Educational Equity Newsletter – November 19, 2020
Interested in receiving these newsletters for education sector leaders? Sign up here. (You can also sign up for our general newsletter while you're at it!)
Is your team struggling with project management right now?
Earlier this week, a few members of our team were talking about the November “dip”—that place in the school year where morale sometimes drops, performance slips, and we are all counting down to a few days off to recharge.
It’s also the place where we start to notice gaps in how our people are managing projects and coordinating work across teams. What we do here makes a huge difference in how this year ends and the next one begins—and whether projects that matter are put at risk.
As a manager, you’ve got a few options on how to intervene when you feel a project is off-track, all of which require you to be slightly more hands-on as a manager:
Create space in your check-in agenda to hear from your team member about what’s going on and notice roadblocks you can help move out the way. Some questions you might ask include:
- If you could change anything about how this project is working, what would it be?
- In what ways do you feel supported in your role in this project? Where do you feel you need more support?
- How is this project fitting with the rest of your work right now? Are there other things competing for your time and energy?
- How confident are you that this project is going to deliver on deadline and at the quality we need?
Align on what “good” looks like.
We’re often not as direct and clear as we could be about how we measure success for a project. Use the 5 W’s to discuss what success looks like and hear from them about what supports are needed to get there.
Give them the playbook.
We need to be explicit not just about the “what” (the work product) but also about the “how” (the process for getting it done). Lots of people have never been formally trained on how to manage projects; they’ve learned by doing. Sometimes, managers end up hiding the playbook not out of malice or neglect, but because they’re trying to avoid being seen as micromanagers. But if you already have a tried-and-true method for project management, share it. If you’re asking them to create a project plan, give them the template.
Block and tackle when your peers are in the way.
Often projects are derailed because of organizational politics, power dynamics, or other invisible challenges that slow down progress. If that’s the case, it’s up to you to use the power you have to support your project lead in pushing through these roadblocks. Here are some common challenges:
|Challenge They’re Facing||Your Options|
|Senior leaders aren’t deciding or weighing in on time, slowing down progress.||
|A colleague from another team isn’t delivering on their piece of the work.||
|Goal posts changing mid-stream.||
Here’s the headline.
If your team is struggling with managing projects right now, we invite you to carve out the time you need to help them build skills in this area as soon as possible. This move ensures the work moves forward and they are best positioned to succeed.
Secure your spot in a 2021 training!
Give yourself something to look forward to in 2021 by signing up for some TMC goodness! Whether you’re looking for a training on project management, support with managing remotely during the pandemic, or an overview of the basics of people managing, we have something for you. Check out our newly released training dates for the first half of 2021.
People of Color & Indigenous Cohorts
Managers and staff who are people of color and/or indigenous often face unique issues within their organizations while navigating the intersections of race, class, gender, and other identities. These cohorts create space to discuss and offer support around the challenges of being folks of color in progressive and social justice organizations, and to share practices that can help folks of color thrive. We still have space in one more cohort this year:
- Wednesday, December 9th (11:00-5:00 PM ET)
- Thursday, December 10th (11:00-5:00 PM ET)
We also have TMC scholarships for our POCI Cohorts available upon request that can partially or fully cover the cost of the training if needed. You can request a scholarship by emailing our POCI Cohort Coordinator, Ebony, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need more support?
Email us at email@example.com to ask about our coaching and training services for leaders in the education sector. We look forward to hearing from you!