As project managers, we often struggle to get our projects noticed in a large organisation, particularly if they are on track and without problems. This can be really frustrating if you are passionate about your projects, and can also lead to a lack of perceived value, making it difficult to ask for extra funding or man hours.
This is even more difficult in the current economic state where people are doing multiple roles and have more to do than ever, so how do you make sure your projects are given the spotlight when things are going well, and not just if something goes wrong?
Taking a tip from Public Relations professionals and thinking about the prelaunch buzz is a really good way to get your colleagues behind you. As soon as you are assigned a project, make it your number one task to tell people about it so that as many people know in advance before you even start working on it. Use both official and unofficial channel of communication, to reach your colleagues in different ways. Do the usual things like sending emails outlining the project, but also use any social opportunities to chat more casually about the project and get people interested. If you do the groundwork before the project, then once you start working on it people will already be interested.
Another top tip is to get buy in from the big wigs. Obviously your immediate bosses will be aware of the project and behind it (although not always!) but try and get it on the radar of the execs from other departments in the business. It is also wise to really utilise your executive leaders’ interest in the project, so involve them more than you would maybe like to, ask their advice and keep them in the reporting loop. This way when you need something they will be more receptive, and when successes come along they will be more likely to shout about them.
Last on the tips list is an oldie but a goodie: make sure you communicate. Whether it’s by sending out reports or holding informal meetings, make sure you are keeping as many people as are relevant up to date with the projects progress, success and any other news: particularly the important people.