Just as stepping back and letting go is sometimes difficult in parenting, it’s also difficult in Project Management. As PMs we often have our hands in everyone’s cookie jars because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do. Can you even imagine letting your team do their job and make decisions all by themselves? That’s almost like letting your child go off to college and not moving in the dorm room with them! Seriously though, as we’ve talked about in past newsletters, micro-managing your team is as detrimental to their professional growth as micro-managing your child is to their personal growth. All it accomplishes is having a bunch of people who can take direction just fine, but who can’t think for themselves, can’t problem solve and can’t make decisions. Personally I don’t see that as a recipe for success for my team or my children.
Project Managers shouldn’t be getting bogged down with the tasks that they have perfectly good people in place to handle. We should be focused on setting overall direction and helping the team understand the big picture. As an example, Lynn and I have staff to manage financial matters and HR at FlexPro, both critical areas that require full-time resources. Why would we continue to meddle in these affairs when we certainly have plenty else to do! If as a PM you find yourself doing the work your team should be doing, you either don’t have enough to do, aren’t doing your job, or have the wrong team. It may be time to think long and hard about the answer and make necessary corrections. Sometimes you need to take that step back to see the big picture and make adjustments in order to move forward again.So as I step into the background to allow my son to begin this new journey, I’m reminded that as a good PM I also need to know when to step back and let my team forge their path to success. Things may not always go exactly as planned and the results desired may not always be the results achieved, but as long as we never stop learning from our mistakes we’ll always find our little victories.
Please share your stories with me. Always love to hear them