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Project Manager : June July 2011
33 www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 1. PROBLEM SOLVERS I would have thought that befo re the pro ject proceeded that adequate con sultation between the lobbyists and the staff had been undertaken. It looks as though this was not the case. Big mistake. If the staff have already called on the un ion to inter vene the situation is almost out of contro l. The first step I would take to address the situation is immediately convene an independently facilitated workshop. I would include all the stakeholders to go through the issues and risks and discuss solutions/alternatives to decide: • First, whether the project was appropriate and if it should proceed or not; • If the project was to proceed, what controls would be put in A colleague pointed out recently: “its human nature to resist change – but most people will support change for the better.” So the task at hand is to demonstrate the benefits of the change. First, hear the concerns and make as sure as possible that the people know that they have been heard. Then reflect back to them, in writing or verbally, what they have told you. QA group of residents has lobbied for a cafe at a local healthcare centre. You have been asked to lead a group of staff in funding the project, designing the space, and contracting with a vendor to oversee the retail project. The project team has voiced opposition to the cafe. They feel it will bring noise, filth, and disruption to the facility. They have asked the union to step in and support their cause. What would you, as the project manager, do to prevent the situation from escalating and get staff on board with the project? CHRIS CARMAN MD, Benchmark Projects «MY VIEW IS THAT IT IS MORE EFFECTIVE TO CREATE A NEW ‘VISION’ TO REPLACE THE OLD» WE PUT A DIFFICULT STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT PROBLEM TO TWO EXPERTS THINKSTOCK STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT Once a relationship is established, I would paint a new picture of what the changes could be like – offering an alternative to the current ‘vision’ they have of “noise, filth and disruption”. Exploring what a successful, positive cafe would look like will begin to create a new vision. Find out what works well in the ‘perfect’ cafe, with plenty of detail. How do people behave? What products are on sale? What is the space like? Spend time creating a list of positive attributes that can then be transferred into the proposal for the cafe. My view is that it is more effective to create a new ‘vision’ to replace the old. I would expect a number of constraints to delivering on the new positive list – the ‘usual suspects’ of budget, time and site limitations. But I would keep in mind that there are numerous ways to provide some or all of these features, and the unhappy individuals could be drawn into the project by being asked to think of ways to help make the new vision happen. place to prevent any negative social impacts and who would be responsible for ensuring compliance; • What would occur if the operator did not comply with the rules of operation; • What measures will be put in place to ensure that there is no interference to the operations of the healthcare facility; and • Any other issues. If consensus is reached and the project proceeds, all well and good. If not, and whoever approved the project still wanted it to go ahead, I have to ask the question: what power would a union have to stop a building owner from establishing any business in the building that complies with town planning zonings? I would say none. (I am assuming the ‘approver’ is the owner of the building.) In that case, I would have to look at replacing the project team with independent people to get it done! 2. MARGARET SHARPE Director Works Reform PMO
April May 2011
Project Manager Aug Sep 2011