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My experience with Project Managers has lacked success. What can I do?

One of biggest problems any stakeholder will be faced with revolves in dealing with a PM who fails to succeed. The question I was asked the other day:

I have always had a bad experience, what can I do?”

FACT: you will always be presented with a problem where acquiring a resource is troublesome. This could be a project manager, but also, a marketing professional, HR, Payroll, accountant, etc.

The trick is simple, pick and choose all you want, but find someone who can specialize in your situation. Every situation is different and every problem has a certain required result. So why would you use the same PM over and over?

It is not always 1 + 1 equals 2.   Sometimes in the heat of the moment it turns into 3 and know one knows why. What then?

Simple is as simple does. Pick a PM that has been there or one that can handle pressure and risk. We often find ourselves in times where we are dealing with such situations where a norm by the “book” person cannot handle the risk and needs of the project in real time.

Characteristics of a PM that can handle risk includes charisma, strength, character, and most of all fearless in change. The end game requires a PM that can say the magic word “NO”.

One of the best examples comes from a recent client who had a repeated failed project. The key requirements were never met. The project scope was out of line and never became visible to availability of resources. A simple approach would be to say no but everyone hired needed the pay check.

Saying NO to people is hard but saying NO to stakeholders is even harder. The best guideline to hiring a PM on unsuccessful projects includes a characteristic of someone who is able to say and do different than the status quo. This is to say that this person will speak up to what is wrong and not fear losing their paycheck. This person has the keys to success. A highly effective PM when in operation!

Communication Change in Corp World

We have all been involved in large organizations. We have all witnessed what it is like to work with others in a massive team. We have worked the jobs at the bottom of the chain and also the ones at the top. Various understanding of how to deal with people exists and it is usually based on previous experience, culture, society norm, and so on.

What I noticed while working with some big corporations, is that people tend to stick to what they know. They don’t like change and certainly not anything that will compromise their job/career. It is intuitive that they follow procedure.

Does this make or break a corporation? Well startups are in a different position. They are able to create a different culture and develop new approaches to their work flow. Usually this can give them leverage over bigger companies and giving them an opportunity to grow faster and capture market share.

So how does communication come into play? The basis of any working model should require a proper communication flow; a way for a team to develop and grow constructively. What happens next? The interesting process of corporate politics enters the arena and when you have new technology… fireworks are always expected.

While at the bottom of the chain working the entry jobs, I would suggest great tools, great flows and really, anything that would limit the amount of time it would take to get responses back. Moving up the chain and learning the tricks of the trade I would start suggestions with proper presentations and proof of efficiency. This proved to be beneficial. The interesting portion however, came from different management.

Focusing on the successful ones, they integrated culture change. Culture change is always difficult, with all the politics, procedures and what not else that exists in a large corporation. The effectiveness of being able to make the change always brought success in the implementation. If this was not accomplished, the opposite occurred, where by efficiency dropped and the projects felt the ramifications of limited culture change.