The Hero PM as a Villain to Success

July 12, 2017 by The FlexPro Group

“If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!”

It’s an adage that’s been around as long as the work it describes.  While it’s great to have confidence in the work you complete, this declaration also serves as a barrier that stands in the way of collaboration and, in most cases, efficient business practices.

Have you ever found yourself taking on too many parts of a team project?  Maybe you’re frustrated with a lack of support from task owners and have lost faith in the efforts of those around you, or perhaps you believe you can accomplish more on your own than spending time deciding as a group.  Whatever has led you down the solo path as a project manager, stop and consider your role.

As a project manager with a cross-functional view and oversight of the entire timeline, it can be easy to stack the assignments on your own desk and play the role of “Hero PM”.  And though there are times when someone on the project team needs to step up, making a habit of trying to be a hero can hurt personal growth, professional development, and the quality of the project overall.

Still want to be the PM Hero? Check out a few of the important ways taking on too much can impact the project and team members.

Timeline Crunch

Common sense would tell you that more work on your desk will take longer to finish.  Sure, you may be able to stay a little late at the office or stretch into next week, but can your project afford that?  Stacking your workload past the breaking point not only risks your well-being and personal timeline, but it immediately adds unnecessary risk to the project that would not exist if you entrusted a few tasks to another capable set of hands.

Utilizing Resources & Gaining Buy-In

When a project’s budget is finalized and approved during the planning phase, the responsibility to manage given resources falls with the project manager.  This includes making the most of the personnel that are assigned to aid on the long road to completion.  Actively involving others in your work gives them a personal stake in the success or failure of the project and helps ensure you’ll receive a dedicated effort.

Fostering Development

It’s easy to view a PM’s role in a project as navigating it from start to finish efficiently and effectively, but there’s a deeper value in it.  Another major function of a PM charged with leading a team is the development of the skillsets of those around you.  Completing tasks in the place of those on your team inhibits their ability to grow as professionals and gain valuable experience.  It’s important that the PM keep the interests of the team on their mind as the project moves forward.

There are times that a PM can be the hero a project needs, but the office’s most successful have learned when to empower others and when to step up.  It’s a challenge to trust those around you with vital tasks, but honing your ability to delegate certainly beats the inescapable pile of work trapping you at your desk.

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