Full Session without Abstracts
For those out there tackling the management skill development to reach next level management at their firms, the skills they don’t teach in school and on the job training hardly directly addresses, people often lean on “this is how I’ve always done it.” I will share some of my insight gained from managing multi-office, multi-time zone teams designing high profile projects with fast schedules with experience in two different continents where I was challenged to develop beyond the ways I had always done things.
Using project test case scenarios I will provide management skill techniques for people to use in multiple situations to avoid the management situation I found myself in where “how I had always done it” failed me. For those interested in training yourself to be able to effectively manage a team you have no history with and improving the way you manage with your current team.
After having recently relocated, I knew that working with non-commercial driven high-design architect would be challenging for me because I did not have any experience in this area. I was excited for the opportunity but knew that we were behind on the structure --- only three months away from the 50%CD milestone that would be used for final contractor pricing --- and that most of the internal staff for the project was new to the project like me. Although I was successful in delivering the project and the bid being very close to the final structural construction cost with these tough constraints I understand that it came at the cost of straining my relationship with the Architect, internal staff, and the remote staff. I had the technical ability, but I had some urgent management development needed.
Techniques I learned from the test cases:
a. Client: Instead of producing one final engineering solution that I understand to be the most cost-effective solution, I can open up the discussion, present the options with the pros and cons to the Architect, and let the Architect choose.
b. Internal Staff: Revised approach of communication and revised expectations by individual staff member. I developed individual communication techniques for each of my staff and modified expectations of each individual’s performance based on their responses to take on responsibility.
c. Remote Staff: Revised approach of communication. I developed individual communication techniques for each of my staff.
I realized through this period of growth that I had this notion that as a manager I should be able to do things the way I like to do them because that’s how I learned how to do it. I now realize it’s much more effective and easy if you learn how to work with the people on each team in the best way they can work together. This can happen by default when you have a team that has worked a long time together or all came up in the same office or team, but no longer happens by default when you transplant into a team.