English French German Spain Italian Dutch Russian Portuguese Japanese Korean Arabic Chinese Simplified

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Taking the Initial Steps Toward Understanding the Project Management Function in an Organization

When I meet with a client for the first time about how they might improve their project management function, I prefer to spend the first few meetings getting to learn about their organization, how the project management function is structured and perceived, and their long-term goals and objectives.

Let me describe one such meeting.

I was asked by a client "a services company" to help them get their hands around their project management practices so that improvements could be made that would help them meet a long term strategic goal of growing the organization by an additional 100 project management employees worldwide within 2 - 3 years and increasing revenue 50% + within the same time frame via the introduction of new products and services.

After the initial phone call or introductory meeting, I send off a list of questions for the client to answer about the project management function as it currently exists. I use the results of these questions to better prepare for my meeting with the client, and, I have found it really helps the client get a grasp of their project management function. In many cases clients "ask around" the organization to get these answers and/or ping the project managers to get their perspective. For some clients with a lower tolerance of preparing ahead of time, I either scale back on the questions or do more data gathering during the face-to-face meeting. My goal is to ensure that I have a deeper understanding of their project management function and the challenges that they face - and they will also gain a deeper understanding of their project management function.

Initial List of Questions
How are individuals assigned to project teams? What methodology, if any, is followed by the project teams? How is the project manager/project lead selected? At what point in the project is the project manager brought in? For example, During the initial project planning stages before the project is even decided upon? During the initial project planning stages before the budget and timeline is set, but once the project has been decided upon? After the budget has been set but the timeline is undecided? After the budget and the timeline has been set? Other?
How are deadlines set on the project? For example,
Top down? By the project sponsor? By the project manager/project team? Other?
How is the project budget set? For example,
Top down? By the project sponsor? By the project manager/project team? Other?
How much "push back" is tolerated/allowed by the project manager/project team on the budget, schedule, or other factors? For example,
Some, with tradeoffs Only in certain circumstances All the time - we rely on the project team's expertise Rarely Never Other?
Do your project managers manage global teams?
Do your project managers manage outside contractors?
How accurately do your project teams do the following:
Make accurate cost estimates Make accurate scheduling estimates Plan for and manage project risks Meet milestones Provide status reports/project tracking Manage multiple resources Capture lessons learned from all projects and apply best practices Develop Work Breakdown Structures Manage changes to the project
What project software is used within your organization and for what purposes? Does everyone use the software? If not, who does use it (e.g. a particular division or business unit?)
How do you measure the success of projects?

The Initial Client Meeting
Once I meet with the client, I'm also interested in knowing "how" the projects are completed. For example, does the client rely on a few "heroes" within the project management staff to get things done? (Think of those individuals you know who can swoop in and save a project - they will pitch in and roll up their sleeves regardless of the task.) If they do, I want to learn more about these individuals - their background, number of years with the organization, strengths, behaviors, etc.

Are certain projects finally completed after many fits and starts? Do certain projects seem to be less troublesome than others? Do the project managers rely on functional managers for expertise, or do the project managers also have competency in functional areas such as application development or manufacturing?

I'm interested in understanding the competencies of the project managers themselves. Are they certified? How long have they been practicing project managers? What size projects do they commonly lead? Have they had formal training? How is their performance evaluated? What is the turnover rate of project management staff within the organization? What level of accountability do project managers have on projects?

How does the organization get newly hired project management staff up to speed? Is there a formal mentoring program? Specific training classes? Job-shadowing? What exists to prepare them for their role at the organization?

By gathering this information, I begin to develop a much clearer picture of the project management function within the organization.

