Some call him a project leader, others believe he is a fifth wheel on the wagon drowning in reports and budget analyses. Whichever group we are more likely to identify with, we simply have to agree that the Project Manager and the quality of his relations with the team are the main factors influencing the success or failure of the project. An ineffective PM can change the life of team members into a nightmare, a good one, in turn, is like a conductor who synchronizes all the musicians in such a way that the entire orchestra creates an unforgettable work of art. Experience shows that cooperation of both parties is often a distant ideal. Let’s see what the team’s most important expectations towards the PM are.
Lack of trust in the team’s competences is a disaster for every project. It is obvious that each PM wants to keep his finger on the pulse and it is important to him to avoid faults, however, a belief that nobody can perform a given task better and faster that the PM himself results, on the one hand, in responsibility overload and, on the other hand, leads to excessive control of team members. Needless to say, it has a destructive effect on motivation, involvement and sense of team responsibility. For this reason, a PM’s deep faith in being able to achieve the goals of the particular project with the specific team, as expressed, for instance, in delegation of difficult tasks and providing support in their implementation, is the foundation without which it is impossible to imagine successful cooperation.
Discussing difficult decisions
In any project, there has to be somebody to tackle the key decisions. This person is the PM. It does not mean that he has to be a lone rider on the battlefield. On the contrary, there is nothing worse than a PM who makes arbitrary choices, presenting the team with a fait accompli. Of course, making important decisions, such as those related to deadlines, on the basis of one’s own experience is reasonable. And they are usually correct. But, sometimes, it may turn out that getting the work done in the specified time limit is impossible due to reasons about which the PM has little knowledge, such as technical issues. Consulting problematic issues in a larger group not only allows you to see the problem in a different light, but also raises the team’s morale and makes it easier for its members to take responsibility for the decisions made.
A bridge between the team and client
As regards the most important expectations that the team members have towards the project manager, we cannot leave out efficient management of communication on the team-customer line. It is extremely important that the PM not only clarifies comprehensibly all aspects of the project to the client, but also encourages him to make trouble-free decisions. An invaluable improvement on the way to mutual agreement may be letting the client enter the project section. With access to the IC Project, the client is not only able to track the work progress, submit remarks and introduce tasks on the regular basis, but also – which is the most important aspect – feel a part of the team.
Just like even the best PM will not implement the project himself, no project can be successful without a person who will take up the responsibility for its direction. That is why establishment of good relations with the team and meeting its expectations is so important. Success in this field is the recipe for good results of the project and client’s satisfaction. What more do you need?