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How to Empower Your Project Team

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

As a project manager, you cannot do everything by yourself. There will be points during the project where you're going to have to trust your teammates. One way to do this is to empower your teammates which builds trust and shows them that you have confidence in them.

Think about situations where you needed the most help. For example you're located in the United States but the development and Quality Assurance (QA) teams are located in India. If the development team needs to work with the QA team to develop the test scripts for a project, why not let the teams meet during India time and allow only the QA manager or lead to give you status? This way, you don't need 15 people staying up late where only two people are going to give status.

What follows is a discussion on how you can go about empowering your teammates to get the job done.

Set Expectations

Meet with the resources you want to delegate to and walk them through exactly what you're expecting from them. A good idea is to draft a communication plan so that there is something in writing the delegates can refer to. This can come in the form of a Power Point presentation or some other presentation medium.

An example can be a definition of the meetings taking place in different time zones, who should be the audience, and who should be the meeting organizer. Then, the meeting organizer's can forward the notes to the project manager so that the project manager can take action when online.

Assign Responsibility

Make sure that the delegates are aware that they are responsible for the meetings that they manage. They cannot just hold these meetings and not act with urgency in regard to sending out notes or following up on actions that come from the meetings they host.

If possible, share your Action Item Document (AID) so that they can log any items that need follow up. Encourage them to constantly update this document so that you have a one-stop inventory of what needs to be followed up on.

Keep the Delegates Accountable

With the responsibility that you're giving to the delegates, you also need to hold them accountable. This means that they need to report to you the status of the meeting they have. If you are not clear about something they're managing, you have every right to be persistent until you get the answers that you want from them. Remember that they are accountable to you because you will ultimately be the one to stand before senior leadership to give status on the project.

Be Grateful to the Delegates

Be appreciative of the work that the delegates are doing. It is likely that they are either working very early mornings or late evenings to volunteer to help you. Remember that this part of their work is not part of their original job description.

At the end of meetings, thank them for working late. When a project is delivered or a piece of the final product is deployed, send an email to the team cc-ing their immediate management as to their huge accomplishment and your thanks.

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