Collaboration: Executives

It may seem as though there’s very little “collaboration” with an executive team—they say, you do. But in reality, your Project Team and the executives have a two-way relationship. At any given time, the executive team might be your stakeholder, your project’s biggest supporter, the last stop for funding approval, and sometimes even your end user. Developing a good partnership between your Project Team and the executives will help achieve objectives on both sides.

Why you need them: The executive team will have varying levels of influence depending on the company and the project. They may give final approval on project scopes and budgets, determine which group of stakeholders a project will serve, and even assign project teams or leaders. They might also be in a position to gain community support or legislative approval when it’s needed for your project to move forward.

DO keep the executives informed when managing a project that directly involves them. Find out if they want to receive communications directly or if an admin or other delegate will track your progress.

DO contact your executive team early if you anticipate needing approval or funding support on a project. Their schedules often book far in advance, and rushing through the process is unlikely to give you the result you want.

DO ask the executives for an updated strategic roadmap when developing your Project Team’s annual budget and project workload. You want to be sure your efforts are in line with the company’s plans.

DON’T assume the executive team is interested in the minutiae of every project you’re managing. Unless they’ve asked for more detail, provide them with quick, high-level overviews.

DON’T use the executives as a last-ditch appeal board every time the normal project approval process gives you pushback. You’ll quickly wear out your welcome with this tactic.

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