Make Sure Everyone Knows About Your Project

The project manager wanting to run his project on the radar as much as possible? What kind of thinking is this? Why would any PM want to do that? Project managers often live in obscurity for years. Accolades go to the team, not often to the project manager. Blame maybe, but usually not big rewards. Success is expected, though sometimes hard to achieve. Usually, it sounds pretty good to be flying under the radar. Less involvement from senior management. Fewer meetings to interrupt the project workflow. Fewer eyes on everything that is going on.

So, why would we want to get our project noticed? Well, I’ve had low profile projects, I’ve had high profile projects. And I’ve had projects where I was told to “go manage it” and some senior management involvement would have been nice. Some reasons why you would want your project to get noticed include:

  • It’s a high, complex project and outside information and decision-making is going to be needed along the way
  • You’re short of resources and you need 1-2 good resources added but extra bodies with the skills you need are hard to come by
  • Funding is questionable and at some point, you may need an injection of funds
  • It’s first-of-it’s-kind project in your organization and you are entering into a land of unknowns and never-done-befores

So, now do you want to get your project noticed? Still maybe not, but if you do, here are three ways to that should help make that happen…

Do a project presentation for senior leadership

This one is not for the faint of heart and it may not fit well at all organizations…depends on how your company or divisions put meetings like this together. But having the ability at some meeting to stand up before some company leadership and talk about your project will definitely make an impression. If you have the opportunity and the stomach for it, go for it. It’s probably the fastest way to get noticed…short of having everything go south and one CEO calls another CEO…

Give all senior management weekly project status reports

The fastest way to ensure your senior management knows that you and your project exist is always to just screw something up and have your project client’s sponsor or CEO call your CEO and then he calls you into his office and really ends up knowing everything about you and your project. But a much better process is to start sending your project status reports to them for your projects – or at least your biggest projects. Make the status reports good, one-size-fits-all type reports so you want to have a nice high-level dashboard of project health (including financial health) because that may be all you ever get them to look at. But they will become familiar with you and your project(s). Think of it as heading into the voter’s booth with only a loose familiarity with most of the candidates. Who do you end up voting for? Probably the ones who’s names you recognize. Well, if you the project manager they recognize and you need their help, you’re a step ahead of your colleagues in getting the help you need because they at least “know of you.”

Send company emails on project milestones/deliverables

Some organizations may frown on this for anything but successful final project rollouts. But often you can also broadcast good project success information along the way – for instance when you deliver on a key phase of your project when you are only 5 months into a year-long engagement. Now you have seven months left on a project that everyone in the company knows something about…including some individuals that may be nice to have available and connected to your project should needs arise.

Getting your project noticed – if all things are going well (or relatively well) – can help smooth path to project success. The more people who know about your project, the easier it is for you to get help quickly if you need it, get information from key players for critical decisions that need to be made, and get the right resources or funding without too much red tape that might otherwise be required and stalling your project. Of course, raising too much attention to a project in trouble can just put you in everyone’s mind as the failing project manager, so be careful how you use this new found knowledge or approach.

Thoughts? What do our readers think about getting your project noticed? Is it something you strive for…run away from…never thought about? Please share your thoughts and discuss.