Manage Interfaces


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Our blog series – “Master Project Management” covers some of the essentials of the art and science of project management. It talks about defining true needs, building a solid team, and performing a financial analysis. It addresses how you can find the right balance points between extremes like “managing everything vs. managing nothing” and “doing work yourself vs. letting the team do everything.” This series will help develop the foundation you need to become a high performing project manager.

Manage Interfaces

Fledgling project managers often make the mistake of assuming that their primary role is to direct the day-to-day actions of team members. Your job to create a framework— procedures, attitudes, principles—that will help team members manage themselves effectively in support of the team.

To equip your team members to use their time wisely:
Make meetings a priority: Most of a team’s work happens during meetings because that’s where team members share updates on individual assignments, where the team as a whole examines and discusses data, makes decisions, and so on. Having all team members in attendance sets the stage for more effective communication outside of the meeting— which explains why absence from team meetings should be very rare for team members.

Encourage interactions as needed: Set guidelines that make it OK for team members to talk with each other whenever a need arises, rather than waiting for the next team meeting (which could be days or weeks away). Delays waste time—and make it likely team members may miss opportunities for learning as well. Just require that they update you (as project manager) whenever they take important actions or make decisions.

Set team communication guidelines: As a team, talk about when, how, and with whom different kinds of information should be shared. When is it OK to interrupt another team member? When should you as project manager be involved? When does the whole team need to be alerted about new information? What format should people use—in person or through e-mail, voicemail, reports, alerts posted on a bulletin board, etc.?

“Your role in fostering teamwork and synergism may require you to devote some energy to ‘designing and engineering’ the interaction among team members.”

WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

Next Step: Recognize Multiple Success Metrics

“Project Management: 24 Lessons to Help You Master Any Project” by Gary R. Heerkens is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Purchase the book on Amazon.