We all know that person who thinks everything will be smooth sailing and there won’t be any problems on a project. The great thing about these team members is that they are positive about the project and bring upbeat energy. However, balancing a team out with people who recognize there will be hurdles and obstacles to overcome is useful. These realists should help hold the team accountable.
Identifying your project teams
As a project manager, you need to identify which team members are optimistic and pessimistic. If someone is predicting things will be done very quickly and with low stress, challenge their assertions. One method? Dive into the details and learn about the assumptions together.
Further, the whole team should have buy-in. To accomplish this, the team has to build the plan, link the tasks, and identify the timelines for what needs to be delivered and when it needs to be delivered. The completion of the whole project depends on each member of the team delivering their part on time and on budget. Intimate knowledge of those interdependencies will help motivate the team with both positive energy and accountability. Regular review of these schedules with the team will both keep the optimists grounded and the project on track.
Knowing your individual team members
As the project manager, it is vital you know each member of the team, their demeanor for the project, their history with other projects, and what issues they might have with scheduling. Factor that information into your project plan. You also need to know yourself. Are you too optimistic? What is your own history? If you have a history of being too optimistic, be intentional about inserting slack time into the project so that you will hit deadlines and achieve goals.
Finally, with almost every project, the end of the project is a challenge for both the optimists and realists… With your entire team, build enough interpersonal capital in the first two-thirds of a project so that when crunch time comes, they know you have their back. And they will have yours. Then the optimists will be right… the project will go well.
Our team can help, contact Waddell Group
Projects can be challenging, and every one of them is different. If you’re in need of some medical device project management help we provide strategic level project leaders for the medical device industry. Beyond essential project management skills, our highly experienced consultants know how to lead teams, manage in times of crisis, and influence change. Our team is always available and ready to assist. Contact us at 952.221.3333