MANAGEMENT SUPPORT - Strategic Planning for Project Management

Cooperative cultures require effective management support at all levels. During the execution of the project management methodology, the interface between project management and line management is critical. Effective relationships with line management are based upon these factors:

  • Project managers and line managers share accountability for the successful completion of a project. Line managers must keep their promises to the project managers.
  • Project managers negotiate with line managers for the accomplishment of deliverables rather than for specific talent. Project managers can request specific talent, but the final decision for staffing belongs to the line manager.
  • Line managers trust their employees enough to empower those employees to make decisions related to their specific functional area without continuously having to run back to their line manager.
  • If a line manager is unable to keep a promise he or she made to a project, then the project manager must do everything possible to help the line manager develop alternative plans.

The relationship between project management and senior management is equally important. A good relationship with executive management, specifically the executive sponsor, includes these factors:

  • The project manager is empowered to make project-related decisions. This is done through decentralization of authority and decision-making.
  • The sponsor is briefed periodically while maintaining a hands-off, but available, position.
  • The project manager (and other project personnel) are encouraged to present recommendations and alternatives rather than just problems.
  • Exactly what needs to be included in a meaningful executive status report has been formulated.
  • A policy is in place calling for periodic, but excessively frequent, briefings.

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Strategic Planning for Project Management Topics