Many people are uncomfortable with ambiguity. They don’t like the feeling of not knowing what’s coming next or being put in the position to adapt to changes on a moment’s notice – but for project management, ambiguity is the norm. Project managers know the architecture of a project and the role that each person plays are prone to shifting, especially in more complex endeavors.
While working through this type of ambiguity is second nature for seasoned project managers, this isn’t the case for team members who like things a little tidier and clearly defined. This puts project managers in the difficult position of defining roles in an environment that demands agility.
It’s a tough challenge, but definitely not impossible. Here are three tips that project managers can use every day to combat role ambiguity among team members.
Draw the Line Between Formal Roles and Individual Tasks
The very nature of complex projects means it’s next to impossible to predict the future from an organizational standpoint. Yes, there are goals, but exactly how they’ll be met is still yet to be seen. To help combat role ambiguity in project management, it’s often necessary to draw the line between formal roles and assigned tasks.
Rather than focusing on individual roles, switch gears and assign individual tasks that need to be accomplished and define how those tasks contribute to the end goal. Keeping team members, and yourself, focused on the goals and deliverables takes the focus off of shifting roles.
Implement Time Blocking
Time blocking helps you and your project team work more efficiently. Rather than working according to the clock, time blocking helps your team focus on the most important tasks at hand. As a project manager, it’s crucial that you not only communicate the tasks that need attention, but also answer any questions and supply as much clarity as possible.
Your project team is going to work best when they have a clearly defined schedule and chunks of tasks that need their attention. Roles and responsibilities may shift, but time blocking keeps a consistent pace of work and sense of purpose among your team.
Reinforce the Relationship Between Roles and Project Goals
It’s important to take time to step away from the immediate tasks at hand and look at the big picture. What are the far-reaching goals of the project, and what role does each team member play in reaching those goals?
Meet with your team regularly to identify achievements, both on a team and individual level, and plan ahead for the next phase of time blocking. Make sure each team member sees how their contributions in the past and future contribute to the project completion.
Reach Your Goal With Our Help
Don’t let role ambiguity get between you and successful project management. At PMO Partners, we provide project management solutions to help businesses like yours reach their goals. Contact PMO Partners and let us share our expertise in PMO solutions with you today.