So, let's pick up with the story. The client was provided the list of questions prior to a face-to-face meeting. Overall, the following was gathered prior to the meeting (responses based on the questions asked above):
Individuals are assigned to participate on a project team based on availability first and then based on experience. There is no particular methodology followed. Only a small number of the project managers had certifications. The project manager is selected based on availability and is usually brought into the project once the budget has been provided and a desired due date for the project has been established. Deadlines for the project and the project budget are set by the executive team/project sponsor (project sponsor is, in most all cases, a member of the executive team.) Once a due date is set for the project, it is normally released throughout the company so that marketing and sales can begin preparations. In certain circumstances, if something major is missed, for example - a need for outside resources - the due date will be adjusted based on project manager recommendations. However, in most cases the company strives to make the due date by increasing the number of resources on the project (which increases the project budget). Rather than missing a deadline, they are more apt to increase the budget. Project managers do not manage global teams or outside contractors. They usually select project managers from the area where the team is located (so, if the project is based out of the office in Madrid, the entire project team is from that office). Outside contractors, when used, are selected and managed by the Procurement department. Overall, project teams seem effective in: Status reporting Working together as a team Developing the Work Breakdown Structures and the project schedule Working within the project scope and managing change requests Meeting major milestones (although sometimes it means increasing the resources on the project to do so)
Some project teams use Microsoft Project?, others use Microsoft SharePoint? for all project activities, and still other offices use Oracle Primavera. There is no consistency among software used although there is a desire to standardize at some point.
The success of projects is not formally measured - however, projects are considered successful if they meet or come close to the due date (even if the budget is increased to meet a timeline.)

During the meeting with the client, we talked about some of their challenges and issues on projects based on their responses to the initial questions. We learned that:
Approximately 80% of projects went over budget by 5% - 25%. This was due to deadlines that couldn't be missed and individuals being assigned to projects without the proper expertise. There were not enough project managers to go around and frequently project managers were assigned to 3 - 4 projects at a time and were being spread too thin to effectively take a lead role on the project. Turnover was approximately 2 in 5 project managers on an annual basis (over the last 4 years). There was no consistent way to do projects - no methodology is used and no consistency from project to project (not even within the same office). Additionally, although some project teams captured lessons learned, nothing was ever done with that information. Some project teams never bothered with capturing lessons learned. Project managers also had a functional management responsibility. In fact, many of the project managers "fell into the role" and were functional managers prior to being named project managers. There has been no formal training program for project management staff; although some individuals took training on their own. Since many of the employees learn project management skills "by the seat of their pants" - there is a high level of frustration among staff and sometimes even the easiest of projects runs into problems. Frequently staff are not able to problem solve and do not recognize issues on projects - even issues that arise regularly. The same risks keep "popping up" project after project with no planning ahead of time for how to manage risks. Since lessons learned are not captured and best practices not applied, there is no past project information to draw from.

Given the client's desire to make some improvements around the project management function with a goal of increasing staff in that area and increasing revenue based on new products and services, it was urgent to develop a plan to move forward and correct current issues prior to bringing on new staff.

The following plan was presented to the client to move forward to address their challenges and continue to grow the project management function. These suggestions were based on the responses to the initial questionnaire and follow up conversations with the client to analyze the project management function.

PRINCE2?Methodology was decided upon for consistency among all offices. Some of the overseas offices were familiar with it and it was easily customizable to meet the specific needs of the client. Additionally, the client was setting up a Microsoft SharePoint portal where the project management function had access to tools, templates, and documentation from past and current projects, with plans to add Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Portfolio Server in the future to allow for central management of projects as well as develop some business intelligence around projects and project portfolios. This would be the main source of all project management information for the company. All project managers would work toward obtaining their PMP? certification and project team members would work toward obtaining their CAPM? certification. The company would provide formal training programs and certification exam preparation support. Additionally, the company would work to ensure some individuals on project teams had specializations in risk management and scheduling management. These would be aligned to the PMI? Scheduling Professional and Risk Professional certifications. This would enable key areas on projects to have support from individuals with expertise in these areas. It was decided that project managers needed to be involved from the beginning - prior to decisions being made on timelines and project budgets - for all projects. They would have input on budgets and timelines based on staffing needs and availability of the right people for the job. Since frequently a project manager with a particular expertise is required, going forward project managers would be assigned to projects outside of their region/country. This means that a project manager based in the United States may be assigned to manage a global project team and a project based in Ireland. A variety of training would be provided to all project managers including managing cultural differences and leading virtual teams. Additional project managers would be hired - new hires would need to have at least 5+ years managing projects of $2M or more. Additionally, the company would look at promoting some current employees who were working on projects, but not currently leading them, into project manager roles. This would help with the current project managers being spread too thin. Too often all suggested projects within a particular year are expected to be completed within that year. There is nothing strategic about the project selection process. In one particular case, due to a lack of strategy and information sharing between divisions, similar projects were being run simultaneously rather than being consolidated and run as one project to conserve resources. This is a significant waste of money and resources. By more strategically selecting projects, across all offices, more time can be spent on the right projects with less stretching of the project managers across too many projects, and, reducing the budget for all projects overall. An assessment of current project management staff would be made to determine strengths and development areas. Strategic learning & development programs would be put in place to ensure that project management staff had the technical and critical skills needed to be effective - including problem solving and decision making, risk identification and analysis and capturing lessons learned/sharing best practices.


