September 26, 2008

Who Is Your Master?

Ready to communicate?
organization meeting communication
The easy answer is - the person above you in the organizational chart. But organizations are unfortunately more complicated than straight forward 1-1 relationships. There are dotted lines, peer groups, interface points, stakeholders, steering committees, client, customers – you get the picture.

In this web of relationships the challenge becomes prioritization. Who is relevant, influential and critical for your project success? Everyone cannot be dealt with in the same way, given the same information and expected to react in a predictable fashion. People are different, their roles are different and their expectations are different.

Your immediate manager can be your best ally if you have the right relationship with him. He will defend you, coach you, and help you succeed – because your success means his success. If you ignore, sideline, undermine or surprise your manager – you walk on dangerous ground.

Other relationships need to be scoped out and put in perspective. Some are “required but useless” ventures – you need to meet the requirements but not invest too much time in such activities. Some relationships may look superfluous but could be important. Participation of upper management in your project (steering committee) needs to be managed carefully and proactively.

The requirements are plentiful and time is limited. Understand your reporting priorities and leverage your relationships to be successful.

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