As a project manager, what should I delegate and what should I do myself?
Project management responsibilities are generally yours for any project where you are the designated leader. Delegation of some of this work to others can be necessary and appropriate on very large programs, but for the most part it is best to ‘‘delegate’’ all of it, or at least the most essential parts, to yourself. Project leaders can safely assume that their project management responsibilities will consume roughly 10 percent of their time per contributor on their teams. This time is consumed in meetings, communications, care and feeding of stakeholders, problem solving, hand-holding, and other general project-related tasks. If your team is larger than about nine people (whether they all report directly to you or not), you won’t have much bandwidth available to take on other assigned work. Even part-time contributors count—even though they might theoretically require less attention, often they actually require more because of their distractions and other priorities.
Your project will probably be your primary responsibility, but it may not be your only one. Consider how much time any other work you are committed to will require, and include that with the overall assessment of your workload. Also include any planned time off or other interruptions such as organizational meetings that will take time away from your project. If you have only modest other demands on your time and your project is small, or you have a very experienced and competent team that will require little attention, you may find that you do have some amount of time to devote to other assigned work on the project. In gauging your capacity, it’s prudent not to schedule more than about 90 percent of your time in advance; you will need to be able to react quickly to problems and issues as they arise.
Even if you do appear to have some available work capacity, set a target to delegate nearly all the project activities you define to your contributors. Consider yourself a last resort, and only assign yourself work that is easily interrupted and not schedule critical. Your first priority should be to the project as a whole, and if you assign yourself critical work you are liable to find yourself with conflicting top priorities. You may find that there are activities for which you are by far the most qualified and experienced person on your team. Even for this work, you should not consider yourself as the first option. It is difficult to assign work to people who are less competent than you are, and it can be painful to watch people fumbling through tasks that you can do blindfolded. If you intend to take the role of project leadership seriously, you need to get over this. Assigning work to your team members will build the base of skills on your team, and it will leave you open to help and mentor as needed in addition to all your other responsibilities. In short, assign to yourself scheduled activities (other than those directly related to project management) only when you have available capacity, the work is noncritical, and you appear to be the only reasonable option.
Throughout your project, things will happen that won’t be as you planned them. The main reason for leaving some available capacity for yourself unscheduled is so you will be able to take on unanticipated, emergency work as the need arises. If a key contributor is out ill or otherwise indisposed, someone will need to step in. Effective project leaders are always assessing the overall status and rebalancing the work in the face of reality, so that progress can continue more or less as planned. Delegating work to yourself during the project is nearly inevitable, and if your ‘‘normal’’ workload consumes all of your capacity, the only option open to you will be to work overtime. If you plan to see much of your home and family during your projects, exercise great restraint when delegating planned work to yourself.
"Don't babysit," "It's very common for budding project managers to treat their job like an enforcer, policing the project team for progress and updates."
Solution: "Instead of babysitting the project team, let it be known from the start [i.e., the kick-off meeting] that there will be regularly scheduled updates for the duration of the project. This lets your team know that status updates and progress are expected from them weekly and will encourage them to "vocalize any issues or delays in advance."
Good managers empower their employees to do well by giving opportunities to excel; Bad managers disempower their employees by hoarding those opportunities. And a disempowered employee is an ineffective one – one who requires a lot of time and energy from his supervisor.
Motivational Quotes : "When you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do
when you want to do them." -- Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker
Challenges in Project management: Allowing the Scope to Frequently Change.
"Any project that doesn't have an ultra-clear goal is doomed,"
a Web-based project management tool, "scope change is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to your project. If not handled properly it can lead to cost and time overrun." Even something small, like changing the color of a logo or adding a page to a website might cause unexpected delays,
Solution: Define the scope of your project from the outset and monitor the project regularly to make sure you and your team are keeping within the scope. And to avoid delays and deviation from the original scope, "track change requests separately from the original project scope, and provide estimates on how it will affect the schedule -- and get explicit customer/stakeholder approval for each change," .
Failing to Get Everyone on the Team Behind the Project.
Too often, projects are doomed to fail because they didn't get enough support from the departments and people affected by and involved in the project. Either managers: "
1) Didn't make clear what everyone's role was.
2) Didn't describe the personal payoff everyone would get when the project was completed
3) Didn't tell how each person's contributions to the project would be evaluated. And/or
4) Failed to generate a sense of urgency about the project, leading the team to think business as usual will be fine,"
Solution: "The project manager should start by calling the team together (being certain to include off-site staff via the best technology available) and delivering a presentation about the project and its significance in a way that gets everybody fired up."