Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - PM Tips

How to Avoid Being an Anti-Social Project Manager

By Christopher Scordo PMP, ITIL

When it comes to project management, communication is critical; and part of easing communication across a team is involves being… social. So where does one start?

Allow team members to contribute to project schedules When it comes to deciding on deliverables and timelines, get the team involved. This will foster an increased ownership and help improve the likelihood of the deadlines being met. Individual team members should own status information - think of it as democratizing the initial process.

Understand that public recognition is a good thing Humans are social creatures, even the most anti-social of your team is an inherent pack animal and we all strive to be recognized, especially when it comes to our work. Status meetings are an absolute must – they should be scheduled in advance and structured well. These meetings are important. They are an occasion for your team members to receive recognition for their work from the whole team. This not only reinforces their loyalty but helps everyone on the team understand their skills.

Capture all information related to the project From the nitty-gritty, minuscule milestones documenting the work and progress, and any information that affects the project, document everything. This will give you and your team an inclusive picture so when you take stock at the completion of a project, you can see all of the contributing factors.

When it comes to project management, democratizing and socializing the project makes the most sense. The closer you get to the work, the better you will understand all of the aspects of the project. Also, the more involved people feel, the better they’ll understand how their work impacts on others’ timelines and milestones. This does not diminish the role of a project manager but keeps everyone in the loop so things run smoothly.

Those project managers who let go of micromanaging people and allow the team to drive with the “top down” often see team morale and productivity increase.

Don’t relegate this process to a tiny computer screen. If at all possible – set up colorful charts and storyboards for your team to note down information about the project. Give them colorful markers and post its to build on the project. Taking a break from the everyday drain of a computer screen and bringing your process into reality is absolutely vital for you and your team’s mental wellbeing.

So, if you’re looking for a new and fresh approach to project management, consider getting social, in a very traditional way.