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team project management | herding cats

Image attribution: David Farley

Tired of herding cats?

We’ve seen organizations where the project manager seems to be continuously pitted against the project teams. We’ve even been part of them and led them.

Project Managers and PMO’s on these teams are often isolated units within the IT organization with a distinct “over thereness” to them. Project managers who trend towards isolation and Ivory Tower type interaction with teams may do so because there is no other choice. Isolated, fractioned project management and IT work management systems are significant contributors to work isolation in general.

The Project Manager, faced with these issues may face a number of insurmountable challenges. These include:

  • overwork;
  • lack of information;
  • too little information too late;
  • seemingly uncooperative teams.

The remedy is obvious; join the team and solve the problem!

manage projects like a proAs we look at these four symptoms of bad project-management we see an obvious remedy; use a tool that everyone can contribute to.

By using a common tool each person on the team becomes responsible for work assigned. No cat herding required, (okay, maybe a little :)). As we examine the affect an integratred IT work management system has on each of the four symptoms above we note that:

  • Overwork is remedied by putting the work in front of the individual who performs it. Expecting them to update and complete tasks and communicate as required.
  • A lack of information is immediately addressed via a team tool where the individual assigned takes complete responsibility of the task or work.
  • Good policies and procedures for data entry, (i.e. everything in by the end of the day), combined with the team project management software remedies the issues around “to little information too late”.
  • And finally the issue of uncooperative teams resolves itself. As we realize, (remember that), most teams are not really uncooperative. IT staff won’t key anything in that doesn’t add value – they are hard wired this way and that is why we love them. If it adds value, (paycheck, review, team success, overall morale, project manager will stop bugging me), then they are in.
If you are experiencing these four symptoms, or your own unique symptoms caused by the lack of a TEAM project management system then implementation of an integrated IT work management system may be just what the doctor prescribes.
In summary; a project manager who has a tool where all of his team members can collaborate and coordinate ALL IT WORK, (tickets, tasks, planned work, ad hoc work, development, releases, etc…), is vital to the success not only of the project manager but of the organizations projects and of the team.
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