In this video, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, talks about tips for building relationships to help project managers work more effectively with their project management board.
In Review: How to Manage Your Project Board
Jennifer noted the often adversarial relationship project managers have with their project management board. But for her it’s the opposite. Project management boards are the governing body, the decision makers, stakeholders and authorizers, who can booster a project, not stand in the way of getting things done.
In order to work together, however, she offered these five tips:
- Build a relationship based on mutual trust, credibility and reliability
- Communicate information in a timely, appropriate and regular basis
- Be results-oriented in having your team gets things done on the project
- Have your project’s process be clear and easily understandable
- Use the board’s leverage to help with you work with outside vendors, regulators, etc.
Jennifer showed how by thinking of the project management board as a partner in the project you can better serve that project, completing it faster, better and more harmoniously. They’re just another tool in your toolbox. The more tools you have, and the better you know how to use them, the greater your ability to manage projects.
Pro-Tip: When communicating with the project management board it’s important to be transparent but not open the floodgates and drown them in minutia. You want them to be aware of what’s happening, when it’s happening, however, they don’t need to get lost in the weeds. Best to keep their information at a higher, more governance level.
One skill that applies all of Jennifer’s tips, and will help you create a productive relationship with your board, are good meetings. A nice complement to Jennifer’s video is ProjectManager.com CEO Jason Westland’s article How to Facilitate Project Meetings.
Thanks for watching!
Hello. I’m Jennifer Bridges, Director of ProjectManager.com. Well, welcome to our whiteboard session today on how to manage your project board. A lot of times project managers think the project board prevents them from getting things done. I think it’s an honor and a pleasure to work with your project board. I mean, if you think about it, they are the governing body. They’re the decision makers. They’re the stakeholders and authorizers. They are many times managers, they’re director levels, executives. They’re great people to get to know, build relationships with, and work with on your project.
Let’s take a look at five tips that we think are helpful in managing your project board. Number one, relationships. Relationships are critical between you and the project board. They must trust you. You must come across as credible and reliable. Remembering that the information that you provide to the project board must be accurate and must be timely, those are the things that begin building these relationships effectively.
Also, communication. Remembering that when you report to your project board, you’re providing information timely, appropriately, and regularly. Meaning that when things are occurring on your projects, that you’re letting the board know in real time so that they’re not finding out things after the fact or being hit with these big surprises. Also appropriately, meaning giving them information at the appropriate level. They don’t need to know every gory detail of the project, but they do need high level information to know what’s going on in their project or the projects within their portfolio.
And then regularly, providing them regular information. Don’t go on and on for long periods of time without communicating with these people because they’ll begin to wonder what’s happening on my project? You know, are things getting done? Are we going to be done on time? Because they’re also, in addition to this project, they’re also planning other projects and these projects are supporting other business goals and objectives.
Also, results. Results are about you and your team getting things done. You have to be results oriented in getting things done on the project. But also you are responsible for working with your project board because they have activities, they have decisions that have to be made. You have to work with them in getting things done, too, as well.
Also, process. Communicating to your project board what the project process is. If you think about it, they have multiple roles that they’re providing. Being a project board member is only one of the things that they’re responsible for doing. Because, again, these people are generally management level, executive levels within the company. The process needs to be documented so that they know, all the team members know the consistent documented process. It’s repeatable, meaning the process is repeatable every time, and it’s measurable so you can measure the process and see how effective it is. But letting them know what that is so they can be compliant with it as well.
Then also, leverage. This body, your governing body, your project board, again they have strong relationships not only within the company but outside the company, too, with vendor partners, some of the federal regulations and government entities. When you need to re-prioritize things on a project they’re the people to go to to help you look at hey, we’re having trouble getting things done or we need to re-prioritize some things in order to get the project moving. They’re also the body to go to if you need decisions made. Maybe, there’s some other decisions that need to be escalated to them to get moving so that you can get other things done and removing barriers.
We find that these are five tips that can help you manage your project board more effectively. If you need a tool that can help you manage your project board more effectively, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.