Wednesday 2 February 2022

Low-priority project management

Most project managers sooner or later (usually, still early) are faced with the management of a low-priority project. What is the peculiarity of managing projects with a low priority compared to managing projects with a high priority? Let's try to figure it out.

First of all, the manager of a low-priority project faces a lack of resources. Especially human resources. After all, no one wants to work or allocate employees to perform work that no one needs (as is usually believed).

Escalating the problem to management won't help, because it's a low-priority project and management will simply ignore the problem. Building a logical chain, we get low motivation of the project team. Members of the project team will prefer to do something else, more necessary, useful and interesting in their opinion. From low motivation, we get low productivity of the project team.

This is followed by a breakdown in deadlines and a decrease in quality. After the deadlines fly, and testing shows the disgusting quality of the product, we get an excess of the budget due to alterations of what has already been done and payment for additional time spent. The result? It's not all bad. Let's try to solve all these problems.

To begin with, we will understand that everything is tied to people. The company's management, project team, functional managers (with a matrix structure), all of them are first of all people, and only then officials.

So let's try to work with them as people. Let's take a guide. Do you schedule meetings that management doesn't attend?

No response to emails? Conflicts are not resolved?

There are three ways out: terminate the project, leave the project (if they allow) or humble your pride and continue working. The manager does not show up for the meeting? Watch him in the waiting room, agree with the secretary, call him and agree on the allocation of only ten minutes. Plan your appointment in advance. Come with already printed problems and solutions, so that it would remain only to tick and sign. In general, try to make sure that the accumulated problems can be solved in 10 minutes. Did? It's cool. If you succeeded once, you will succeed another time. So they received the same status of a rally, only an express version.

Project team.

Lack of motivation, low productivity, laziness, all this is curable. Try to give weight to the project in the eyes of the team. Hold meetings. Communicate with the team. Set up internal reporting, in general, conduct the project as if it were a priority project of the company, do not relax yourself. The concentration of the project manager always has a positive effect on the project team. Motivate the team by your example, become its inspirer.

Functional managers. That's probably going to be the hardest part. Convincing a functional manager to give you resources will be hard. But, use personal skills. Try to just negotiate with him. Remember, he's human too. Let him allocate resources to you at least when it is convenient for him. Modify the plan so that the allocated resources are used most efficiently. And finally, communicate, communicate and communicate again! Communication is the key to success. Well, that's probably it.

Good luck in any project!

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