Write It, Speak It, Do It
Before you’ve lost everything and in fact do become the project manager who cried wolf, you need to go back to the beginning of your career. The following is just a sampling of some ideas you can employ. However, remember that actions speak louder than words. In order to be successful in any change path you walk, you must make a commitment. Write down what you need to change, convey to your teams what you want to change and then, above all, put your money where your mouth is and do it.
Methodologies – Review the types of project management methodologies that are your favorites. Are you still following processes, phases and stages as the methodology was designed or are you hopping from one methodology to another? If you must, go back to the basics, open up MS Project and start each and every project from the beginning with clear and acceptable dates, timelines and team delivery schedules, and don’t raise Hell if things are done too early or a day late.
Risk Management – If you do indeed feel all is lost on every project, you aren’t practicing good risk management skills. If you were, you’d see all the fuss is for naught. Ease your mind by appointing a risk management team that can deliver, prioritize risks and monitor them, and report to you on a timely basis. Remember, keep your cool—identifying a risk and controlling it is what risk management is all about. And, let the team you assign do their job.
Respect – If you’ve fallen off the wagon so hard, you’ve lost the respect of teams and upper management. You need to regain that respect by speaking to your teams. Be honest about your management style, even if that means admitting to some mistakes. Believe me, your teams will thank you and when you find a project’s really in danger, they’ll realize it really is. This may take some encouragement on your part because you’ve been claiming all is doom and gloom for too long. Tell teams and stakeholders often how pleased you are with progress within the project—stop talking about what hasn’t been done.
Personal Life – If your personal life is getting in the way of how you lead your teams and run your projects, you need to really analyze why that’s happening. If you need to involve yourself, your partner, your spouse or kids in some sort of therapy, do so. Life’s hardships can ruin your career if you bring them to the office. If this is what’s making you crazy and untrustworthy at work, seek out help in your HR department and ask if there is an employee assistance program (EAP) where you and your family can get help.