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Then look at specific evidence you can use from
your own project. Approach it like a lawyer building
a case: Focus on demonstrating cause and effect—
specific past actions and their harmful results. Create a list
of your project’s disappointments. Then show, logically
and systematically, how each of those setbacks can be
traced directly to decisions and actions that kept your
project partners in the dark. Stay away from emotion,
and keep your arguments data-based and objective.
The best project manager I ever knew lived by the
dictum that timing is everything—and that certainly
applies to your situation. Don’t move hastily. Wait until
there has been a particularly egregious breakdown as a
result of poor communication. Give the boss a few days
to get over the disaster, and then make an appointment
to present your ideas. That way, you position yourself
not as a complainer but as a problem-solver.
You do need to recognize, of course, that you’re in
very dangerous territory here. There’s no guarantee
your boss will take your suggestions well. No one wants
to be told that he or she has caused a project to fail.
It’s possible—likely, even, given his track record—that
your boss may lash out at the nearest target, and that
would be you.
And although you ended your question by saying
you weren’t ready to leave your job yet, you must
accept that as a possibility. The question really is which
course of action allows you to minimize the risk of such
a dreadful outcome. PM
Bud Baker, PhD, is a professor of management at Wright State University, Dayton,
Ohio, USA. Please send questions for Ask PM
Network to email@example.com.
>>If your boss is wary of
sharing project data, you won’t
persuade him otherwise with
generalities. You need hard
evidence that clearly shows the
value of transparency.
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