Follow Up

December 3, 2008 at 1:28 am 1 comment

For those of you who don’t know I am a project manager.  I spend my days making sure projects get done in the manner in which they were envisioned.  Although that sounds easy, it can be quite challenging to get a group of people to stay focused on a task for a year or more while other “things” jockey for their attention.

In the five or so years I’ve been managing projects I’ve found one skill that few naturally possess but is absolutely necessary as a project manager and is useful for all to learn.  That skill is simply following up with those to whom you have assigned a task.

Many of you may be saying some like, “Well, duh!” but you would be amazed at how often I see people make a request and then never follow up on its progress until the deadline has gone whipping by and they (the responsible party) is left standing in front of an expectant client or boss with nothing to show.  …how embarrassing!

What I have learned is that once you have clearly presented your request to the person or team that will be designated to complete your desire, you must repeatedly get updates on the status of your task.  These updates can take the form you you poking your head  into someone’s office and asking, “How’s that task going Mac,” sending out and email asking about the status or requesting periodic status updates. 

This/These methods of Follow up ensure that the task is being done or allows you to set your assignee back in motion so that you have your deliverable (the thing you asked for) when you need it and in the shape you asked for it to be presented.


Entry filed under: Project Management.

…like Daddy…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. PM Hut  |  December 3, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Following up, IMO, is not only something extremely critical in a Project Manager’s life, but it does earn him/her respect from the resources. Most programmers out there think that Project Managers do nothing all day, and following up with them, regularly, asking them questions, trying to find ways to solve their problems, might change this prejudice.


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