The items above that we designated as part of the plan to address challenges was prioritized in conjunction with the client. Some tasks were managed by the client completely; in other cases tasks were outsourced. The goal was to ensure a more formal project management function within the company (eventually the client wanted a central PMO with regional offices reporting into the central PMO.)

The Microsoft SharePoint site was a wonderful "gathering place" for all of the individuals working on projects. It included templates, project plans (past and current), best practices, lessons learned, a list of project resources and expertise, and many other items. It enables the project teams to go to one central place to get documentation they need or to ping others for their opinions/thoughts on a particular issue being faced by the team.

Once the project teams started focusing on certain tasks - such as identifying risks and planning for/managing those risks, they learned that much of that analysis, when done, would provide a starting point for future projects. In many cases, potential risks were the same from project to project. Similarly, by sharing information on problems that arose and how they were solved, it made other problems that were similar easier to solve and in a shorter time frame.

Upfront approximately 5 - 8 days was spent in working with the client to gather data and provide an analysis and opinion/recommendation on how to best move forward. The data the client received enabled them to determine where investment would have the greatest impact on helping them to meet their strategic long-term goals.

Read More - Taking the Initial Steps Toward Understanding the Project Management Function in an Organization

The Role of Change Management in Successful Information Management Solutions


Implementation of Information Management solutions necessarily brings change to any organization. Business practices, role and relationships all affect the way in which people work and interact on a day-to-day basis. Whether the driver for implementation is for productivity, compliance or risk reduction there is always the need to consider what impact there will be on user communities.

Document and records management practices in organizations are not often front-of-mind for most managers and employees and asking them to think about information in a different way or even at all, as a corporate asset requires a fundamental mindset change. This will take many employees out of their comfort zone, impact on their confidence and competence to perform the work and creates a situation where individuals can sense a loss of control in their work context.

It is natural that most people initially react with caution with concerns about their future, security and where they will fit in to a new order of things. In any group there will be 10% who are excited by the prospect of change and at the other end 10% who will resist change regardless. This means that there are 80% who can be influenced one way or the other.

The successful implementation of an information management system extends far beyond the design and implementation. It extends beyond the support and operation. Effective information management requires a fundamental mind-shift by stakeholders and everyone in the organization that relies on information in their work activities. This shift needs to be carefully executed to create a requisite culture in which information is appropriately and thoroughly managed as a key organizational asset.

What is Change Management?

Change management is the art of influencing the majority to positively accept and commit emotionally to the change. Many of the issues arising as a response to change can be real or perceived and are closely related in a cause and effect network. Either way, they need to be addressed to avoid resistance or rejection of the change. This requires a combination of communication, understanding, mentoring, coaching and general support with the aim of building trust. It is from this position of trust that the task of building the work culture required for successful information management begins. The '4 Cs' of change management help us think about the change from an effected user point of view.

Comfort People are creatures of habit and develop patterns of working within a comfort zone of daily activities.

Control Changed practices may cause a loss of control over daily routines and activities. This may come through changed reporting lines or responsibilities which can evoke a level of discomfort.

Confidence The introduction of new practices may undermine employee confidence in their ability to perform. Some may see this as challenge, for others it can be stressful. Often the introduction of computer equipment is something that can be discomforting. Some people, particularly older workers may have no experience with computers and can cause self doubt over their abilities to learn the new skills required.

