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Topics: Communications Management, Leadership, Stakeholder Management
Issue with team members
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If the team members that were assigned to a new project object to PM's vision and ideas. What specifically would PM do to address their objections?
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Try to align the PM's vision to the organisation's vision and mission and show to the team how their contribution helps the organisation move forward

If the PM is trying to introduce new work practices or methods that worked in their previous work place , it is in their best interests to explain the merits of those methods and the efficiency gained out of using them.

The PM is not God , therefore , a suggestion is to be a keen listener and listen to why the team members are opposed to the idea or vision . It may well be that there are merits in why that idea or vision is being opposed . It is perhaps the organization's old baggage or culture . It is perhaps "just the way we do things around here" . It is perhaps, a natural resistance to change.

If it's an idea that clearly benefits the organization and helps the team members' growth and there is still an objection to it, it could be discussed with the project sponsor or in the case of a matrix organization , with the functional manager. There may be a slight change in the approach needed to drive home this idea and vision.
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2 replies by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 11:50 AM
Anish Abraham
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Dec 11, 2017 12:03 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Deepesh for your input.
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The PM shouldn't have a vision other than completing the project successfully. If the "vision" is to manage the project and then team members object in some way, then it's communication skills or conflict management 101.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 12:41 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Sante for your feedback.
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Dec 11, 2017 12:05 AM
Replying to Sante Vergini
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The PM shouldn't have a vision other than completing the project successfully. If the "vision" is to manage the project and then team members object in some way, then it's communication skills or conflict management 101.
Thanks Sante for your feedback.
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It is the organization's vision that needs to be communicated. Ideally, the organization's vision and the PM's vision are exactly the same.

Before having the conversion with the team members, have a conversation with the project sponsor or key executives or client (whoever is in control) to ensure that there is complete alignment between the organization's vision and the PM's vision. This singular vision is the only vision the PM should communicate to the team.

If there is not complete alignment between the PM and the sponsoring manager, the discussion with the team will likely end in disaster.

If team members still have objections to the vision (remember it is the organization's vision), then have a conversation with the team members to truly understand each of their objections. If their objections are valid, open an issues log. Align the team before project work begins.

During the conversation with the team members, do not try to convince the team members of your point of view. First, gather information to understand what is the in team members' heads.

The PM's leadership and communication skills are needed for this conversation. The PM should ask in this manner, "Help me understand what your objection is." Then, the PM listens with an open expression on his/her face. Voice, facial expressions and emotions must not be judgmental or the conversation will shut down.

Continue asking until the objections are crystal clear, "Tell me more about that. Has that happened before? What makes you think that will happen this time? What can we do if that happens?" As a team, come up with solutions.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 11:53 AM
Anish Abraham
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Rita, I really appreciate your detailed feedback on this and I agree that PM's and organization vision should be the same.
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Objection is part of any project and as Sante mentioned, it all goes down to the communication skills and managing stakeholders as team members are stakeholders.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 11:54 AM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Rami for your response. I agree that objection is a package of any project.
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You always get a group of people that you have to convert into a team. To be a team they have to share common objectives. Those objectives are project objectives. The project owner is not the project manager, is the team of project stakeholders. So, the you have to put the responsability of the project on project stakeholders shoulders. That not implies that your responsability is to put clear what is your role and your decision level.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 12:08 PM
Anish Abraham
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Sergio, I agree with you on this. Thanks for the input.
Network:563



Reflecting on the good comments in the thread, it appears that one can draw some lessons from Agile PM - i.e., playing the role of "servant leader" might ease the situation and lead to a shared vision. On a personal note - Anish I hope you don't have a type "X" personality. Most PM's dont.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 12:11 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Vijay for your input on this. I don't think that I'm a type "X" personality.
Network:1636



First you need to focus on what they are saying. Maybe they are right. However, you need to communicate the values of project and values you working based on them. Clarify the objectives and let them know how to make those decisions.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 12:03 PM
Anish Abraham
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Thanks Abolfazi for your input.
Network:91796



The title of the discussion is a bit misleading. If the team does not agree with my vision, then the issue is with me, not my team.

If I have the budget, I will actually want the team to develop its own vision of the project, with appropriate guidance, of course.

If that is not possible, then I have to find a way to tell the story that will appeal to the team. I need to persuade, nay inspire them.
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1 reply by Anish Abraham
Dec 11, 2017 12:02 PM
Anish Abraham
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Stephane, I hear you but at the same time managing project in a balanced matrix organization is not so easy, especially in a public sector. I know that the sponsor and upper management have no issues with PM's vision.
Network:1540



Dec 10, 2017 7:18 PM
Replying to Deepesh Rammoorthy, PMP®
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Try to align the PM's vision to the organisation's vision and mission and show to the team how their contribution helps the organisation move forward

If the PM is trying to introduce new work practices or methods that worked in their previous work place , it is in their best interests to explain the merits of those methods and the efficiency gained out of using them.

The PM is not God , therefore , a suggestion is to be a keen listener and listen to why the team members are opposed to the idea or vision . It may well be that there are merits in why that idea or vision is being opposed . It is perhaps the organization's old baggage or culture . It is perhaps "just the way we do things around here" . It is perhaps, a natural resistance to change.

If it's an idea that clearly benefits the organization and helps the team members' growth and there is still an objection to it, it could be discussed with the project sponsor or in the case of a matrix organization , with the functional manager. There may be a slight change in the approach needed to drive home this idea and vision.
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