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My team and I have been working on a change management project. Our client, a director, has set rather broad goals on a particular topic to reach within a complex context.

D doesn't participate in our work but rather globally steers the project and defines an operational strategy.

D also appointed a PM to steer in a more hands-on approach our work. PM' scope is handling a part the subjects but also report to Mgmt. on all topics. PM however, clearly has many flaws and lacks very basic Professional skills : Cannot express issues in a clear and a concise fashion, micromanages, and is mostly inefficienct. We always handle PM's requests.

One day, PM accuses one member of the team of not being professional and an other of not working solely on this project.

Any advice about how to handle such behavior ?

  • Do you have any specifics? These are all very general statements – dustytrash Dec 7 '19 at 15:01
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I'd be inclined to take a three pronged approach:

  • Raise the issues with her directly one on one in the first instance citing specific examples including the impact on the team in general and project deliverables in particular.
  • If no improvement, then raise the issues formally on the project risk/issue register and reiterate your frustrations and improvement expectations moving forward.
  • If still no improvement, raise the issues formally at the project steering committee or whatever governance forum you have established, to seek support from senior stakeholders.

I'd recommend being clear but firm:

  • Address the behaviours spefically and how it impacts the team.
  • Give the PM an opportunity to raise their concerns.
  • Identify common points of agreement, any disputed points and agree next steps.
  • Ensure that current scope and approach is understood. Any major changes must be considered as PCRs and not just assumed as accepted until the impacts are understood and agreed.

In my experience, PMs are often empowered most when the project has clear goals and accurate and complete data on reporting progress and exceptions.

I specialise in project consulting and rescuing at risk projects.

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    No, I don't think so. This has to be done BEFORE but to address an unrelated accusation with another accusation is often the worst possible move. If PM's remarks are the truth then OP must answer them without trying to blame PM for their own faults. – Adriano Repetti Dec 7 '19 at 11:24

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