A person described as a chameleon is someone who changes their personality depending on who they are with. A project manager who is a chameleon is one that can adapt their methods to match their customer and project. This is can make the difference between a smooth project and one that is much more difficult.
It’s common practice to adopt a methodology that works for you in your current role, but it’s even more critical to be flexible. You never know when you will be introduced to a team that has expectations around how the project will be run, and those can sometimes impact your effectiveness. This is especially true if the expectations are different than project manager’s approach. In these scenarios, it is the job of the project manager to adjust and adapt their behavior to meet the needs to of the project team.
Differences in expectations can manifest in several ways:
- fluctuations of communication styles
- lack of responsiveness
- unexpected escalations
All is not lost on your project when these situations arise. There are several little adjustments that project managers can make to calm the nerves of the project team and redirect the project to a successful close:
- adjust project methodology to align more closely to expectations
- take baby steps in setting expectations and laying out required information
- follow up often using different communication styles (i.e. call recaps, action items/completed tasks, shared project spaces for capturing all the artifacts)
Being a successful project manager is not just about bringing a methodology and walking through a specific set of steps. It’s about observing the entire project team, and stakeholders, understanding the requirements and figuring out how to execute in the most efficient way possible through all the obstacles and opportunities.