Project management is a challenging field that requires strong leadership and decision making abilities. Unfortunately, sometimes senior executives can fall short in these areas, which can lead to significant inefficiencies, delays, and damage to projects. In these scenarios, it falls on the project manager to provide feedback and find ways to navigate the situation to ensure project success.
The first step in addressing a senior executive’s lack of decision making is to identify the root cause. Here are some common examples of slow or no decision making:
Overanalysis Paralysis: The executive is so focused on analyzing all the options that they become overwhelmed and cannot make a decision.
Indecision: The executive simply cannot make up their mind, leaving the project in a state of limbo.
Fear of Failure: The executive may be afraid of making the wrong decision, causing them to avoid making any decision at all.
Lack of Authority: The executive may not have the necessary authority or resources to make the required decisions.
Unclear Goals: The executive may not have a clear understanding of the project’s goals, causing confusion and slow decision making.
Once the root cause of the slow decision making has been identified, the next step is to provide feedback to the senior executive in a constructive and professional manner. Here is a step by step guide on how to provide feedback:
Schedule a meeting: Schedule a one-on-one meeting with the senior executive to discuss the issue.
Start with positives: Begin the meeting by acknowledging the senior executive’s strengths and accomplishments.
State the facts: Clearly state the facts of the situation and the impact it is having on the project.
Focus on solutions: Instead of simply complaining, focus on finding solutions to the problem.
Be open to feedback: Encourage the senior executive to share their perspective and be open to their feedback.
Be respectful: Be respectful and professional throughout the meeting, even if the situation is difficult.
Agree on next steps: Agree on the next steps and timeline for resolving the issue.
In addition to providing feedback, project managers can also develop their own organization awareness and political savviness to navigate these types of situations. Here are some tips:
Build relationships: Build strong relationships with key stakeholders and decision makers to understand their perspectives and motivations.
Know the organizational culture: Understand the organizational culture, values, and priorities to effectively navigate the political landscape.
Communicate effectively: Communicate effectively with all stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Be proactive: Anticipate potential issues and proactively develop solutions to address them.
Stay informed: Stay informed about changes and developments in the organization to stay ahead of potential problems.
In conclusion, providing feedback to a senior executive’s lack of decision making can be challenging, but it is necessary for the success of the project. By identifying the root cause, providing constructive feedback, and developing organizational awareness and political savviness, project managers can navigate these situations effectively and ensure project success.