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Stop screwing up your Projects over People

Stop screwing up your Projects over People

People are different, always have been and always will be. What would humanity be without its differences, a boring idea, isn’t it?

We all have different opinions, behaviors, approaches, and most importantly, ways of looking at things around us. That is what makes us different.
These characteristics usually come to the fore particularly well in the course of an upcoming change. These can be changes of all kinds, both positive and of course negative, in interpersonal as well as in economic or technical aspects.

But as different as we may be in many respects, in the case of projects the opinion and behavior becomes clear relatively quickly.

At the beginning, there are usually three attitudes among colleagues: Positive, Negative or Neutral.

However, neutrality usually doesn’t last long, because after the first meeting at the latest, it quickly becomes clear whether I like a project or not. You know this as well as I do.

This very simple, but seemingly so complicated fact brings down many employees, division managers and even managing directors because of their lack of understanding.

So what about that fact?

The decision to launch a new project, its announcement and especially its implementation fastly causes quite large circles within a company. So usually the response in the meeting room is accordingly great when it is said again:
“It’s time for something new, a step forward. Therefore, we have decided to launch a new project …”
“Oh, there we are…”
“I can’t wait to hear that!”

And just like that, as a possible representative of the new project, you have encouraged opinions and conversations all over the offices and halls of your company. And this is exactly how proponents and opponents, or as it is often called in project management, Promoters and Opponents, are created.

That’s nice information for now, but what do I do with it as part of the project team or even as the project manager?

The people and especially the project stakeholders are responsible for the success or failure of a project. According to this, you rightly try to do what every good project manager with a “great idea” and a “great plan” should do.

You try to convert the opponents into promoters and of course not lose the promoters you already have. Almost like an account manager with their customers, right?

Talk to your colleagues, keep them informed, involve them. A successful implementation only works if the company, including its employees, understands what great added value this project will bring.

And this can only be achieved, if the influences of the employees from the different areas are taken into account and processed in the project planning and implementation.

A give and take.

So what you should do is …

  • … announce the project and make it directly “palatable” to the employees
  • … involve the management level to prioritize the project and drive it forward
  • … involve the employees of the different departments in meetings on a regular basis
  • … carry the information beyond the actual hierarchy into the company
  • … regularly present the progress and positive results to the company.

Convince your opponents, engage your promoters, just as you do with your customers.

Projects always involve such tightrope walks. Change is therefore by no means bad, it is indeed quite the opposite.
Only through change do companies move forward and revolutionize our markets and economy again and again.

We just have to remember where this development starts: With you. With your colleagues. With your shared motivation and commitment.

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