Effective Nagging: The Fine Art of Project Management
In my professional career, I’ve performed a great deal of project management. Sometimes as a manager of programs or projects, and other times even when it was my job, be doing something different (according to my job title). Most people outside of the organizations that I was in knew what I was talking about. Today, I’m a consultant who specializes in the management of programs and projects, and more often than not, I’m asked what exactly are you doing? ‘.
What exactly is an experienced project manager do?
Since I’m earning money through the management of projects and programs in my business, the question is asked from everyone – family members and, business associates, potential clients. In the meantime, I’ve numerous explanations and examples that I can draw from my bag to prove that I do actually have work that is actually real. I was reminded the other day, however, that the whole thing boils down to the following: I make people nag me to earn an income. (My mother is incredibly proud.)
Sure, there are lots of parts to being an effective program or project manager. Leadership, risk analysis reporting, planning knowing the requirements… however, to get it all done, I need to be nagging. Lots. Every day.
Nabbing… this truly is a part of the job.
As a young whippersnapper project manager, this would frustrate me to no end. I had lots of tasks to complete and was busy. Why couldn’t everyone perform what they were expected to do? It took me a long time to realize my role as the only one who could see the big picture in my mind of priorities and the way things were arranged, and what had to be completed in the next step. (Truly, nobody other than the project manager honestly reads a document other than to search for their names and the start and end dates of the major milestones? It’s a tragic fact, however, one that needs to be acknowledged.)
The next challenge was figuring out how to be a nagger that made people respond with an answer. The first issue was that I didn’t want to upset people (I’ve overcome that); therefore, I didn’t bother asking frequently enough. After I started making more frequent requests, typically by email since it was the most convenient method, since I frequently work in distributed teams, and also to be completely honest since I didn’t need to address anyone, I noticed that I was getting lost in the noise, and I didn’t receive any responses until I became very insistent. There was no one who was happy with this method (otherwise known as”please… thank you… Please… Please… Please… please..OK, I’m running out of time, and I’m desperate for an answer now!).
The real secret behind the art of nagging
Luckily, a friend showed me the art of persistent nagging (by applying it to me). I usually start by sending an email and then follow up with a person or via phone or Skype. I’m not rude, but I do nag at a higher frequency. When someone is aware that I’ll contact them to ask them how they’re doing on something, every day when I have to – they are likely to place me first on their lists in an attempt to avoid me. They aren’t likely to be angry since I’m polite and casual, but I’m persistent.
And the final step of nagging is to make agenda items for your meeting to ask for any updates I haven’t been online. As always, I’m friendly and polite and highly professional, without making any announcements (giving individuals an opportunity to ask me the information I require without having to ask me in an actual meeting). Then I’m professional and ready for the meeting.
Who knew that nagging was an art form? I’ll finish this off; I’ve got a few people that I’d like to… um… meet with.