Project Management: Putting Yourself In Their Shoes
Posted on Jun 3 2011 at 04:12:12 AM in Business & Economy
As a project manager, you know that you have to be on your toes, and a huge part of your job is predicting issues or shortfalls that may arise. How do you get yourself in the mindset to successfully foresee issues that can come up in a project? You have to put yourself in other people’s shoes. As a project manager, you have to think like your team, like your client, and like your business. It’s no easy task, but after passing the PMP or even just studying for the PMP, you can do it!
Have you explained the requirements properly? Have you documented the processes that you are expecting from your team? Can they access the requirements? Can they provide their feedback? And is it user-friendly? Are you using the proper communication tools with your team? These are all things that as a project manager, you must take into account if you want your team and your project to be successful.
Empathy is a trait that not everyone has, but a true leader must be empathetic. You must think about how your team members handle their tasks. You have to ask yourself how you would have completed a task, and then think about the other responsibilities you would have if you were that team member. If you were in their shoes, how would you have done? Stepping back from your role as a leader, and putting yourself in the shoes of your team members, can give you a perspective that you might not have otherwise had.
Many project managers use social media to update and communicate with their team. Tools like Twitter are a great way to communicate with your team, mainly because it’s a tool they can relate to, something they use on a regular basis and are comfortable with. Read about some other great other tools for project management.
When you put yourself into your client’s shoes, you must consider that they want to know what’s going on and be updated throughout the project. Have you provided them the right updates and are you using the right software to update them? Keeping your clients up to date on progress and changes can give them peace of mind, and ultimately make your life easier.
As with everything in project management, keeping your team and your clients happy is a project management balancing act. Keep putting yourself in their situations, and you will be able to effectively balance your responsibilities and your team’s responsibilities. PMCAMPUS also offers some great PDU’s for project managers that help you in your role as a leader. Do you have some good ideas for helping to create empathy amongst your team? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to post a comment or head over to our Project Management Facebook page and tell us your ideas!