Posted by: kerrywills | April 1, 2011

Just the facts, ma’am

Having facts is essential to being successful as a Project Manager for many reasons:

  • They allow us to facilitate decisions from senior management. For example, knowing the detailed cost drivers of a project can help to facilitate a decision on whether it should move forward
  • They demonstrate the progress of the project. For example tracking number of test cases executed against the forecasted plan can tell if the project is behind schedule or on schedule
  • They provide insight into trends and issues. For example, having facts around outages and business impacts can demonstrate the severity of an issue

Having facts in presentations given to management and other stakeholders not only demonstrates credibility but also takes away the perception of it being someone’s personal opinion. This is especially important if there are ‘difficult’ stakeholders who work with the team. These are people who want to push at everything and make your life miserable. I have found that by focusing on the facts you can steer the conversation towards a decision based on these facts and not down a hole.

Of course having fact-based communications requires a level of diligence to identify the facts and track them but it is well worth it and provides a level of insight and confidence with the team and stakeholders.

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