Guiding Quote

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Einstein

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Project Manager Types: The Attender

Some project manager’s believe that they should know everything that is happening on their project. That she should be able to give detailed answers to any and all questions. No matter how obscure. If she has this mindset then it naturally follows that she needs to be in every meeting, see every piece of paper, signs off on all requests.

She creates, unknowingly, a project bottleneck. Her need to know everything so she can answer all questions results in an ineffective project, because she must attend even the smallest meeting.

How do you know when you’ve met this type of manager? We’ll the fact that scheduling a meeting with them at short notice is very difficult is usually a clear indication. You usually hear her going through her calendar listing this detail meeting, and that detail meeting.

It’s not easy handling them, far from it. Their psychological need to be on top of everything is very strong. Probably they got burned on a previous project when they don’t have the requisite information for some detail orientated executive.

The best way at personal level is to counsel them to attend status meetings with subject matter experts and then progressively wean them off their dependence on knowing everything.

But, we are not therapists, we have projects to run. So, in the interest of our project we need to make sure that they realize that meetings with us, and the needs of our project are important and that they have to give us the appropriate priority. If they don’t then we have to escalate them to their managers. If there’s one thing that attenders hate it’s having to address questions from their managers in an uncontrolled manner. They want to control everything so threaten to break that control and you have the leverage to get what you need.

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