January 18, 2018

About the author

Zilicus

I am a co-founder of Zilicus Solution and I write about project management, collaboration, productivity, project management software, cloud computing, requirement management and business empowerment.

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38 Comments

  1. 1

    Jamie

    First and foremost, unless there is an organizational buy-in; Alex’s effort will ineffective.
    1. It is John’s responsibility to provide strong support to Alex. Alex can not implement sound practices without having enough power.
    2. If necessary, John should convey strong signal (appropriately) to Thomas, Sarah, Silton and team.
    3. IMO, considering the facts presented here, Alex is a poor fellow. He is at a wrong place.

    1. 1.1

      Dhan

      Thanks Jamie for your comment.
      You said it correctly that resources should to be empowered aptly and should have a right environment to work, in order to work effectively .

  2. 2

    Kevin Justice

    For Alex, it is clearly a case of responsibility without power.
    What is the point of hiring Alex? John could have arranged for a project management consultant or trainer who would have trained existing staff members.

    1. For the current staff, a new PM was pushed on them; hence it is not surprising to see that they have reservations for new project manager. (I am not saying that they are correct. If it is a change for good, they have to accept it)
    2. It appears as if, John himself is not sure of how things are going to shape up.

    Hey Dhan,
    I am curious to know, what happened to Alex further (in reality)?

    1. 2.1

      Dhan

      Thank you Kevin for stopping by & analyzing the case study.

      Generally, we have resistance to any change. As you said, if the change is for greater good; we should embrace it.

      @Alex’s future,
      In next couple of weeks, I am going to update this blog post with what happened further (I would love to see more such responses). Do visit again to check what happened to Alex.

      Also, be ready to check more interesting case studies to analyze.

      -Dhan

  3. 3

    Martin Walker

    Whoa !!
    What sort of manager Alex is, who doesn’t know who’s working on what?

    Is it fair to assume that Alex failed to convince Thomas as well as John that how things are going wrong, since he was not getting real picture from the team?

    It is true, nobody likes to see that his current practices are wrong, Alex could show-case how these practices can be improved?

    Can he arrange for sessions for Thomas, Siton, Sarah, etc. to explain together they can make it better?

    I agree with Kevin, John need to strongly support Alex without making Thomas feel insecure.

    Best,
    Martin Walker

    1. 3.1

      Dhan

      Hey Martin,
      I liked your comment! (Thumps up!)

      It is a right approach, Alex might have taken to convince Thomas about the larger benefits of the Project Management practices Alex wanted to introduce.

      Keep visiting & commenting. We’ll have more interesting case studies and conversation about those.

      -Dhan

  4. 4

    SabithaAnisetti

    The case is here is quite similar to my current situation and in this case both John and Alex are wrong in the way they approached the situation. Surprisingly enough the solution is as simple as a communication approach and applying a management methodology. Here is how it can be done:
    John: Bringing in a Project Manager is a huge change for both Thomas and Sara. Understand and identify the response these 2 would have when a 3rd person is brought in. Communicate with them what is lacking with the projects and let them understand the need & value in hiring a certified experienced PM. John jumped in without his team buy-in ahead of time and hence the resistance from Thomas and Sara is quite natural. John also could have communicated the challenges as well as team dynamics with Alex beforehand and maintain that integrity.
    Alex: As a newly hired PM, there was no authority given to Alex over Thomas and Sara’s work. Alex knows what he is stepping into and should have a clear communication as in what kind of support he can expect from John. Before promising your deliverables, know the boundaries – Risk management 101. Hence Alex turned out frustrated wanting to leave job instead of finding a balanced ground to help Thomas, Sara and most importantly the company.

    The trend I have seen so far within management styles has been quite an unfortunate scene. Throw somebody in and expect problems to be fixed, this might work on a manufacturing floor with a bit of griping. It is different with a pool of highly talented professionals. What lacked here was appropriate change management and communication.

    1. 4.1

      Dhan

      Hi Sabitha,
      Glad to see you here & thank you for detailed analysis.

      As you correctly pointed out – though John is leading the department and directing it, the clarity of communication, buy-in from team is not seen. He clearly missed to foresee and realize that things could go wrong if this change was not received well.

      Alex is frustrated since he could not even work normally, for the very reason that he has no powers and was not received well by the team.

      You are so right in your closing para. Absolute truth and unfortunate reality – “throw somebody at a problem and expect things to turn out hunky-dory” , does not work in these scenarios. In such cases, management and leadership is really more about, right change management approach and clear communication.

      -Dhan

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