Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Topics: Consulting, Leadership, Stakeholder Management
Project Transition - Suggestions or Experiences



KT (Knowledge Transfer)
SH (Stakeholder) Analysis/Register review
Team member 1:1's
Artifact review - not always possible (client onboard process)
PMO processes review

Please share your experiences when transitioning into an existing project (including with a client) at a new organization.
Sort By:
Page: 1 2 next>



Andrew -

here's the guts of an article I'd written early last year on this very topic:

Meet the sponsor

Even if there are documents such as a charter or project management plan, there’s no substitute for learning about the needs and wants of your sponsor as early as possible. Developing a productive, symbiotic relationship with this critical stakeholder will often make the difference between success and abject failure.
Make sure you take the time to understand what they expect from you from both a communications and expectation management perspective, but also gauge their willingness to support you when decisions, issues or risks have been escalated to their attention.

Meet the team

Recognize that the team will be experiencing the change churn of having lost a leader.
If the previous project manager was despised, you will bear some of that baggage and will want to ensure that you don’t get drawn into a comparison competition with your predecessor or having to defend the value of project management. On the other hand, if the team adored their project manager, you may face suspicion and resentment and will have to avoid the temptation to become defensive about why you were placed in the role.
Be curious, ask questions, but most important, strive to be a servant-leader, giving the team some time to grieve but also demonstrating your value by escalating or ideally removing any hurdles that have hampered their productivity.

Trust but verify current state

Status reports, feedback from the sponsor or the team might provide you with insights into the project’s state, but seek evidence that supports their assessment.
Identify recent milestones and confirm that different stakeholders agree that those have been successfully met. Once you understand what milestone is coming up, check with the sponsor and team to ensure that there is alignment towards its completion. Ask questions about the top three risks and issues. Check the financial health of the project with your finance partners to ensure the books are in good shape.

While a project plan might exist for your project, you should still create a personal onboarding plan reflecting the specific activities you will need to complete to be effective in your new role. Treat this role transition as you would any meaningful project – plan the work, and then work the plan!



Great direction, Kiron. Thank you.



Kiron has it well covered. I would add that you may need to understand the organization culture, systems and processes a little bit when moving forward, Also, always check any key issues that are nagging, and particularly any milestones that are on the short horizon so they don't catch you by surprise, like say, a key deliverable for the day 2 of your new role. Checking this is perhaps the first thing you need to do.
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 03, 2018 8:02 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Agreed Sante. Understanding the culture takes some time, but as one immerses themselves in the day to day activities, it will happen in due time. And also, lots of conversations - sometimes putting yourself out there.



I would also suggest defining the key "Win Conditions" as early as possible.

Namely: Schedule (and any must meet dates); Quality (metrics that must be met); Scope; Resources (and any specialized skillsets); Return on Investment (if measurable target exists); Stakeholder Satisfaction criteria and Team Satisfaction criteria.
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 03, 2018 8:06 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Great points Stephen. Some of those questions prove challenging b/c some of the information was not readily available, though the exercises to garner that information provide valuable details going forward, i.e., building the SH register, org chart, etc.



I agree with Kiron on this.
Communication is the key. Also, various risk factors should be carefully considered during this transition, whether it's operational risk, reputation risk or financial risk.
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 03, 2018 8:07 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Thanks, Anish. Definitely, agree. And it's through the communication to get a handle on those risks if not already identified or documented.



Kiron I agree with you it is a tough one and your steps are well defined my only wonder is that how much time you need to smooth out? (how about if you don't have enough time), this looks like with every new situation there will be a denial until acceptance established and performance improved.

I also see your point of been a servant leader to show them that you care and build trust, but I think it is prudent in some cases to take a major move to shake off the team's comfort zone
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 03, 2018 8:12 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Riyadh, I understand your feedback. I see these as ongoing activities and that only so much can be done in a given time span. Each step taken progressively moves you through the 'muddy' waters to the open sea.



Great summary and points Kiron



Jan 21, 2018 3:47 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
Kiron has it well covered. I would add that you may need to understand the organization culture, systems and processes a little bit when moving forward, Also, always check any key issues that are nagging, and particularly any milestones that are on the short horizon so they don't catch you by surprise, like say, a key deliverable for the day 2 of your new role. Checking this is perhaps the first thing you need to do.
Agreed Sante. Understanding the culture takes some time, but as one immerses themselves in the day to day activities, it will happen in due time. And also, lots of conversations - sometimes putting yourself out there.



Jan 21, 2018 5:09 PM
Replying to Stephen DeBenedet
...
I would also suggest defining the key "Win Conditions" as early as possible.

Namely: Schedule (and any must meet dates); Quality (metrics that must be met); Scope; Resources (and any specialized skillsets); Return on Investment (if measurable target exists); Stakeholder Satisfaction criteria and Team Satisfaction criteria.
Great points Stephen. Some of those questions prove challenging b/c some of the information was not readily available, though the exercises to garner that information provide valuable details going forward, i.e., building the SH register, org chart, etc.



Jan 21, 2018 5:40 PM
Replying to Anish Abraham
...
I agree with Kiron on this.
Communication is the key. Also, various risk factors should be carefully considered during this transition, whether it's operational risk, reputation risk or financial risk.
Thanks, Anish. Definitely, agree. And it's through the communication to get a handle on those risks if not already identified or documented.
Page: 1 2 next>  

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:
ADVERTISEMENTS

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

- Winston Churchill

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors