Common mistakes of the project manager because of his director

Many believe that the project manager manages the whole project all by himself. Others think the project manager is some kind of superman.

But the truth is that the project manager depends very much on his director. In this article, we share common mistakes the project manager made because of his director.

For a start, we can start with the most unpleasant topic. The director has not defined exactly what his expectations are for the project manager in advance. Reference: “Common and popular project management topics“,

For example:

To maintain constant contact with the client;

To inform you regularly about the status of the project;

If there are objective reasons for non-compliance with project deadlines inform you and the Client and offer new realistic and justified deadlines to be approved by you and the Client;

A good project manager does not need anyone to tell him that the above things will be expected of him because he should know and apply them, but it is always good to have transparent communication from you to the project from the very beginning of the project. the manager what are your expectations of him.

If you are the director of the project manager, here is example feedback:

You could also request the above from the project manager after the start of the project, although you forgot to define them as rules in advance.

If the previous project manager came to your partner Mr. X with a request to dismiss all programmers – you did not ask for an explanation from both sides what was the reason for such a request and then decide what to do. Reference: “Project Charter – detailed real example for Project Planning phases”, (Marta Cooper, 2019 ISSN: 1941-8280)

Of course, if my predecessor only threatened the programmers with such a step and did not reach your partner – you can not know what his intentions were.

You have accused the project manager that he is personally to blame for not meeting the deadlines he wrote himself.

You have neither denied nor confirmed these allegations, but whether or not you have personally blamed the project manager for the delay in the project – I note that the project manager proposes a plan and deadlines, but they are always approved by the Project Steering Committee. so are you, Mr. Georgiev.

Ie if a project has already started – it is considered that the deadlines and the plan must be approved by you and nothing that was written and proposed by the project manager. Reference: “Project Change Management Plan, a real example and template”,

The responsibility for delaying the project is never just one participant, it is always shared.
“Pointing the finger” at a single participant in the project – be it the programmers, the Client, or even the project manager – is not correct.

As I wrote above – if there are objective reasons for delaying the project – the project manager was obliged to inform you and propose new reasonable and reasonable deadlines for you and the Client (Project Steering Committee) to approve.

Where did our employees go wrong, if they are guilty of anything at all?

From what I have written, I conclude that my predecessor failed to gain the trust of programmers, failed to build the right atmosphere for teamwork, and define reasonable schedules for meetings and the process of agreeing with programmers on issues and issues beyond planned meetings. Reference: “Risk management“,

Ie I believe that in this case, the programmers are not to blame. Rather, I believe that their behavior was dictated by the above-mentioned shortcomings of the project manager.

Perhaps the only thing I think the programmers could have done was to find a way to share with their managers about the incorrect attitude of the project manager – and their managers to comment on it with you and take measures to clarify the situation.

Do I have to cut any of the programmers? No.
From what was written in the comment of my predecessor, I do not see any objective reason for this. Reference: “Budget planning with an example” 2020 Rita Gavelis

Should I refuse future work with this client if he is very difficult from a project management point of view?

The short answer to this question is NO.

In general, after this e-mail, which the previous project manager wrote to the Executive Director of the Client – I am surprised that the Client himself has not yet requested the termination of the contractual relationship with us.

Even if it is true, the fact that the employees hired by the Client are incompetent is not the way to solve such a problem.

Certainly, an e-mail with open attacks and accusations will not solve such a problem, if there is one, but will only destroy the Client’s trust in our company.

Such issues can be discussed at a meeting with the Client, which is sure to be attended by you – the co-founders of our company.

At this meeting you can calmly and specifically explain with examples the situation in which valuable time is lost in the project due to uncertainty on the part of the Client’s representatives and seek a solution together with the Client – whether it will be external consultants to help employees to the Client or delegating the Business Analysis to our more experienced employees – these are already details.

But throwing accusations at the Client that he is guilty of not meeting the deadlines is like a war with an enemy, not an attempt to solve a problem together as a team. This should not be allowed.

What can we change and how can we improve it?

We must certainly find a way, as soon as possible, to make an appointment with the Client to apologize for the rude e-mail of my predecessor and to discuss and try to find a joint solution to the problems and causes on both sides. lead to project delays and non-compliance with deadlines.

Let’s give a chance with correct communication to smooth out the problems with the Client and if the incorrect practices on his part continue – incompetent and insecure employees who are slow in their decisions and answers – then let’s think about other more extreme measures such as termination of work with this Client in the future or others.

The most important thing in a project is to build trust, to have communication on all convenient and inconvenient issues, and all participants in the project from the programmer to the Executive Director of the Client and the co-founders of our company – all convinced that the project is teamwork and its success depends on the contribution of each one.

All this could be presented at a general meeting at the beginning of the project or if the beginning is missed – then as soon as possible. In this way, we will create a calm atmosphere for work, without the stress of accusations, dismissals, etc.