Managing a Hectic Workplace
A project manager is often faced with making quick decisions with not much contextual information. Day to day they must juggle project members, management, and stakeholders.
Being that such important decisions are made with little to no time to gather information; as a PM, how would you ensure that you are giving your team the most complete & robust solutions when they need them?
I would propose a meeting with the team and provide my estimated time to finish it. Once discuss this with the whole team we can come up with a reasonable time to get the job done. And maybe hustle to see if could be done earlier than that time. PM just knows the basics and fundamentals of the project itself, it is hard to come up with a specific time frame, but if he puts into consideration the team's point of view it is easier to be reasonable and successful. Once the PM is familiarized with similar projects he can decide a reasonable time by himself, because he would already know how to handle that kind of project based on his experience.
I feel as a project manager, there should be some general understanding of what each group is doing and try to do some research in case a problem arises. I feel like doing meetings with certain individuals to give you some insight can also be helpful as to understand their part of the project and how they are accomplishing the goal that was set for them I would also allow my team some scheduling leeway so that if a problem occurs and cannot be solved within the day, that they still have enough time to complete their task in a timely manner while the project manager works with them to create a solution. If the project manager is accustomed or has extensive knowledge of the process or testing, this can also allow for a more robust solution that can solve the issue faster.
One way to ensure that the team is receiving the most complete and efficient solutions would be to ensure that each team member has the same information. One way to do this is to ensure that at the beginning meeting each member understands their task. They understand their deadline and their budget, from this the project manager can get an understanding of what the team members would deem the most important in their tasks. If, along the project timeline, something disrupts their objectives it is the project manager's responsibility to ensure that each person is notified, for example in our lab we utilize Slack and everyone can be notified of any changes or news. From here it is the team members responsibility to respond back in time if the news affects them and offer their input if possible and from this the project manager can make a decision. This way each person was notified and given a chance to respond to the situation before the overall choice was made. One way to ensure good solutions for the team is to understand each team member's needs as well as constant and frequent communication between everyone.
I prefer to ask all members to make a draft/note or record the result of every task. It doesn't need to be a report or some format document to fill in. It can be a little paragraph about the task. This will help a lot in knowing what's happening in the team, and the PM can give some opinion if he sees something wrong. Although a project manager doesn't have time to collect the information when the problem comes, he can still understand the team's situation with this information quickly. These notes are helpful for the PM who doesn't have time to work with teams, but this ask might become another stress source for members besides their jobs.
This is a really interesting topic. It’s important to understand that project managers will be faced with unexpected events that require quick and effective decision-making, and not everything can be planned. I think that when faced with unexpected decision-making, although project managers must act quickly, it’s important that they gather all the information needed to understand and solve the problem. I agree with what @EJ851996 wrote, and I think it’s a great idea to have team members document the results of every task because it makes gathering information associated with a problem much easier. I’d like to add that while gathering all of the information needed for decision-making, the project manager needs to directly target the root cause of the problem, and not just separate consequences of the issue. This is extremely important because although decision-making should be quick, this process still takes up time that could be used to progress the project. Therefore, identifying and solving the root cause of the current issue at once prevents more issues and delays further along the timeline of the project. In addition, throughout the decision-making process, I believe that other team members need to be involved, especially if they are working directly with a problem. Other employees may have greater experience dealing with different problems in a project and may assist the project manager with providing a more efficient solution to team members in a timely manner. I’m curious to understand more about when several proposed solutions do not work. What actions need to be taken if no solutions work and deadlines are quickly approaching?
To ensure that a project manager can provide their team with complete and robust solutions despite limited contextual information, they can take some steps like build a strong team, develop a decision-making framework, prioritize communication, use data-driven analysis, and anticipate potential roadblocks. By doing so, the team can leverage each other's expertise, establish a clear process for decision-making, stay aligned and informed, make informed decisions based on data, and be prepared to handle any unforeseen challenges that may arise.
I'd like to expand on gg382's post with some example steps.
There are a variety of methods that a PM can take to ensure they are giving their team the most complete and robust solutions. These solutions require a proactive approach. First, PMs need to build a knowledge base that includes information on past projects, industry best practices and lessons learn. This can help make informed decisions and identify risk and challenges before they arise. Second, PMs need a strong stakeholder and team member relationships to establish clear communications. This can help gather information and perspectives, and manage expectations. Third, PMs need to empower team members to make decisions and take ownership of their tasks. This can help reduce the need for PM to make all decisions and instead rely on the team members' expertise and knowledge. Lastly, PM should constantly use data and metrics to inform their decisions whenever possible to make objective and informed decisions.
To ensure that a project manager is giving their team the most complete and robust solutions when they need them, despite having little to no time to gather information, a proactive approach to decision-making is necessary. One strategy is to establish clear decision-making criteria upfront to quickly assess options and make informed decisions based on established guidelines. Building a network of subject matter experts can provide access to relevant information and expertise, while using data and analytics can help make objective and data-driven decisions even with limited information. Encouraging open communication among team members and stakeholders ensures everyone is aware of potential issues and concerns, while conducting regular risk assessments helps identify and mitigate potential risks. Embracing agile methodologies allows for quick adaptation to changing circumstances and informed decision-making in a rapidly changing environment. By incorporating these strategies, project managers can make informed decisions quickly, avoid costly delays, and keep their projects on track.
A project manager should have a couple of strategies in their back pocket to ensure that they provide their team with the most complete and robust solutions. The most important thing is to first gather as much information as possible so that a project manager can make a well-educated decision. Managers should speak to all team members to understand the problem. The manager should then analyze and evaluate the risks and benefits of each possible option. It helps to make a pros and cons list so that you can thoroughly evaluate the possible solutions. The manager should then communicate and discuss with the team the potential solutions and see what they think is the best option. Once a decision is made, the project manager needs to effectively and clearly explain the changes to the team members so that there aren't any misunderstandings. Any new roles or responsibilities will be stated and answer questions from the team members. Once the new change is implemented, it's important for the project manager to monitor the changes to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that team members understand the task.
In order to ensure that the team is given the most complete solutions when they need them, communication is key. This can be done through ensuring that everyone on the team clearly understands the information being given, to make sure that there is no miscommunication. Additionally, it is important to be taking note of different changes happening to the project to ensure that the team is being kept up-to-date with how the project is progressing. This can be done through keeping weekly logs that are sent out to the team. Additionally, weekly meetings between the project team may be helpful to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Since the workplace is so hectic, it would also require that everyone would maintain good documentation practices to ensure that others are able to keep up with their work, and if changes are made to the project team, it would allow for an easier transition for new members. Through taking these measures, the project manager will be familiar with the different aspects of the project and will then be able to provide solutions to any problems that may arise throughout the project.
As a project manager, making quick decisions with little information is a common challenge. To ensure the team is given the most complete and robust solutions, a structured decision-making process should be in place. This process involves defining the problem, gathering available information, evaluating options, prioritizing, making the decision, communicating it clearly, and monitoring and adjusting the impact. By following this process, project managers can make informed decisions even with limited information. This approach ensures that decisions are aligned with the project's objectives and requirements, and the outcomes are communicated effectively to the team and stakeholders. Additionally, monitoring and adjusting decisions as necessary can help ensure that the project stays on track and delivers value to its intended beneficiaries.