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A Mini Case Study: Leading a Project as a New Project Manager – Part I

Best Practices for a New Project Manager to Establish Themselves and Build Relationships Quickly

Background: Sydney was a newly hired project manager at a consulting firm. She has previous experience working on project teams, but had never led a project on her own. She has only been with the firm for two weeks and has spent a week of that time in onboarding. Her manager, the head of operations, has just assigned her to a rather large project. The project is to evaluate the current processes in use within the organization specifically focused in two areas: new service development and client engagement. Sydney was told to select who she needed to work on the project and reach out to the managers of both groups to get the project started.

The Problem: While excited about the opportunity, Sydney realized she had a few challenges ahead:

  • She has had no time to establish relationships within the organization
  • She realized that it may be difficult to engage the departments in the initiative given the project she was asked to lead
  • She was concerned about selecting team members when she did not yet know much about the others in the organization (their skills and knowledge and expertise)
  • She knew very little about the organization outside of what she learned in the onboarding program and her research when she was applying for the project manager role

Sydney needed to start the project fairly soon. She didn’t have the luxury of taking time to build relationships and get to know people before the project had to begin.

What do you recommend Sydney does to ensure her first large project is a successful one?

In Part 2, we’ll share some best practices for Sydney to consider to ensure her first project starts off well.

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