Competence To be able to operate in a changed work environment there is always an element of re-skilling required. This necessarily means that current skills, often developed over an extended period of time will need updating or may become redundant. This uncertainty can impact on an employee's competence and ability to perform.

The management of the complex web of responses, issues and perceptions requires focused attention. The skills of a change manager are built on an understanding of human behavior and the change manager's role is to assist people to understand the change and what it means in personal terms and has been proven to be a significant success factor in building Information Management capability.

Why is Change Management important?

As volumes of information inevitably grow and our regulatory obligations increase amid the ongoing business pursuit of productivity, we cannot afford to waste the opportunity to exploit the benefits of information management solutions.

Studies repeatedly show that a key risk in the success or failure of information management solutions is stakeholder resistance to change. Through an investment of time and effort in preparing the user community for the coming change the chances of resistance are lowered. In short without a disciplined approach to managing stakeholders through the change then realization of anticipated benefits is put at risk. This has impact on business productivity, staff moral and the bottom-line. So it would seem logical for us to deploy our information management solutions in the most effective manner.

Some common Change Management pitfalls of an IM solution implementation

We are seeing an ongoing consolidation of the information management vendor community and a subsequent convergence of the underlying technology. There is a growing recognition by organizations that an information management capability is needed. Further, audit activity frequently highlights any shortfalls in performance and organizations react accordingly.

The selection of an information management solution is an important corporate investment and common pitfalls addressed by change management include:

Focus on Technology

Ignoring the emotional needs of users in the rush to get the technology in place can create a real project risk. Many organizations with an information management solution already in place experience a negativity of opinion towards the system. Often the cause of this perception can be traced to an initial technical implementation focus that neglected the needs of those who consequently struggled to apply new functionality in their work activities. An effective change management approach including awareness building and communication can turn this perception around.

Recognition of the Business importance of Information

The low profile that information management has in most employees' minds can be an issue. We are all busy and in the scheme of things 'filing' is not front-of-mind for the majority of employee's striving to keep pace with everyday work pressures. Document management and filing, can fall down the priority list partly because of work pressures and partly because of limited awareness and can be seen one of the things that 'should' be done' rather than something that 'must' be done.

Organizations recognising the business value of information as an asset can then raise awareness of its importance and manage it accordingly. An increased awareness of this importance should also influence the planning of information management system deployments.

Business Case and Budget

The business case for information management is focused on risk, mitigation, and productivity. However; many benefits are intangible and have an indirect impact on the bottom line. Unfortunately associated costs are very tangible and visible.

Consequently, there are challenges in the development of the business case as it can fail to excite the financial fundamentalists who view the whole undertaking in terms of an unavoidable cost that must be minimized. For the uninformed, change management activities can be seen as non-essential and result in budgets being set to minimise cost adding to the risk of failure.

Although not unique to Information management implementations these above factors can create significant project risk. Change Management techniques are designed to address the human behavioral issues that can adversely impact on project success and as such, are a necessary inclusion in any deployment activity.

What are some Change Management best practices for an IM solution implementation?

When it is apparent users are not participating in Information Management practices an objective assessment can identify a way forward that is usually cost effective and will meet organizational needs within a much shorter timeframe. This assessment must take an independent and holistic view of the situation from multiple perspectives.

This assessment must identify the root causes of any associated issues and develop a clear strategy to build the information management capability required. There are a number of common elements that have emerged as issues with information management implementations that have nothing to do with the incumbent technological tool and the strategy developed must consider how these are to be addressed.

The capability assessment framework enables organizations to holistically assess information management practices and to identify improvement opportunities that will build capability. This is achieved by benchmarking current organizational practice against best practice in each of the dimensions of the framework. The best practice benchmark criteria in the framework have been identified through experience with multiple organizations across industry sectors and geographies, and are augmented through industry collaboration and global academic research outcomes.

The dimensions of information management identified in the framework are defined as follows.


Best practice organization's should have a clear strategy relating to its management and use of information The strategy clearly defines the content and structure of the information, how it is to be governed and applied to support the primary business strategy.


