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Project manager and teams in different business units

In organizations, members of a project team often report to managers in different business units. This often creates problems in some projects.

1. If a project team member that reports to a manager in a department that is different from yours has a schedule conflict that will impact the project that you are managing adversely, and the team member's manager has informed you that this team member will not be available to work on your project for three months, if you do not control any budget that will allow you to hire a replacement, what would you do to resolve this situation?

2. If you are unable to add a new team member (replacement) what other options do you have?

3. What are some of the difficulties that are associated with managing teams members that do not report directly to a project manager?

Solution Preview

The first thing to do is to speak with the department manager to try to find a solution to share the individual. Having a firm argument for that person is needed is a good way to prep for such a meeting. The project should have a resource plan and within that plan the needs of the project, including labor, spelled out. With each member chosen, it would be smart and effective to have not only the first choice, but also any additional choices. This way the project manager has options. Explaining the need for the person should be followed with the advantages for the person to be part of the team.

If none of that works, and there is limited ability to force the issue, the project manager may want to discuss the situation with someone higher in management. This should be done in a professional manner, to avoid ...

Solution Summary

Expert provides a review of some of the issues that come with having teams created from cross departments, and those teams that do not report to the PM. This discussion includes how this will impact the projects managed adversely, alternative options, and difficulties associated with managing team members.