Understand Your Place on the Project Team

Have you ever been at a meeting where someone tries to tell you what you should be doing and how? Even though you are the project manager -- the one who guides the team and makes decisions -- you still have people offering their two cents. The advice can come from a project team member or a credentialed project manager on a different project.  

I have actually done this myself as a project team member. As someone technical, and who also has project management experience and knowledge, I have tried to impart that wisdom to my project manager.

I clearly remember one project manager I would advise on a number of things. It's in my nature that when there's a gap -- whether in communication, documentation, project planning -- I want to point it out.

The dilemma is that if you impart your knowledge too forcefully, you are possibly invalidating the project manager.

In certain situations, that advice becomes unmanageable and puts more pressure on the project manager, not only to manage the project but also to manage you.

If we feel there's a need to bring something to the table that is going to add value to the project, it needs to be brought up as such. You should not expect that the project manager would just implement it because you said so.

Before you even do that, consider asking yourself why you are thinking a particular way about a situation. Why are you asking for the changes? How does it resolve a specific issue that you are dealing with?

Challenge yourself. See if you can adapt and work with your team, deliver what you are required to deliver and, as appropriate, bring up the items that you feel can add value to the project. Understand the value of your place in the project and fulfill on the expectations others have of you.

How do you handle project team members who forcefully suggest their ideas?

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