2 min read

Following Up

Following a guy wearing green chucksWhen I look down at my To Do list some days, I notice that maybe a third to a half of my actual assignments are someone else's. I find it sort of funny to think, "have I become that person who? AM I A PAIN?"

It's okay, I've gotten over those feelings, but it hasn't been without some experience to find out that following up with people and holding them accountable for their own work is part of the job in project management.

Follow-up with your team.

I find that friendly reminders like "hey did you get to X yet?" or "don't forget about Y." can be handled in a way that won't sound like a nagging granny. And, if you do handle them in a friendly way, people tend to be receptive and happy about it. I do my fair share of "Sorry to be a pain, but…" just to make sure they know I'm not trying to be a babysitter, but really it's just a part of the role. If people hate me for trying to help, then so be it.

Follow-up with your clients.

This can be really tricky. Are you doing weekly status reports and a fair share of check-ins by phone and STILL missing things from clients? Maybe it's time to get serious. In my experience, clients tend to get more serious when you bring up Budget and Scope immediately. There's always the potential for some impact when you're caught with client delays, so raise the issue right away. It might spark a fire. It may ignite wildfire. But either way, it's a part of the job. Handling what comes out of a follow-up, whether it's good or bad, is a part of being a good PM. If you don't want to deal with a client who doesn't want to hear the real talk, you might want to step away.

How do you handle your follow-up? Does how you follow-up with teams affect the way you do your job, or the way you're perceived?