Do you ever think, ‘what does this team expect of me as a project manager’?
Understanding what a team expects of you can go a long way in helping to tailor your response to these expectations.
At the start of a project it’s worth having a discussion around your expectations of the team, and the expectations that the team has of you so that you can navigate and negotiate accordingly.
Here are some things that you might hear:
- The PM should always be available for the project and the team
- The PM should be enthusiastic and interested in the project
- The PM should be knowledgeable in the project area
- The PM should report the status of projects to Managers so that the team is not interrupted
- The PM should be part of the team activities and is there for support
- Communication needs to be open and transparent
- The PM should be on time for meetings and respect individual’s personal time
- The PM needs to guide the team and be able to correct the team when things are not on track
Part of dealing with these expectations will be deciding as a team what it means to be available, transparent or supportive etc. If you can do that then you will find things go a lot smoother as everyone now knows what to expect and you are clear of what is expected of you. Part of this process will create accountability, so make sure you agree to reasonable expectations that you and your team can deliver.
Say for instance, the team says available is 9 to 5 assistance for any questions or issues that comes up; as the PM you might say that sounds fair, I can be available through email, but phone calls must be urgent, and meetings need to be arranged.
Record these as the working agreements for your team and always refer back to them in meetings, it’s a good way of reassuring your commitment to the project and the team; and you can reuse it when working on other projects with the same team.
What people expect or want is not always what they get. Remember, you don’t have to meet all the expectations of your team, but understanding what they are might help you in dealing with these expectations as you work together.
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Pétanque Consultancy specialises in Project Delivery, Process Management and Change Management, finding business solutions that work for you.