We can assume that most organizations have the information content that is required to manage their business. If this is not the case then it is difficult to envisage the organization operating successfully or at all. However, most organizations suffer from an ad-hoc approach to the management of this important asset. Best practices relating to managing this content start by having an inventory of the content, a consistent architecture governing naming conventions, taxonomy, where content is held, how content is held, i.e. hard copy soft copy formats and who can access what categories of information.


Due process governing how information is created, stored, accessed and communicated is fundamental to the governance of enterprise information.

Governance is the combination of processes and structures implemented at management level to inform, direct, manage, and monitor the information management activities of the organization. This consists of clear policy, procedure and business rules guiding information management practices. These must be developed in context of the organization's business activity and be clearly communicated to stakeholders.

Information management governance also includes the development of business classification schemes, taxonomy, naming conventions and rules governing the creation, storage, protection, communication, sensitivities, use and appropriate destruction of information.


The manner in which information is treated and perceived in an organization is reflective of organizational culture. Best practice organizations have clear understandings and norms recognising the importance of information as an asset. This mindset needs to be pervasive across the organizational culture and is fundamental to induction and staff development initiatives.

Change management during information systems implementations is a clear best practice aimed at creating the cultural awareness and mindset required.


Organizations operate within a network of relationships with stakeholders. These stakeholders include customers, suppliers, regulators and industry bodies. Best practice organizations have clear understanding and service level agreements with other stakeholders in order that corporate record keeping obligations are met and to ensure information is shared appropriately and to the level required to maximize efficiency.


The application of Information as an asset is fundamental to the services or products offered to the market place. Best practice organizations embed value-adding knowledge and information into services to maximize attractiveness and utility. Corporate discipline ensuring the validity of information shared is necessary to mitigate risk of non-compliance and avoid potential litigation.


Information technology is fundamental to the management of the information asset. Clear and consistent architectures, data and information structures, security and operational tools indicate a mature approach to information management. Best practice organizations have clearly defined architectures.

Change Management Best Practice

The capability assessment framework facilitates benchmarking against specific best practice indicators. The absence of any of these indicators provides an opportunity for the organization to improve. Over and above these specific indicators the following themes have emerged as overarching best practice in change management as information management capability is developed.


As discussed above governance is the combination of processes and structures to inform, direct, manage, and monitor information management activities. This includes effective record keeping practices. It is important that organizations develop governance practices as early as possible in implementation projects. This often means putting governance in place prior to specification, selection and deployment of a technology solution. This has a double benefit. Firstly: stakeholder's become familiar with information management expectations and the requisite culture begins to develop; and secondly; the organization gains the opportunity to refine its governance structures prior to full deployment.

Information Management System

The selection of an enabling information management technology to meet performance and functional requirements should follow a diligent approach. It is best practice for selection criteria to consider wider information management architectural needs. The functional richness of available solutions can allow the retirement of duplicative products providing islands of functionality. Workflow or WebPages are common examples of these islands where products have been acquired for a single one-off purpose and are unable to integrate with core applications. Once configured and deployed the new infrastructure can provide the opportunity to create an integrated technology architecture thereby reducing support cost.


There are many examples of high cost, high-profile failures in the information technology industry. Often this can be traced to over-ambition and a big-bang approach to deployment.

Implementation of Information Management capability within well defined scope delivered in incremental steps provides many benefits. Primarily incremental implementation through a series of pilot deployments allows adaptation of the solution based on real experience before attempting to conquer the world. Many organizations are benefiting from the adoption of this approach.

User Focus

The inclusion of change management activities focused on preparing stakeholders to take on the reformed work practices mitigate against risk of stakeholder resistance. This involves considering the emotional needs of all stakeholders to ensure that they feel in control, are comfortable and have the confidence and competence to execute new work practices. For many stakeholders the learning of new skills and changed role and responsibility provides enhanced career opportunity.


Most of the solutions available in the marketplace offer rich functionality to manage documents and content in a web-based environment. Full use of the functionality on offer can simplify the technical architecture and realize savings in licence and administrative cost further justifying investment.

Change Management Roles and Responsibilities

The change manager works very closely with stakeholders and it is important that relationships based on trust are established. The personal attributes of a successful change manager are empathy and patience. The role and responsibility of the change manager is focused on understanding stakeholder needs, building an awareness of the need for change and supporting these stakeholders as they transition to new work practices.

