Nobody likes to be nagged. Whether it comes from your mom, your spouse, or your boss, it may have more to say about the nagger than the naggie.
To be a good project manager, one must find ways of following up that yield results over resentment. As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, a role of a project manager is to make sure a project completes on time, at or under budget and within scope. I also like to add a fourth element and that’s to maintain a positive, productive working relationship with all the stakeholders on a project. I’m happy if no one dies or is incarcerated as a result of a project I’ve managed!
Projects can easily get off track. Especially during summer, project participants go on vacation, take days off for holidays or generally are away from the office. Yet the project remains. So it is with our Website Refresh project.
We know that our priorities may not be your priorities. We try to communicate realistic expectations of time commitments and necessary interactions during intake meetings to keep the project rolling.
But sometimes, frequently enough, I have to step in and provide additional follow-up. My goal is to get the work done and keep the project moving forward. The fine art comes in when we have to ‘negotiate’ dates. I find that most of the time there’s just a need for a reset on expectations.
Maybe you have members of your office who have all been out and have not had time to devote to reviewing webpages. Maybe you just need an extra day or two and you promise to get it done.
Don’t be surprised to hear from me during a review period just to make sure we’re still on track or if we are headed for a derailment! Following up can take on many forms. It can be a simple email, a phone call or passing in a hallway. As artfully and skillfully as I can, I’ll ask how things are going. Sometimes we’ll need to agree on delay dates. As earnestly as I can, I will try to reset dates to accommodate you and your office team. Know this though…for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What benefits one timeline, may hinder another.
So when I ask for an update on progress, it’s not to maintain the schedule at all costs, but it’s to accommodate the greatest number of people on all sides of the project while still trying to reach the ultimate goal—a refreshed website.