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Tuesday, 27 March 2007 08:43

Calling All Team Members

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One week after the very bumpy implementation of the new sales management system, all implementation team members were invited to a lessons learned session. In the invitation from the Director of Project Management was an assurance that the purpose of the meeting was truly to capture lessons learned for future implementations. In spite of this, most attendees were apprehensive.

The Project Manager for the effort declined the invitation for the meeting. In the past project managers had always conducted lessons learned sessions. Quite frankly, she was offended that the Director of Project Management called this meeting without asking her opinion. So she decided that if the Director wanted to take over her responsibilities and facilitate the meeting, she did not need to attend.

The Business Analyst accepted the invitation. He prepared a list of questions he had about the customer requirements. He did not recall ever seeing requirements on any of the project meeting agendas. The Project Manager always defined and published the agendas. Perhaps now was the time to ask?

The Chief Technology Officer cleared his calendar to attend the meeting. He wanted to make sure that nobody blamed his infrastructure team for any of the implementation issues. After all, his team purchased the appropriate hardware and had it in place well before their deadline. None of the ‘bumps’ in the implementation were his problem.

The Application Manager encouraged all of the software developers to attend, but urged them not to speak unless they were directly asked a question.

The Quality Assurance Lead decided to attend. She had not decided if she was going to discuss the fact that she believed the Business Analyst had not seemed clear about the requirements. In her opinion, that was really a problem between the Customer and the Business Analyst.

As the meeting began, the Director was shocked to see that the Project Manager was not in attendance. It never occurred to the Director that his own employee would not attend a meeting he scheduled. The truth was he needed the Project Manager to define the issues to discuss and facilitate the session. He merely sent the invitation to ensure that everyone would give this discussion top priority. He had scheduled the meeting as a show of support to the Project Manager.

Without knowing the details surrounding the bumpy implementation, do you see anything in the attitudes exhibited by these team members that could have led to a difficult implementation?

  • Is the Director of Project Management absolved from communicating with the Project Manager, just because of his role?
  • Is it acceptable for the Project Manager to walk away from her responsibilities because she thinks someone else has assumed her role?
  • Should the Quality Assurance Lead have told someone that the Business Analyst did not understand the Customer? Could she have helped the Business Analyst or urged him to step forward and ask his questions?

Would the outcome be different if team members stretched themselves beyond their job descriptions? If they had ventured into the area of team member responsibility, the answers to the questions above become obvious.


Read 6043 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 December 2009 18:18

My vision is to be instrumental in the development of individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; people who show others that it is OK to be human at work; who brings — and values — humanity to the office and thrives because of it. I want to create a world where peace and business co-exist.

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