When Red Branch Media first launched, I was the sole project manager. At the time, my staff wasn’t prepared to manage projects on their own. Yet as business has grown, so too has the need for me to delegate.
Many business owners may relate to this, seeing as 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to success and business performance. Something so crucial to small business success shouldn’t be taken lightly. The wrong project management processes can completely destroy business growth.
1. Your team doesn’t understand the project
This is the result of a lack of communication between senior management, the project manager and you. As the business owner, it’s your duty to ensure your management team and project managers (PMs) are equipped with the tools they need to seek accurate project information.
You don’t have to spoon feed assignments, but you do need to make sure they have everything they need to complete the project. Whether they need access to files, invoices, client proposals, budget information or client communication collateral, make sure your PMs know how to access key information.
2. Your project managers are either too relaxed or uptight
Everyone is not cut out to be a project manager. For example, if a project manager is too lax about deadlines or the scope it can leave your team idle and frustrated. On the other hand, a project manager who is too rigid and micromanages your team can overwhelm and demotivate them.
If you have someone on your team that is a project management novice, pass out peer evaluations after each project. This will give you a 360-degree view of how the team really performed together, especially the PM. Questions you should ask include:
Was your project manager helpful and willing to assist with information you could not find on your own?
Was your project manager positive and upbeat about the project?
Was it easy for you to contact and communicate with your project manager?
Ask open-ended questions and ask team members to share their experience. This information will help you assign future projects. You’ll see that each PM has their own style — one that may work well with a specific style of project.
3. The timeline is impossible
If your project manager can’t envision the big picture and understand the team’s workload, then projects will never be finished on deadline. PMs need to be able to see every team member contribute to each ongoing project and foresee the end results. When you get into the practice of pushing back deadlines it can be a nightmare for team productivity–and the reputation of your company.
While you do need enough time to deliver work that exceeds your clients’ expectations, you also need to know where and how you can get it. Enlist the help of project management software (for example, we use Bitrix24) that allows project managers to assign tasks, set deadlines and estimate completion time. Employees can then track their time, and PMs can review detailed reports on each project to see if they have over-or underestimated a project.
As you delegate project management be on the lookout for these three issues. Proactively fix these problems, and consider how project management software may help you. Don’t forget to conduct peer reviews after projects are completed, and give your PMs access to all important information they need to complete the work. After all, the success of your business is ultimately dependent on the performance of your team.
This article has been edited.
Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, an agency offering marketing strategy and content development. A consistent advocate of next generation marketing techniques, Hogan has built successful online communities, deployed brand strategies in both the B2B and B2C sectors, and been a prolific contributor of thought leadership in the global recruitment and talent space.