Some key responsibilities for the change manager include communications, setting up reporting and communication channels, participating in business process reform, workshop facilitation, staff training, mentoring and awareness building. In short, any activity that interacts and prepares the user community to participate in reformed work practices.

Regardless of the scale of undertaking information management projects require a change management capability. In large scale projects there may be dedicated change management resources. For smaller scale projects this role may be a part-time or shared responsibility. The change management role can in many instances be a shared role across the development. Sometimes this can be provided through a corporate change management function. Regardless of how the role is resourced it is essential that it is included.

Many routinely conducted project activities such as workshops, interviews, training and presentations are in fact change management opportunities as these events they are interactions with stakeholders. They therefore present the ideal opportunity to develop the relationship of trust between the project team members and stakeholders.

It is important to avoid the situation where contributing stakeholders feel as though they have been sucked dry for information by technical people. This can be avoided through the development of awareness of the importance of the project team/stakeholder relationship thereby maximizing the value of this contact time.

Further, 'champions' can be identified from within the stakeholder community. This provides a critical change management input. As these champions are representatives drawn from the stakeholder community their roles can be a very influential and positive contributor to project success.


Research shows proves that higher levels of user acceptance and greater use of installed solutions are achieved when deliberate change management activities are included in the implementation work plan and life cycle. Best practice in change management is focused on the early involvement of stakeholders and on building a trusting relationship. Accordingly, leading organizations have recognized its importance and routinely allocate resources as projects are planned

For most organizations there is the opportunity improve information management performance. A place to start is through a benchmarking assessment of information management capability against best practice to identify how to realize available benefits by learning from the success of others.

This paper has emphasized change management and the resultant outcomes and opportunities as best practice. The selection of an information management solution is an important corporate investment. For those organizations considering implementation and for those that have current infrastructure in place, there is the real opportunity to maximize return on investment and to create a work culture that displays the requisite information management behaviours.

Dr. Rod Dilnutt

Rod is the Managing Director of William Bethwey & Associates and a Senior Research Fellow of The University of Melbourne. He has wide experience as a consultant in the private sector and at all levels of the public sector gained in Australia, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. This experience includes ten years in a 'Big Six' consultancy firm where he led the Knowledge Based Business Service Line for Asia Pacific.

Rod applies his practical knowledge and expertise to his consulting assignments and is retained in an advisory capacity by many leading organisations. He is also a frequent presenter at industry and academic conferences.

Read More - The Role of Change Management in Successful Information Management Solutions

Monday, October 4, 2010

Understanding And Coping With Difficult Managers

I have conducted countless management workshops in my professional life for various clients and the question that continuously is asked during the workshop is, "how do I manage my manager"? I hear such comments as, "my manager should attend this workshop" or, "my manager requires this workshop badly".

Unfortunately, the participants who are saying these comments are not alone in their frustration. Based on my calculations, previous experiences and reading data based networks, approximately twenty eight per cent of all working Canadians believe that they work for a good manager; thirty eight per cent say they would fire their manager if they could; four per cent would have their manager assessed by a psychologist and thirty per cent would send their manager to management training.

No doubt, many people are a victim of circumstance and wind up working for a manager who is weak and ineffective. We don't often choose the manager we work for and we do not have to fall victim to their short comings. It is important to realize that we cannot control or change our manager but, we can control and change the way we interact with them.

It is true that some managers are just plain bad people. They have no respect for others nor do they respect their professional environment or the company they work for. These managers are miserable and their values evil; as a result, they don't respect themselves. Although these types of managers are few and far between, you may work for a manager like this. Should this be the case, there is virtually nothing that you can do about it. Accept the fact that this is the situation and make a decision to stay or leave.

On the hand, most difficult managers are not aware of the fact that they are difficult. They actually think they are good managers setting good examples of leadership. Understanding why and how your manager has gone off track may help you choose the best strategy for working with him or her.

