Bridge the gap between proposal and project teams.
By Yael Cohen, PMP
Imagine your organization is one of sev- eral competing to manage a big client project. The client picks your organi- zation, and you’re assigned as project manager. The problem is, you weren’t
involved in proposing the project, and you notice
that what was promised can’t all be delivered.
To make matters worse, you don’t have a strong
relationship with the client or the project team
assigned to you. The project struggles, and substantial time and money is required to get it back
Amr Sadek, PMP, is regional delivery manager
for Africa and the Middle East at Gemalto,
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Getting It Done
I once worked on a project where the customer
asked to implement a feature that would require
custom development, which meant variance on
both the project budget and schedule. Before
responding to the customer, I gathered sales,
marketing and legal representatives as well as the
project team, and we had a productive brainstorming session.
In the end, to avoid impacting the original project
schedule, we asked the customer to phase the feature into the second iteration. That meant we would
get time to implement it as part of our standard
product roadmap rather than having to go over
budget on a custom feature. But this idea emerged
as a composite of different suggestions from the
brainstorm—without all those perspectives in the
meeting, we wouldn’t have thought of it.
4. COACH THE TEAM
One of the questions I ask when interviewing
project managers is, “What are you going to do if
one of your team members is underperforming?”
The answer tells me a lot about someone’s leadership skills.
Earlier in my career, I believed that directing
someone—telling him or her what to do—was
always easier, faster and more beneficial than coaching someone. I was wrong.
Coaching is not about showing people how to
do something; it’s showing them how to find the
answer by themselves. Coaching is harder than
directing. It takes effort to plan for, to ask the right
questions and to customize depending on the team
member’s skills and personality. But in the end, it’s
how people grow and learn. PM
Continued from the previous page