Michael Fleron is a project manager and PRINCE2 Trainer. He lives and works in Denmark.
Project Leadership is a team effort
I have seen many project managers carry out planning, analysis and risk identification on their own and then subsequently communicate the result to the team by mail – and if they ask for feedback they never use it. That’s a big mistake. Project leadership is a team effort; not the result of a single person’s achievement. I experienced this first hand one morning when I was told by the Board, that the project suddenly had to save 20% of its cost. I didn’t know how that would be possible, so instead of making the decision myself, I got the team together and presented them with this burning question. Three days later we had found the savings – collaboratively. It was a great moment for us, which really added to the team spirit. The lesson is that we have to let the team do the work and be engaged in it. Otherwise its engagement and motivation vanishes and the project slowly dies one day at the time. – Michael Fleron, PM and PRINCE2 Trainer
Never copy your stakeholder analysis and communication plan
One of my students was a very popular project manager and had just delivered a very successful project. The next project was just around the corner. To speed things up, he copied the risk management strategy, stakeholder analysis and communications plan from one project to the other as the two projects seemed very similar. However, the new project was in another country and in a completely different environment. The result was a deficit in millions and a project that was delivered late. The project manager was in a rush and worked in isolation without sufficiently involving the team. – Michael Fleron, PM and PRINCE2 Trainer
Learn to say “Maybe”
Far too many PMs say Yes too quickly and too often. The best answer is to say “Maybe, it depends on...” and than come back later with an analysis of all the assumptions, constraints and preconditions. Maybe is the best word to learn to say, since it narrows the gab between Yes and No. It increases the possibility of a more accurate and reliable, outcome. – Michael Fleron, PM and PRINCE2 Trainer
It is not the project in itself that runs late, but the people behind it that cause it to run late. A truck also does not run late; it is the driver who forgot to check the petrol and the route ahead - or who took too many long coffee breaks – who is to blame. Think people! – Michael Fleron, PM and PRINCE2 Trainer