My 15 Teamwork Rules for Project Management

My 15 Teamwork Rules for Project Management

  1. Any project meeting worth having is worth starting on time. I will take ownership for scheduling the meeting, drafting an agenda and providing the necessary documents.  You need to take ownership for replying to the invitation, arriving on time and coming prepared with project content, paper, and pens (Leave your iPhone at your desk).
  2. Conference rooms and shared resources belong to those who took the time to schedule them correctly. I will be considerate, but squatters have no rights.  Yes, that includes executives.
  3. Our project plan states what tasks will be done, who will do each task, and when each task will be completed. You need to determine how you are going to perform your tasks, you need to keep me informed, and you need to ensure that your tasks are completed on time.  No, I will not do your tasks for you.  Yes, I will gladly help you.
  4. Ability dictates what we can do. Motivation dictates what we will do.  Attitude drives how well we will do it.
  5. Managing a project is like driving a car. Only one driver is needed.  Please don’t ask me to drive then expect me to drive exactly like you.    If I need directions, I’ll ask.  I promise.
  6. When you come to tell me that you are going to slip on one of your tasks, please bring alternatives, options, and recommendations with you. We will work through this together.
  7. The project team is a team. Teamwork is required – always!  Offer to help others, even on tasks that are not your responsibility or area of expertise.  If you need help, ask for it and take it.  The goal is successful project completion.
  8. Estimates are estimates. Drop-dead dates are drop-dead dates.  Learn the difference.  Some dates can slide, some can’t.  Managing projects with a clear understanding of these constraints is important.
  9. Don’t use terms like “Date to have a date”. Take your best guess now.  If better information becomes available, we can adjust the plan.  And please stop using the term “inchstone”.  Micro-manage each task down to the fraction of a second is normally not needed, except maybe for NASA.
  10. Everyone wants it fast, cheap and accurate. Pick any two.  The project team gets to pick and quantify the third.
  11. We will determine deliverable dates based on planning, compliance, analysis, constraints, and budgets as a team. Deliverable dates are not determined by opinions and office politics.
  12. Other people’s tasks are not easier than yours just because you don’t understand them. Empathy and understanding are important parts of leadership.
  13. The success or failure of a project rest squarely on the shoulders of the project team, the whole project team. WE delivered on time or WE did not deliver on time.  All Championship rings are the same size.
  14. No project is completed until we do a Lessons Learned. And, we should learn from Lessons Learned.  If we don’t fix things to make the next project better, we didn’t learn anything.
  15. Etiquette matters. When you ask for help, say “Please”.  When you get help, say “Thank you”.   Praise publicly.  Criticize privately, and always constructively.  Be positive.  Be helpful.

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