Posted by: kerrywills | September 13, 2013

Stay Connected

I believe that the Program Manager must always be aware of the status of any of their projects or works treams at any given time. This sounds easy to do, but with larger programs it can be a challenge. My current program has 5 sub-programs and a total of 26 project IDs. I find that the way I stay current is through three main mechanisms,,

1. Status and Meetings:  Probably the last effective, in my opinion, but I attend these regularly. I also keep a binder with tabs in it for each sub-program and a page for each project. I then update that page with relevant points and the date as a running log of progress.

2. One-on-ones: When not in program meetings I set up many individual meetings which I find extremely valuable. This includes my Project and Program Managers, key business stakeholders, program leads and even extended stakeholders (asset owners, ‘customers’ of my program, etc). I schedule the frequency based on the level of interaction (e.g. PMs I meet with weekly, but some stakeholders only monthly). Also in my binder I keep a page for each person (organized alphabetically, of course) with the key items to discuss. This way anytime something comes up that I need to discuss, it gets captured for the next discussion.

3. MBWA: Lastly, when not in meetings (which seems to be rare these days) I will walk the floor to catch up with team members or colleagues. MBWA means “Management by Walking Around” which is exactly that. I find this helps to maintain relationships and it is also a very useful source of information.

1The result of these techniques is to always stay current on the program progress, issues and risks so that I can help mitigate problems and always be current on where the program is. Are there other techniques that people use?



  1. […] Kerry Wills explains how he keeps connected with all of the goings-on in his program.  Short version: a lot of conversations! […]

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