Leading Projects with multiple Project Managers

Have you ever been leading a project that has multiple Project Managers from various functions within the organization (for example:  Information Technology, Operations, Product Management, etc.)?  How do you make sure that the project continues to move in the right direction and ensure effective communication between multiple Project Managers?  If you find yourself in this situation, the following tips may be able to help you to keep the project on track and ensure that project leadership is all on the same page and “rowing the boat in the same direction”.

Define Clear Project Management Roles & Responsibilities- when a project has multiple Project Managers, clear roles and responsibilities need to be defined during the planning stage of the project.  To avoid confusion, it is imperative that there is only one voice (lead Project Manager) that is responsible for communicating the overall project status, progress, and project health.  It is very important, however, that the lead Project Manager is including the input from the other Project Managers when communicating the health of the overall project.  The other “non-lead” Project Managers should only be responsible for managing and communicating their respective portion of the project.  Having too many voices communicating overall project health will certainly lead to confusion, disorganization, and misalignment with the project, and we must do everything we can to avoid this type of situation, or the project will get off track quickly. 

Establish Recurring Project Manager Only Meetings- to ensure clear and effective communication between Project Managers, I recommend that you conduct weekly Project Manager only meetings.  During these meetings the following topics should be covered to make sure all Project Managers are on the same page: 

  • Overall project status and progress
  • Status from all Project Managers for their respective pieces of the project
  • Review of risks and action items
  • Discuss and address any other concerns and/or questions that the Project Managers may have

Good communication is crucial in any project, but it becomes even more important when multiple Project Managers are involved.  Establishing regular meetings and communication channels between the Project Management team will ensure that all Project Managers are aware of each other’s progress and challenges and are all on the same page.

Foster a Culture of Collaboration between Project Managers- encourage a culture of collaboration among Project Managers, and promote open communication and sharing of best practices.  Fostering a great team environment between Project Managers will help ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals and can help identify opportunities for synergy, resource sharing, and ultimately manage identified risks quickly and effectively.

If you find yourself in this situation and are trying to manage through the situation of having multiple Project Managers on a project, try some of these tips to get your project back on track. 

If you need assistance/guidance in improving the communication and alignment between multiple Project Managers, please reach out to me to learn how I may be of assistance.

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