The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world
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Advocating For Your Team

When was the last time you could select all the members on your team? Chances are as a Project Manager or ScrumMaster, our teams are already up and running or “resources” have been allocated by the organization.

What happens when performance doesn’t quite meet expectations? This is where advocacy come in. As a ScrumMaster, I am responsible for believing in the team and for reframing the situation towards success.

When working in IT departments or companies with several teams, it is tempting to start comparing one to another. This is the “A Team”, that one is non-performing. Each team has their unique characteristics, each members DNA makes it distinct from any other. The goal should be to find a way for each to excel at making progress and delivering value to our customers.

Last summer, a favourite career site The Daily Muse had an article on advocating for your self. I found it also applies to our teams, with steps on designing a conversation for positive change. They are:

  1. Outline the current situation
  2. What is working well
  3. What needs to change
  4. Propose resolutions for success

MiddleOnce presented in a succinct manner, be open to feedback and negotiating towards the middle. Management is there to help us remove obstacles beyond the scope of the team, and provide additional insight for greater context.

The middle is anywhere between point A and point B. It may not be 50-50. Every day, persons in the negotiations are shifting, circumstances change, new information becomes available.

Change may be dramatic or it may be executed in small incremental steps. May we all be present to embrace it as we can.

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About the Author

Passionate IT leader and collaborator with global business users and technical professionals. Agile champion, curator, illustrator, blogger, speaker. Experienced professional in enterprise financial/CRM system, Web self-service, POS, and data warehouse implementations, integrations, upgrades and enhancements. Avid traveler, yogi and Tough Mudder - WhooAh!
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2 Responses to “Advocating For Your Team”

  1. EXCELLENT article!

    The real project manager is part of the team, realistically assessing the positives and the negatives and conceiving solutions.
    “Negotiating towards the middle” implies moderation, calm and patience, qualities often undervalued nowadays.

    1. Thank you Pavel! I much appreciate your feedback. Just curious, in your experience if there is a secret tip for finding space to maintain a sustainable pace? Particularly in the quick/now solutions world.

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