It had to happen.
30 years in the business of helping sponsors achieve their aims. 20 years of running RNC.
And then I wanted something done which:
- We don’t have the internal resources or skills to do
- Is time sensitive
- Needs to be done in parallel with our everyday operations.
Ah, we need a project!
Ok, I’m the Sponsor – this should be fun.
Because I’ve been around the block a time or two as a PM there are some things I got right (yes I do say so myself)
- Defined success – i.e. what will have happened when I’m happy with the outcome. I was very clear that I’d be able to………
- Engaged someone to drive to the outcome
- Approved resources
- Involved myself in the planning.
And I got some things wrong
- Forgot to get everyone to articulate their assumptions
- Didn’t reiterate success in every conversation
- Didn’t make it clear which decisions I was wanted to make and which could be made in the team.
Before long I was faced with something I rail against.
Someone on the project, supported by the PM, wanted to do something differently to what I wanted.
I took a deep breath and listened to the logic. I got it but still wanted it done my way.
Weeks later my way was delivered.
Oops they were right. I should have let them. But instead of getting mad I admitted my mistake, congratulated them for giving me what I wanted and, asked them to spend the time and resources to change it.
While I was a bit embarrassed I was still happy. The project is now a success – because I say so. The PM and the team felt safe because I owned the choices I made.
As the sponsor I don’t really care about the PM’s view of success or failure. In my opinion they succeeded because I got the capability I wanted and now I can do my thing.
I was so vividly reminded that it’s the owner/sponsor/client/wanter who needs to call the big shots. The PM was reminded that it if the owner/sponsor/client/wanter is happy the project is a success.
After all when the project is done it’s the ‘owner’ who, as a result, is able to…..