Project Management Central

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Topics: Communications Management, Leadership, Stakeholder Management
PM Performance.



Scenario:
You have received an email from the account team and a call from the customer, expressing concern with how the project manager is managing a project. The customer is frustrated because the project manager does not follow up, does not provide regular valid information and appears unprepared during the client's call. This is not the first customer and account team to express similar concerns with this project manager.

How would you resolve this situation?
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This situation shows two issues needs to be resolved. Priority is obviously, establishing communication with the customer and ensuring immediate information needs are satisfied. Listening to both sides of the story is always important. A joint session with the project manager and customer key stakeholders will not hurt to discuss and arrive at a plan of action. Looking at the history of similar concerns about this project manager in question, a personalized training plan needs to be created for improvement. If the project manager is not showing immediate improvements in the planned window of performance watch, it may be necessary to either provide a backup support or replace the project manager with a better resource at the current client.



Thanks so much for your kind answer Yathiraju! Would you do the same proceso if you were the PM Management superior?
All the best.. Alejandro Valdes
...
1 reply by YATHIRAJU SELLAPPAN
Nov 14, 2017 8:56 AM
YATHIRAJU SELLAPPAN
...
I have done so, but not in the capacity of a superior, but as a peer. I initiated the discussion with the PM to help mitigate a similar issue highlighted by the customer, related to project expenses.



First,
I will talk to the PM and here his/her perspective - side of the story
Second: check to see if there is a clear communication protocol with the clients and if the PM is following or ignoring

based on the above we can determine if the issues are with the clients, the PM knowledge and expereince, or PM performance

Until you do the above, there is no way to advise of a solution.

The solution could be a range of things from an informal discussion to a formal warning (based on the outcome of the assessment)
...
1 reply by Alejandro Valdes
Nov 17, 2017 5:59 PM
Alejandro Valdes
...
Dear all,

Yathiraju, Mounir, Sergio, Kiron, Jorge and Stéphane

By this means I'd like to thank you for all yur comments. I want to share I applied your suggestions and now we put the PM in hte performance watch. We assigned a more experienced PM and hopefully customer accepted him.

I really appreciate your kind help.

All the best..

Alejandro V



Problem is the gap between the perceived reality and the desire reality. To solve a problem we can work on the perception, on the desire, on the gap. I work taking into account that. On the other side, world is explaining by the Newton Laws of Universal Movement, mainly the third well known as action-reaction principle. That is the second driver I use to solve this type of situations.



Alejandro -

Sounds like a PM in need of some training and potentially ongoing coaching. Is there a communication management plan in place? If not, why not? Establishing that and then following it will slowly restore faith on the part of the customer and the account team.

Kiron



Alejandro,

I would suggest to speak ASAP with the PM in order to begin a proper analysis of the situation, analyzing both the project & product requirements.

You need to know about the different plans for the project (resources, integration, communication). It would help to know if there was a previous PM and if there was a project charter and a kickoff meeting with the client/customer.

Regards



Nov 13, 2017 10:01 PM
Replying to Alejandro Valdes
...
Thanks so much for your kind answer Yathiraju! Would you do the same proceso if you were the PM Management superior?
All the best.. Alejandro Valdes
I have done so, but not in the capacity of a superior, but as a peer. I initiated the discussion with the PM to help mitigate a similar issue highlighted by the customer, related to project expenses.



I usually follow Mounir's approach. First, I meet with each party individually. Then I meet with them together and get them to agree on a common goal.

This sounds a lot simpler than it actually is but it works. As Sergio noted, you need to understand each person's perspective.

For example, if the project is a fixed priced contract, the PM might not want to do any more than the bare minimum to avoid escalating project costs.



Nov 14, 2017 1:43 AM
Replying to Mounir Ajam
...
First,
I will talk to the PM and here his/her perspective - side of the story
Second: check to see if there is a clear communication protocol with the clients and if the PM is following or ignoring

based on the above we can determine if the issues are with the clients, the PM knowledge and expereince, or PM performance

Until you do the above, there is no way to advise of a solution.

The solution could be a range of things from an informal discussion to a formal warning (based on the outcome of the assessment)
Dear all,

Yathiraju, Mounir, Sergio, Kiron, Jorge and Stéphane

By this means I'd like to thank you for all yur comments. I want to share I applied your suggestions and now we put the PM in hte performance watch. We assigned a more experienced PM and hopefully customer accepted him.

I really appreciate your kind help.

All the best..

Alejandro V



I trust, Alejandra, that the new PM is aware of the client concerns?
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