This week, we looked at managing expectations in the Maximizing IT/IS Team Effectiveness course I am taking with Villanova University. The entire lecture was about damage control. It could have been titled “When Project Managers lie about Progress.”
One contract manager that I knew reported that all his tasks had been completed by 80% of his weekly status meetings. You likely know others who do exactly the same thing. Projects that are delayed due to issues discovered late in the project process. Hence, people fail to communicate the lack in progress effectively.
Lou Russell, the lecturer, stated that they hide known problems to reduce iteration time. Because it saves time and effort, people put off addressing the problems. There are many reasons people fail to tell truthful information about the project status.
It can reduce the likelihood of senior management intervening and make your job safer.
It appears that the project is more high-quality than it really is
If you believe that there will be more resources in the future, delay coordination of a recovery effort. This reduces peak resource needs
Rework requirements that are not disclosed may increase the chance of schedule delays being absorbed in other phases.
Cross your fingers and pray that another part of your project is completed in the shortest time possible. This could help you solve your problem faster or mask it.
It appears to improve schedule performance, which means that critical deadlines can still been met
She stated that there are many reasons to lie, but the end result can be disastrous for projects.
Lou shared research that showed project managers who conceal the status of a late-finished project are more susceptible to being overrun by the full length of the planned work. It takes twice as long.
Transparency with clients is a key factor in avoiding project delays. This allows them to have difficult conversations sooner and builds strong relationships. They are also more likely to find ways to get around delays.
Dealing with disaster
These options can help you get your project on track.
When you are having trouble communicating
Tell the truth until everyone hears it.
Notify the media quickly of bad news
Ask for help from anyone who is able or willing to help.
Large-scale decisions should be pushed back to the customer. Give them a proposal but it’s their decision
Instead of adding people to your team, isolate those already there.
Escalate if necessary
Next week will be your final week of the course. This means that the final assessment is due. Wish me luck!