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Friday, 23 June 2017 11:23

Have You Used These Five Non-Standard Project Management Techniques?

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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.22.06

Have You Used These Five Non-Standard
Project Management Techniques?

There are multiple ways to manage and monitor your projects. Many are "standard" models you read in most columns. However, sometimes there are reasons to implement a non-standard model. Here are five examples.

1. Hands-off - Remote Control

This means that you get a sense of what is occurring on your project by reviewing the schedule, using email, or calling team members every now and then. The remote control method doesn't incorporate much face-to-face time with the team. Much of the time spent managing the project is from behind the desk and using a computer. This method works well if it is a small project or if you are managing many, many small projects at the same time. It is not a great method, but better then none at all.

2. Really Hands-off - Auto-Pilot

This is when you get a project started and let it run itself the rest of the way - as long as the project is going well. This method can be used if the team is very experienced and has worked together successfully before. In addition, you need to trust the team to re-engage with you if they have concerns or need help.

3. Hands-on - In Your Face

The "in their face" method is on the opposite side of the spectrum of the remote control method. This is when you are immersed in every detail and provide short-term direction. You can monitor the project very effectively because you know every detail about the project. Some may call this micro-managing...and they're right. But, there is sometimes a place for micro-managing. For instance, if you have a team of junior people. It also may be right for managing short-term, critical milestones - for instance at the end of a phase or end of a project.

4. Collaboration - Can't We All Just Get Along?

This method involves team management of the project. The project is managed through regular meetings, updates, and other forms of real-time communication. An example is an agile team where there is a group of peers working together rather than a top-down hierarchical approach. This can also work if your team is working for the first time in uncharted territory. The team may work collaboratively to discover the nature of the project as you progress.

5. Default Management - The Assumptive Close

An assumptive close is when someone assumes you have already decided something - when you have not. For example, a car salesperson may ask if you would like to buy a car in red or black color - even though you have not said you would buy the car yet. This may be appropriate when people will not make decisions since it pushes people down a path. For example, rather than ask whether a sponsor agrees with a scope change request, you can list two possible outcomes of the scope change and ask the sponsor which he prefers.
None of these models above is totally by-the-book. However, there may be circumstances when they may be appropriate. The key is to recognize the risks associated with these approaches, and implement them purposefully - not as an excuse for lazy or sloppy project management. 
TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit or contact us at
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