Here Are Seven Reasons Why Managers Are Difficult:

Micro management

Some managers have been embarrassed by someone's poor performance in the past and they are determined not to let this happen again. As a result, they are involved in every detail and decision that takes place in the business unit usually confusing results with activities. This is compounded when the manager's boss expects him or her to micro manage the daily activities of the business unit. Micro managing leads to ineffective time and priority management skills and eventually disconnects the boss from subordinates.

In over their heads

Many difficult managers have been promoted to their current position because of their technical skills, their good attendance record, their willingness to work extra hours or their friendly non threatening relationship with their boss. Critical management skills such as organizational skills, leadership skills and decision making skills are given little or no consideration, resulting in an ineffective and at times a burdensome manager.

Management by numbers

Too many managers have been trained to manage by numbers. They are firmly committed to letting the budget manage them rather than take the initiative to manage the budget. These managers make all decisions solely based on the numbers regardless of the collateral damage in the workplace. People are disposable balance sheet items that are expected to get the job completed within the pre determined financial parameters.

Bad boss mentor syndrome

Most difficult managers learn at the feet of the master and unfortunately were promoted to their current position by the master. Mentored by bad examples, they in turn mimicked the same bahaviours. The master has taught them the art of micro management, management by numbers and the take no prisoner approach by being rudely blunt and talking down to subordinates.


Difficult managers all have one thing in common; they are fire fighters. Not only do they micro manage they are in the thick of many confrontations leaving little or no time to be proactive and get the job done. This can be disastrous for a difficult manager because s/he begins to work harder; not smarter, they push harder on their people to get the job done and become intolerant to mistakes. They are ineffective because they are ill equipped to deal with the pressures that today's business opportunities bring causing their lack of leadership and analytical skills to become evident. There is little or no time for professional development as training may be seen as a sign of personal weakness or a luxury that the manager or subordinates cannot afford or don't require.

Poor communicators

In the world of information technology many leaders feel compelled to increase communication through the utilization of email, high speed internet and black berry's. Difficult managers tend to over use these methods by sending off emails to address challenges that should be addressed face to face or, at the very least over the telephone. To carry the problem further, some have reverted to conducting performance evaluations via email in order to reduce time constraints that have been caused by being overworked. The more connected a difficult manager gets to the information highway the more disconnected and disoriented become the subordinates.

Selective feedback

Many difficult managers surround themselves with "yes" people. People who tell them they are doing well when their performance is terrible. Since they are apt to surround themselves with people that exemplify their behaviour, they really don't know that their performance is less than satisfactory. They intentionally or unintentionally choke off open and honest feedback and believe they are doing a good job because, no one has told them differently.

Strategies For Coping With A Difficult Manager:

You cannot manage something that you cannot control. Many of us have tried to manage our personal relationship's and we have found that we are worse off in comparison to when we started. If you can control something then, you can manage it. Difficult managers are much the same. They cannot be managed because they cannot be controlled. We can cope with but, not control a difficult manager.

Here are seven strategies you might consider when coping with a difficult manager.

Support your manager

Do not, under any circumstance put down or bad mouth your manager in front of subordinates, peers or other managers. This is known as mutiny and the consequence of such can be severe. Ensure that your manager gets an abundance of credit for the work that you have done, even if s/he doesn't deserve it. In all your tasks, make sure that you cater to their strengths and be quick to play down or avoid their weaknesses.

Be an initiator

You have heard the saying, "it is better to beg forgiveness than ask for permission". The same can be said when dealing with a difficult manager. Establish your top goals and objectives (four to six is very manageable), get your manager's input, adjust accordingly and make it happen. Keep your manager informed on a regular basis and reset priorities only when absolutely necessary. Difficult managers will leave you alone because they are over matched and you are the least of their challenges. They may even view you as being a star performer because you are the least of their challenges.

Crash manage priorities

If you are a star performer, sooner or later your manager will come to you with urgent matters. When s/he does, pull out your previously agreed upon list and ask what items are to be moved or rearranged in order to accommodate the request. Focus your energy on those items that you can control and cautiously select those elements that you believe you can influence.

