VISUAL – The Catalyst for project acceleration

PM Articles by Project Times. 

An effective PM pushes obstacles out of the way of the team to make a clear path for the project to move ahead, communicate, etc. If unable to move or eliminate the obstacle themselves, a successful PM finds ways to influence others or alternate mechanisms to employ.

Obstacles can be any item that is hindering progress or the ability for the team to collaborate and communicate.

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There are the seven key techniques:

Seven key Techniques: “VISUAL”

  • Visibility – Bring items to the forefront that need attention and increased visibility. This also involves being sensitive, intelligent, and creative with regard to who’s on copy in your communications. Unfortunately, certain individuals need a bit more management scrutiny than others.
  • Integrate – Drive effective communication within the project and connect parties. Leaving messages or sending emails with dozens of folks in the to and cc line and hoping for answers is a futile pursuit. The PM must drive integration

Identify key decisions that need to me made to remove roadblocks and get moving! Step up and ask the difficult questions your team does not want to.

  • Show Empathy and commitment– Realize that you work for your team, not the other way around. Provide constant care and support, even when team members are not asking for it. Set aside personal wants and needs and lead by example.
  • Urgency – Remain focused on results and deadlines, and bring continued visibility to them until tasks are completed. Keep focus on priority tasks and associated dependencies and drive them forward.
  • Anticipate – Anticipate the materialization of a road-block and take measures to prevent it from coming about. Part of this is early and often communication with stakeholders regarding needs and expectations.
  • Listen (then clarify)- Actively listen to what your team members are telling you. There will be no doubt what their obstacles are. Your job is to get creative and quickly remove them. Seek to understand, then to be understood. Remember that a problem clearly stated is a problem half solved. Lack of clarity breeds problems and frustration. In absence of clarity, the PM should make assumptions and present them to the team. Folks are quick to refute assumptions that indicate they owe or are responsible for something that they are not. It should be no surprise that a fairly enlightening conversation ensues.

Utilization of these tools will greatly enhance your effectiveness as a PM. Your team will immediately notice your actions. The momentum created by the acknowledgment and positive reciprocation will accelerate your project forward!