How aware are you of all your projects and everyone on your team? That might seem like a question to brush off (how can anyone be aware of all those things at the same time?!), but Kerry Wills has determined three main “mechanisms” to help a busy project manager not only help a project manager understand what is happening with their team, but also expand their ability to help and optimize.
Wills explains how status meetings aren't the best when it comes to being effective, but are still necessary and valuable to keeping a running log of progress. Next, he explains the value of one-on-one meetings with team members, leaders, and stakeholders:
When not in program meetings I set up many individual meetings which I find extremely valuable. This includes my Project and Program Managers, key business stakeholders, program leads and even extended stakeholders (asset owners, ‘customers’ of my program, etc). I schedule the frequency based on the level of interaction (e.g. PMs I meet with weekly, but some stakeholders only monthly). Also in my binder I keep a page for each person (organized alphabetically, of course) with the key items to discuss. This way anytime something comes up that I need to discuss, it gets captured for the next discussion.
Finally, Wills explains how “management by walking around” helps gain information–but, more importantly, also helps forge relationships between himself and team members.