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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
24 Project Manager fIrst, I hoPe It Doesn’t get to the point where my team member is under stress. My initial directions to all team members is to talk to me early if you have problems and we’ll work together through any issues. hav ing said that, problems do arise for all sorts of reasons. so, given that there are some unex pected issues that have come up, my next message is that my role is to understand any problems and then to support my team member to identify solutions. one thing that is important is to not allow deadlines to be missed. People have to be accountable; missing deadlines gives the wrong message to the other team members and probably puts them under pressure as well. I’d then work with the person to identify what problems t hey are experiencing, go through the reason s and underlying causes for the problems, and then attempt to get them to identify solutions that work for them and overcome the problems. As a last resort, I’d provide them with direct advice about what t hey need to do (in this case there may be less ow nership of the identified solution if I have provided the answer). •• • problem solvers QA member of your team is under stress, time-poor and struggling to meet deadlines. How would you mentor him or her through these difficulties? People management We put a difficult project management problem to tHe eXpertS 1. In reALIty thIs WouLD be an ongoing process, but I would step in as early as possible and preferably before this becomes an issue. In my view, two things are really important. firstly, that the individual doesn’t realise they are being coached. The inter ventions should be almost imperceptible. secondly, that the individual must change from EddiE KilKElly COO Of ilX GrOuP within, not just follow my instructions. The best student is the one who rea lly wants to do better. There are no quick wins, but often if you can change one parameter the individual will behave differently. on the basis that we only hire good people, the problem is rarely one of attitude, so I would help them to understand the root cause – for example, could it be time ma nagement, are there too many distractions or is it a matter of competence? I would also establish my own view of this. I would then ask open questions about a particular task or deadline to gauge whether it was likely to be met. finally, I would drive a change in behaviour by asking them to concentrate on one thing which could be, for exa mple, batching tasks into time slots or not reading emails until 11.30am each day. 2. lEiGh COutiE ManaGinG dirECtOr Of lOGiC EnGinEErinG and Chair, EnGinEErS auStralia, ViCtOrian BOard Of EnGinEErinG
Project Manager June July 2012
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012