Tip #5: Catch 'em doing something right.
I freely admit that I am taking this tip from one of the management gurus of the last century, but it made an impression on me, and I think it is relevant today.
Most training courses echo the PMBoK® with the correct but useless stricture 'the project manager must motivate the team members.' Well there are many ways of doing that, and many training courses introduce the theories of Herbert and Maslow, but I think there is a really simple practical thing that you can do that seems to be ignored in most training courses.
Too often we catch our team members doing something wrong, or silly, or high-spirited, and this is an embarrassment to all concerned.
As project manager you will be in a position to keep your eye on the project schedule. You will be able to see when interesting tasks come to an end. Maybe there will be a demo to the customer of something working properly, or a team member showing the rest of the team something new. It would be really impressive if you were to turn up at the right time, and show that you are interested in what is being produced. Of course, you are interested, but sometimes we have so many tasks on our daily list that we may miss opportunities to show the strength of that interest to others.
You don't have to make a big thing of your visit. All you are trying to do is show that you are in touch with the project, and that you are interested in what they are doing. In fact, the more fuss you make the more false the whole thing feels. Keep it low key, but do it frequently; your team members will grow to appreciate it.
Catch 'em doing something right.....
Mike Watson (PMP) has over 20 years of experience in Information Technology, and 20 years as a consultant specializing in project management training and consultancy. His background in Information Systems Management has given him a rather unfashionable interest in systems and business analysis. He has been a speaker at many conferences and seminars, written numerous articles for professional journals, and has delivered training courses all over the world.