Just Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Project Managers by nature like to take on new stuff. And this can be problematic. From the outset, you should have a clear picture of what needs to be achieved by your project and EVERYTHING you do needs to be focused on this end result. There are two benefits to keeping your eye (and your team member’s eyes) on the prize. The first is that people on your team are empowered to make decisions and work effectively even when the boss is not there. The second related benefit of always keeping your eye on the prize is that it increases your probability of success and achieving the desired end result.
An example to illustrate this point from Erik’s own experience involved an implementation project for a back-office system for an education institution with multiple locations. The prize at the end of this project were the organization-wide benefits. However, the school director at one of the locations was more concerned with being the first site to implement the system rather than working towards the company-wide benefits that were the true prize. This caused a problem as resources were diverted towards that individual site rather than being better utilized elsewhere and in a more evenly distributed fashion. The result was a tug-of-war to focus the resources and the client back on the true prize of the project, the company-wide benefits.
The issue was addressed and resolved during a Project Board meeting by the Project Manager with the backing of the chair.