a sponsor. Make sure you have a good communication channel with them, and if the inaccuracies continue, report issues with status reports to the sponsor.
Also, does your company have any policies built around this? In many cases these types of scenarios have happened before and should be in your lessons learned documentation.
2. For my current projects, I have some amazing team members. They don't report inaccuracies so my review time is greatly limited. In many case I think the people are high quality, but even if they were low quality, I believe staying on top of them and addressing discrepancies, and having them sign off on their reports, and documenting discrepancies would keep them in check for the most part.
Hope that helps and best of luck!
It may seem basic but a re-evaluation of the communication platform needs to happen. How are task completion dates communicated? Team meeting, emails, or face to face? People respond and interact differently with how things are communicated. I'd also create a RACI chart, or, if already in use, reexamine it to make sure everyone understands what they are responsible and to be held accountable for.
When those are completed, the determining the status of projects and tasks should become more of a team effort, rather than relying on just one person being responsible.
1. How do you handle people who repeatedly fail to accurately report their status on projects and tasks?
- What could be the cause for this? Does the progress measurement system, credit rules are defined properly? what systems in place for reporting progress? i assume no intentional mis-representation of facts in this case.
2. How much time do you spend each week determining the status of all of your projects and tasks?
- i spend couple of weeks for setting up system and training package owners, but may be 4-8 hours to compile my reports on weekly basis (for a major construction project)
Hi Pamela, do you have a solid communication plan in place? If team members are confused about when and how to update tasks or share any problems, they may unintentionally misreport items.
Of course, sometimes there are bigger issues at play so you may need to have a direct conversation with the individual.
You may find these articles helpful:
How to Create a Project Communication Plan, http://bit.ly/2rVngVa
How to Manage Difficult Conversations with Team Members, http://bit.ly/2q0Wdr6
As a contract IT PM, working in matrix organizations where it's a never-ending permanent employee vs contract staff drama. I have experienced what Pamela is talking about with difficult employees and the games they play.
I have had people intentionally provide me with incomplete and wrong data just to try and embarass me with senior management. Or when one of the architects assigned to work on my assigned projects said i was a stenographer and there to take notes. Dealing with difficult team members while it's something all PMs are kind of required to do, i continuously ask myself if it is worth it. In my humble opinion, it is not worth it.
If people are unprofessional and your management isn't doing anything about it, please move on. Senior management has the reins on how they want their organizations to fare, as contract staff, i remind everyone that i am temporarily augmenting their workforce. Do your work and let me do mine, and i find fool-proof ways for everyone to report their daily or weekly stats. I have gotten pushbacks from management to not require those information and they continuously press me for these numbers.
To make everyone accountable in a way that you don't end up being the fall guy, we have used dedicated online tools, similar to what http://www.projectpanorama.com/ or www.smartsheet.com to track projets in the past, and when you have people who are slacking, it shows up.
I hope things work better, but your executive team needs to be on your side to get the difficult team members in line.
In my experience, one of the biggest reasons people inaccurately report their status is because they think they need to tell me what I want to hear and that they can't just be honest and say they're behind.
There are two ways to address is. One is that I work to create an honest and transparent environment, that gives my team members the comfort level to tell me, "No, I can't make that deadline."
The other is that I don't rely on that team member's word for it. For example, if I need to evaluate how a developer is doing in getting his defects completed, I don't just ask him how it's going. I look at how many defects are open, their size, and the amount of time we have left. Then I can talk to him and say, "It looks like we're behind schedule. Is that right, and how can I help you get back on track?"
The first thing you have to do is "to erase" the word "difficult" from your mind. There are not difficult or not difficult people. Reality is a matter or perception. So, it is subjective. That is the key to work with people. When you take into account it take a look to Isaac Newton´s Third Laws of Universal Movement that will give you the answer about people raction due to reality perception.
How can you define the size of a defect? I have never heard about this concept before.
Also if you want to help a developer with the defects he is working on there are only two things you can do:
- work on some of the defects yourself
- try to change the deadline
I can't think at anything else. Maybe try to bring more developers on the team, but this is not always a good idea.
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