When the project is finally planned, the project manager needs to find the right balance between too much and too little management. Up to now, The PM has been closely involved in the project, facilitating meetings, following up for estimates, meeting with the sponsor. But when the project moves into execution, the PM needs to step back and let the team get to work.
Finding that balance between micro management and no management is tricky because you are also the connection to the project for the Sponsor and stakeholders who all have different styles of management.
What do you see happening?
Because finding the balance is more about how your team and your organizational culture works, let’s look at the two extremes.
If you are over managing:
Your team will expect you to have all the answers. You have been telling them how to do their activities so they have become unengaged in the process. You are spending more and more time helping people through issues and people come to you to ask what to do, rather than to suggest solutions.
In this case, you can start making the team more self sufficient by asking what they think rather than telling them what to do.
If you are under managing:
Your sponsor asks you for an update and you can’t give it. Or, someone asks about an issue happening on the project and it’s the first time you’ve heard of it.
If this describes your situation, remember it’s important to start meeting regularly with your team leads, or your team. Having regular updates keeps you connected to the teams and gives you the opportunity to build and strengthen communication channels. As the PM you need to know what’s coming up in the project and who’s working on issues or risks.
How can you resolve it beyond treating symptoms?
When you start a project, think about how you want to be involved in the project. The charter is a good place to lay out the way issues are raised and who can resolve what. The kick off meeting is a good way to set the expectations of weekly meetings and to clarify roles.
A RACI chart (indicates who is Responsible, Accountable, needs to be Consulted, or Informed) is a good tool to use to illustrate the expectations. You can complete it for key decisions, specific tasks, or use it on a matrix of decision levels.
A final thought:
Monitoring and Control is really about managing people. If you don’t have training or experience in people management, you can find a mentor. Look at the managers in the organization, are there one or two who you think do a great job? Ask them to mentor you.
Over the last 30 years of people and project management, Perry Wilson, PMP has a track record of delivering successful projects. Along with four merger projects, she have implemented project management methodology in two Project Management Offices, working with certified project managers and people new to project management. In gaining that experience, Perry learned some key steps to successful implementation of tools.