- Project Manager
"Quality management matters in every project"
I was given an opportunity to take over as project manager for a project that was struggling to stabilize in the initialization phase and was receiving negative feedback from many of the project stakeholders regarding the quality of the work being done by the team.
This was an interesting moment for me as it was one of the first projects that I had been given to manage as a PM. It was also very nerve wracking because I did not want to leave a bad impression with the client and the stakeholders who I was going to be working with!
Upon initially joining the team, it was important for me to understand the high level aspects of the project as well as the details to the point where it impacts how the project is being managed. I reviewed the last few weeks of these documents will help form a better picture of how things within the project currently stand. The quality of these documents were not great, which helped me paint a better picture of the situation within the project.
I made sure that I took notes that summarized each conversation with the client’s stakeholders and provided a recap of findings from each conversation. Each of these stakeholders was very appreciative that I took the time to recap their conversations and it showed them that I was being proactive in understanding them and the quality issues that the project was facing. I mentioned all of key quality concerns that they brought up regarding the initiation phase of the project, especially where there were missing deliverables and meetings that were never scheduled by the previous project manager with key stakeholders.
I had daily check ins with the team to understand how they were progressing on the tasks assigned and providing support in case there were any issues that impeded on progress. Here, there were 2-3 minor issues our project team faced but at the end of it, we came up mitigation strategies and were able to get past the issues and stabilize the initiation phase of the project.
- Learn what is going on within the project. You can learn more about what is going on in the project by speaking to the various project team members and the stakeholders who you introduce yourself to. It is also good to go through the project-related documentation to see what you come across within the project management plan, risks log, issues log, and status reports.
- Take notes. By taking notes, you can recall what was discussed with the various stakeholders and also follow up with them to see if the concerns that were brought up were addressed and solved for.
- Watch for non-verbal cues. When meeting with the project sponsor, project stakeholders, or project team members, it is critical to listen to the words they say but also how they say it. As a project manager, reading non-verbal cues gives away how the project team members are feeling without having them verbally tell you.
- Prepare an action plan. It is important to develop a list of action items that you as a project manager (or the team) should take to help get the project back on track within the coming days and weeks.
- Once the action plan has been reviewed, it’s important to take steps and follow up with the appropriate team members to make sure that everyone stays on track towards the goals