LEADERSHIP / FEB. 06, 2015
version 2, draft 2

How to Stand in as a Project Manager at Your Current Job

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The situation at your company has become critical, and your employer has fired the current project manager and places you in charge or thinks you are better suited to take over due to your exemplary skillset. No matter the reason, you have to prepare yourself to avoid your predecessor’s blunders. Since this is a new challenge, you have to prepare to perform well and to impress management. Take the following instructions into consideration to ensure a smooth transition.

Conduct a Meeting with the Project Team

Before getting the wheels rolling, organize an internal meeting and inform the staff of the changes. A meeting is an opportunity for you to discuss the project with them and find out about customer requirements, how far the project had gone, difficulties the workers are experiencing, and other issues. In addition, organize to meet the project team one person at a time in order to familiarize yourselves with one another. The project team has been working under someone else’s leadership, but now you are their leader. Hence, it is vital that you know the kind of people you are working with and also let them know the type of leader you are. Familiarization will help build a cohesive working relationship between you and the project team.

Meet with the Management

Your management board chose you for a reason, and they have expectations of you. Meeting with the director will enable you to know their project needs. In addition, get to know what your predecessor’s mistakes were, reasons for not completing the unfinished project, and the customer’s perception of having a new project manager. If you can find the outgoing project manager, make a point of talking to them, too. Ensure you gather as much detailed information as you can. A meeting with the Board and the outgoing project manager will enlighten you about the intimate details of the project that you may have not known if not for the meeting.

Organize a Meeting with the Original Account Manager

A sufficient budget is vital for a project to reach completion. There is no person who can account for every coin spent than the account manager. An account manager of a project normally knows the correct estimates of its requirements, budget, and what the customer needs. From the information that the account manager will provide, you will be able to see how the outgoing project manager utilized resources assigned to the project. Moreover, you’ll find out which activities require more attention and how much is left to complete the project.

Meet the Project Customer

Lastly, meet the project client directly and introduce yourself. Have a one-on-one with the client, and provide them with your credentials and career experience. Update the customer on the project and present them with a well-documented report showing project’s details and schedule. In addition, this is an opportunity to find out from the customer himself on what he likes and dislikes. The important thing here is to be confident and get the customer to believe you can complete the project successfully.

The instructions listed above can come in any order that you feel works well for you. The important point to note when taking over is to settle down quickly and take control of the project soon enough.

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