The least the Middle Manager needs to know

  • What major initiatives and projects are they supporting and are they completing them on time?
    • MM is the interface from the team in translating the strategic goals into actionable items. It is important that MM identifies them and assigns the proper resources for them.
  • What are the primary products and services produced by this team?
    • MM needs to know what products and services that his team is supporting as MM represents the team to other departments and also externally to customers. Also, when he is in strategic meeting with executives he needs to know his products and services to accept the strategic goals.
      Project Management main phases
      Image via Wikipedia
  • What is the quality of the inputs and outputs
    • MM is responsible for the delivery of his projects and programs and it goes without saying that the quality standards must be met and any unacceptable quality products or services makes no sense as it has to be redone, which would affect the schedule, promises, resources, etc.
  • What are the internal and external customer’s expectations for responsiveness and throughput?
    • The internal customers are the value delivery chain for whom the MM’s output is his input. If MM’s organization fails to deliver the output at the desired timeline, quality or quantity then the overall delivery of the organization would fail.
    • External customer feels the MM is responsible for the overall delivery of the output with the specified budget, schedule and resources. They expect MM to be responsible as he has the authority to get things done. MM has to be very agile and responsive to customer’s requests.
  • What is the most important contribution that internal and external customers expect?
    • Internal customers: They expect the MM to be organized, understand the risk involved in the project/program, and understand the goals, schedules, deliveries, process, controls, and expectations.
    • External customers: They expect the honesty, integrity, timely delivery of the output at the pre-defined budget, resources and quality. In short they do not expect any surprises from MM.
  • What are the expectations for improving the departmental processes and procedures?
    • The processes are dynamic and needs to be tailored according to changes in the customer’s requirement, organization goals, etc. Since it is important to adhere to process to come out with better results, it is also very important to set the process and controls in the first place.
  • Are the team members looking for ways to improve?
  • Process improvement can not happen from just one MM. He can be pivot, he can set the controls and ensures with auditing that they are followed, but to understand the process and to constantly improve them, the initiative should come from everyone in the department.
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