Project Management

Smart Moves to Lead the Project in Manager’s Absence

Project managers get enough chances to showcase their worth to the organization while handling multiple projects or dealing with just a complex one. However, their aides get very limited opportunities and even lesser courage to fit in their big shoes.

In this article at Liquid Planner, Christian Knutson explains two lessons to gain a profound effect on career trajectory, one is to always work to make your boss’ boss look good while the other is to always work as if you are the only one responsible for the best outcomes.

Welcome Opportunities

There will be enough opportunities you may encounter when your reporting or project manager may not be able to tackle a tough situation at work. Annual holiday or a sudden business tour are the likely situations when you need to gear up to lead. Here are some smart ways to turn the situation in your favor:

  • Prepare & Act Beforehand: Even though you have your prior commitments set for the tasks in hand, keep enough bandwidth to deal with unexpected situations. Do not wait, instead, take the lead to step up and keep the project moving. In fact, your project manager wants the same thing to happen.
  • Define Expectations: Prepare to lead in the project manager’s absence by ascertaining his expectations, monitoring, and controlling the project meanwhile. Never assume the situation was predetermined but formulate moves in a much-planned manner.
  • Maintain Awareness: Remain sensitive to events and elements with respect to time or space by keeping a pulse on the project’s status. By maintaining awareness about the situation, you can position yourself to become the backbone of the project manager in his absence.
  • Be Audacious: This is one of the smartest moves to help you achieve your goals while pleasing your project manager and his boss. However, you need to always act with the mindset that you are responsible and accountable for the project, even when you are not. This attitude will help you provide constructive inputs when an emergency issue arises.
  • Respect the Person In-Charge: There is a thin line between acting audacious and violating your limits. Often project managers slam their associates for overstepping as their expectations were not sorted beforehand. Your job is to ensure the expectations between you and your manager is clear since day one. Also, use your emotional intelligence to chart out if he or she will take your effort positively or crush you for acting smart.

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