Project management is all about keeping things on track and delivering a project that meets the goals and objectives set by the stakeholders. But what happens when your stakeholder is a senior executive who is a firm believer in “Keep it Simple” philosophy?
Welcome to the world of a project manager trying to keep things simple for a senior executive who doesn’t want to be bogged down by details. It’s a fine balance between being respectful of your boss’s preferences and ensuring that the project is delivered on time, within budget and to the required standards.
Here are a few strategies to help you keep your senior executive happy while still delivering a successful project:
It is important to have all the facts and figures at your fingertips, so you are prepared to answer any questions that may come your way. Anticipate the kinds of questions your senior executive may ask and be ready with simple, easy to understand answers.
Focus on the Outcome
The key to keeping your senior executive happy is to focus on the outcome. Highlight what the project will achieve and how it will make their job easier, rather than the process of getting there.
Keep it Visual
Senior executives love visuals, and a picture is worth a thousand words. Create visual representations of the project, such as Gantt charts, flow charts, or mind maps to help them understand the project and how it will be delivered.
Regular communication is key to keeping your senior executive informed and happy. Use simple, easy to understand metrics to communicate project progress and highlight how the project is moving towards the desired outcome.
Emphasize the Benefits
Project management is all about delivering value to the business, so make sure your senior executive understands the benefits that the project will bring. Highlight how the project will make their life easier, save time and money, or improve the overall performance of the business.
Know When to Push Back
While it is important to keep your senior executive happy, it is equally important to ensure that the project is delivered successfully. If there is a critical aspect of the project that needs to be delivered in a specific way, be prepared to push back and explain why it is important to do it this way.
In conclusion, managing a senior executive who is all about keeping things simple can be a challenge. However, by being prepared, focusing on the outcome, keeping it visual, communicating progress, emphasizing the benefits, and knowing when to push back, you can successfully deliver a project that meets their expectations while still delivering a high-quality product.
Just remember, if all else fails, you can always throw a pie chart at them and say “it’s simple, see?”