How to engage—and persuade—those who
are barriers to change.
By Teresa ( Terri) Knudson, PMP, PgMP, PfMP
what you’re doing, and sidetrack the direction and
work of the team.
There definitely can be value in challenging new
ideas and approaches, but colleagues completely
out of alignment with the rest of the team can
spoil the momentum of project and portfolio management efforts. And that can cause delays, confusion and frustration among the rest of the team.
FROM ROT TEN TO FRESH?
The challenge facing any leader in this situation
is to persuade someone with opposing views to
become part of the “bushel” of good apples working together. In my experience, the best way to do
this is to meet in person to understand his or her
perspective, share your own and identify common
goals. If that doesn’t work, it can be beneficial to
bring him or her onto a project and portfolio man-agement-related work team focused on developing
new portfolio management approaches or process
enhancements. If the person has a seat at the table
as an active part of the team, he or she is less likely
to stand in the way. Another method is to have the
person lead a work team charged with designing
a new portfolio management process by reaching
consensus with other team members.
Of course, in some instances, despite our best
efforts we can’t change some people’s views. That
can be painful—but it’s important to view this challenge as a common experience for those of us working to engage and train staff across organizations on
the value and process of portfolio management.
When someone won’t get on board, the important thing is to hold on to your vision, stay the
course, and work with the good apples to make
your project and portfolio management journey as
fruitful as possible. PM
While picking apples last year, the old saying “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch” came to mind. I prob- ably recalled it at the time
because some work activities were bringing the
metaphor to life.
As we’ve been continuing to mature portfo-
lio management approaches at Mayo Clinic, my
team has needed to work with all types
of people, most of whom are willing to
do what they can to commit to the end
goal of advancing project and portfolio
management. Yet, inevitably, some don’t
understand the overall vision of portfolio
management and put up barriers to make
the effort more challenging.
These are the bad apples. Every organi-
zation has them. Whether a senior leader,
a functional manager or even a project
manager, they make portfolio manage-
ment efforts more difficult, question the value of
Teresa ( Terri) Knudson, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, is the director of the enterprise portfolio management office
at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. She
can be reached at email@example.com.
can be value in
challenging new ideas
and approaches, but
out of alignment
with the rest of the
team can spoil the
Voices THE PORTFOLIO TRACK