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Your Project Does NOT Run On Remote Control

RemotecontrolAs a small business owner, you may be tempted (probably even encouraged) to delegate more and more activity to those below you (or outsource it altogether).  Finding that balance between doing it all yourself and doling it out to others is a delicate tightrope.  If you do decide to let others work on your projects, you'll need to avoid the "curse of the remote control."

Projects do not run well with absentee project managers.  If the project manager is AWOL, decisions do not get made and things screech to a grinding halt.  Things don't get done.  Excuses get made.

It's OK to delegate and/or outsource.  In order to avoid being a "hit and run" project manager, there are a few safeguards you can put in place:

  • Be clear on outcomes and deliverables.  Define what it is that you are after and what the parameters are for decision-making.
  • Make sure people know about roles and responsibilities.
  • Set clear points for interaction (weekly, bi-weekly, or at a minimum, monthly), both written (through status reports) and face-to-face.
  • Create a culture that is free of fear.  If your people are afraid of you, they may not tell you when something goes wrong... until it is too late.
  • Hold people accountable for their commitments.  If somebody says that they will be complete with a task on Friday, talk to them the Monday prior to make sure the task will be done so they know it is on your radar screen.  If they miss the committed target, make sure there are consequences.
  • Celebrate successes... just as you will hold people accountable for short-comings, you will want to balance that with rewards for performance.

Doing some of these things will keep your project (and you) actively engaged and avoid the remote control.

Carpe Factum!

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