If you manage projects in a matrix environment, or across
companies then you will run into the situation where people tell
you that they don't have time to work on your project due to
The way to get the focus that your project needs for your
success, is to demonstrate your energy and enthusiasm for your
project. Nobody wants to work on a project that a project
manager doesn't seem to care about.
Use these tangible tips to display energy and enthusiasm
for your project.
1. Always take the opportunity to talk live with people,
when you can. Replace emails with live calls wherever
possible. Communicate by talking, and listening - you will
get your message across, make people feel valuable and have
the opportunity to find out about potential issues that have
not yet surfaced.
2. Communicate frequently. Speak live with your
stakeholders. Show transparency by communicating your
project plans and status. This keeps your project in view.
3. Do what other project managers don't normally do. If
everyone in your organization relies on emails, then make a
point to phone your stakeholders and leave voice messages.
Take stakeholders to lunch if nobody around you does this.
Stand out as the project manager who has energy. Bring your
abundance of energy to the project in your voice and
4. Smile, and laugh. You can't convey energy and attract
people to work on your project if you are not fun to work
with. Challenge yourself to have fun and encourage humor in
5. Get a reputation for running projects professionally.
Nobody wants to work on projects where every 15 minutes
reveals a new surprise and work is frequently reworked due
to poor planning. Insist on planning and following the plan,
and discouraging scope creep. Apply the basics of
professional project management, such as running efficient
meetings and following up on commitments that people make to
you and to each other. Demonstrate your energy by initiating
these basic project management skills.
6. Understand the project. Make sure that you are in control
of the project and are truly the executive sponsor's agent
for the project. Don't allow yourself to become the
"clipboard toting project manager" whose only objective is
to check off the boxes on the task list. Take ownership of
the project and make the effort to understand the project.
7. Ask team members on the project "What is your biggest
problem on the project?" and then help them to solve the
problem. Demonstrate that you are helping them to succeed.
In summary, show that you have abundant energy, and bring
your energy to the project, then you find innovative ways to
make sure that you and your projects retain high priority in
the minds of stakeholders. In turn, people will be more
willing to give your project the focus that it needs for
Energy, not process, determines the priority that your
project gets in a matrixed organization.