Life is full of surprises, especially in the world of IT management. In an article for PM Hut, Jim Anderson tackles how to deal with the uncertainty that will inevitably be prevalent, as well as how to teach the team to best handle it.
Be Ready for Anything
While working in IT, it is quite common to receive requirements from other departments. Predictably, these need to first go through a different department before landing on IT, and this creates a great deal of uncertainty for the team. When will IT actually get to start on it? When is the deadline? It is important to anticipate these things, but remain calm. Get ready for what is known to be coming. Create a preliminary schedule and give the team some sort of premeditated gauge for the sequence of upcoming events.
Once the information becomes readily available, the high level of uncertainty will certainly dissipate in part, but not go away entirely. The team should sit down to discuss this information and decide what they still need to know and what is still missing. Following this, IT will have to reach out to other departments and acquire the information they need.
One of the big fixers of uncertainty is scheduling. The team needs to establish a set project plan with the sequence of events that must happen and when they will occur. When a plan is absent, the team can become overwhelmed.
No matter how big and unwieldy the uncertainty, there will be strategies to mitigate it. It is not the ambiguity that will define the direction in which the team will take a project, but rather how it is dealt with. Uncertainty can eventually be beneficial for the manager, once they acquire the skill set to properly handle it.
You can read the original post here: http://www.pmhut.com/how-it-managers-can-teach-their-teams-to-handle-uncertainty