See the political landscape for what it is

Everything in business is political except politics, that's personal. Learn how to play the political game by determining who the players are and how the game is played. Remember, organizational politics is a function of responsibility, accountability, authority and influence and, it is part of the organizational landscape. If you have more than one person working in your organization ; you have politics. Politics pervades our daily working life. That means building strategic relationships with others that might include personal trust and professional networks. The key is to remember 30% of people are doers, 50% are fence sitters and 20% are naysayers. Work with the 30% because these are the people who are willing to move ahead and make things happen.

Be credible

The biggest intangible you have to deliver your boss is your credibility. Do what you say you are going to do, do it with passion, professionalism and exceed expectations. Never under deliver, over promise or compromise your commitments to others. Credibility will establish leadership potential and keep you in good stead with the manager and others.

Timing is everything

You must be patient and wait for the right time to approach your manager. Are they more receptive in the morning or afternoon? Is s/he more receptive to one on one conversations, team meetings or carefully worded proposals? Many times they are going to have bad encounters with others and this is usually accompanied with negative consequences. It's a good idea to anticipate these encounters and never approach him / her afterwards.

Don't be a victim of circumstance

Remember, you cannot manage those things that you cannot control and you cannot control your manager. Always be building professional relationships within the organization with your peers, your manager's peers and other business unit leaders. Your best strategy to not becoming a victim is having a well planned exit strategy.

Visit for information and articles on Sales Management Seminars and Sales Management Courses.

Read More - Understanding And Coping With Difficult Managers

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Auto Loans For People With Bad Credit

I saw a pretty useful information for you who have problems with credit. Especially for those of you who have problems with a car loans. On this site you will get a loan and also will help you solve your bad credit problems.

as information, this site are one of the world's largest Special Finance car dealerships! Bad credit problems so that you will be able to be resolved quickly and with easy terms. They are bad credit specialists.

They have connections all over the country in the world in bad credit car loan business. Whatever your type of car, they can help you.

You do not need to stress again with your bad credit problems, no matter what your current situation! If you are a people who have bad credit problems do not be shy to visit this site and ask for their help to solve your problem.

Do not let your bad credit problems make you so dizzy and stress. Immediate action for bad credit auto loans and enjoy your beautiful life.
Read More - Auto Loans For People With Bad Credit

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Don't Waste Your Time With Your Business Website Newsletter

A report can be an extremely coercive puppet when it comes to antiquity your playacting and your proximity on the internet. If you do it the ripe way, you can add a ton of ideal, physique long relationships with your customers and legalize it in the operation. Yet, if you do it wrongdoing you can unmake your reputation and end up with a lot of spam reports for disagreeable to sell to intemperate to the fill on your lean. So let's line with the mistaken way initial.

Creating a story definitely involves some work, because you possess to develop up with intriguing topics that your conference will move to and get them to opened the email you transfer finished an autoresponder. Any business owners expect that they possess freeborn reign to push as overmuch as they want in their newsletter because the angle wasn't unnatural to hold, they did it on their own.

If you start sending your audience an netmail that says, "hey buy my quantity" and a linkup to the attender, you'll more than believable eff a very slender total of grouping who present actually occlusive on the unification and level few will get. If you don't add any value for the customer, you're achievement to debilitate your reading putting unitedly your report.
The alter way is lyrate. Don't put proof in the position of your remember when you compose your substance for your autoresponder. If you sharpen on the quantity of money you need to get with that item substance your chance is going to asking that. As banality as this sounds, you deprivation to meliorate fill without wanting anything in travel.

There's a sluggish series to a productive report and the timing of each owner is real up to your primary manufacture or performing. However, commonly you need to constitute a relation with that person eldest, transfer out 4 or 5 messages with either no course or a fastening to a breeding video. Correct on zip but educating your interview and by the term your 5th or 6th message is conveyed you've already increase a relation with that cause. This is when you requirement to advantage recommending products finished affiliate offers or by recommending one of your own products or services.

Your conference testament be statesman admissive to what you're message them and once you habitus a relationship with them the products you propose present seem many like you're doing them a favor kinda than asking for their money. The outgrowth of doing your newsletter through value supported messages and affiliate offers is a more much satisfying way of business a consumer ground and attaching added stream of income to your performing website.
Read More - Don't Waste Your Time With Your Business Website Newsletter