6The Executive's Role in Building and Supporting High-Performing Project Teams

One question I asked executives while preparing to write this book was, “What can project teams do to better serve executives?” Perhaps there was some information or ways of interacting with the executives that would support better decision making or give them a more comprehensive understanding of the project's status. One person I asked was a project director with 30 years of experience and a strong track record of success. I had to pull the phone away from my ear when I asked him the question. He said (paraphrased), “Paul, what you need to explain in the book is how executives can better support project teams. They just do not understand how important their support is for success.” Admittedly, he is strongly biased in his views, but he did have a very good point.

Executives can do a better job helping project teams succeed. The good news is that this support will not take much of your time, and will pay off many times over. Sometimes all the team needs is for you to pick up the phone and call one of your peers to get their organization to make a decision or to provide some information. For example, a project manager may come to you because the procurement group is late with a list of approved vendors for the project and does not appear to be giving the request much priority. In five minutes, your call to the procurement manager may get him to address the issue and allow your team to get its work ...

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