To ensure project success, in a timely and cost effective manner, the project manager (PM) must maintain momentum in each and every situation (meetings, conference calls, etc.). This is SO MUCH MORE than ensuring things are scheduled and discussions take place. The Powerhouse PM considers what the desired outcome is in each situation and then manages / drives the conversation accordingly, leaving nothing to chance.
As an example: Instead of arriving at a meeting and asking the team “How would you like to address X?” the Powerhouse PM will (at a minimum) frame-up options and considerations, with a recommendation based on what they’ve seen work (and not work) in other / similar situations.
And, being quite “directive and prescriptive” they don’t ask permission to proceed in the recommended way. Instead, they ask the team if the considerations, options and recommendations make sense and/or if are there any questions, concerns or ideas to consider. That is, they take more of an approach of putting up (at least) a skeleton model (with some meat on the bones) and working with the team to refine and complete the model. They do NOT put a team in the position of starting with a blank whiteboard, at ground zero.
While there are times when the blank whiteboard approach is appropriate, MOST project-related discussions can begin with a predefined framework to create and/or keep project momentum. Realize (as covered in a prior post) your team members are participating on your project as an “extra curricular activity” that is above and beyond their day job. When the Powerhouse PM pulls the team together they ENSURE FORWARD MOMENTUM OCCURS DURING EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY MEETING!