Joanna: One of the most important aspects of project management in my opinion is your relationship with your boss or your supervisor. So today we're going talk about having great communication with your boss about project management.
James: So to start this episode Joanna we're going to put some assumptions out there. We're going to assume that you have an okay working relationship with your boss. We're going to assume that that boss also is fairly reasonable when it comes to expectations of you and of brand management and has put some trust and faith into your skills and your ability. So that's what we're going to assume because obviously there's gonna be a lot of people who may not have that relationship with their boss that things might be toxic things might be rough you might be dealing with someone who just thinks you should do every single project all the time. And it's going to eventually just burn you out. And those situations do occur and we know that that happens a lot. But for context of how we're gonna be sharing some tips you have a good relationship with your boss and we're going to base everything on that and move forward with our ideas and our thoughts and letting people know that that's kind of the context we're building around.
Joanna: I think in general and also this can definitely help improve a relationship with the boss but we're gonna assume that your boss is a reasonable human being. So I mean communication with a boss in my mind the more we communicate the more they're on our team the more they understand our world. And so sometimes it's it's even things like Cc them not Bcc, but just seeing them on emails that you're having back and forth not because they have to do anything about it because you want them to see more into your world. A lot of bosses will say that they don't mind being copied in on communication. If they don't have to do it there's no action items for them out of it but it keeps them in the loop sometimes on what's going on around the organization if they're copied in on certain things that you're working on now. Further to that I think that you need to have regular check in times with your boss whether that is a rhythm that's monthly or weekly if you don't have that built into your schedule why don't you ask for it? Maybe if it's weekly might be too much so maybe it's once a month. You have a check in where you say I want to come once a month and bring you the projects that I'm working on and I want to give you some insights in where they are what what are the obstacles I'm facing right now in what do I need from you boss in order to in order to achieve the thing that we said we're going to achieve or here's something that and anytime for example something feels like oh the timeline is changing or the budget is is growing you want to go right to your boss and just communicate that the worst thing for a boss is finding out on the other end that the timeline is now two weeks behind or you spent a thousand dollars more on this than you said you would. The more information they have upfront the more they can be your advocate and your cheerleader. And so there's lots of ways you can do that but I think one of the best things is if you can get some one-on-one face time with them on a regular interval whether that's once a week every two weeks once once a month whatever that can look like.
James: So in the context of project management and timelines and planning and organizing and receiving requests what is the ultimate role of your boss like is the role for that person to be the final decision maker on everything so that you're not the person always saying no is that kind of the goal and is that the way things probably organizationally should be set up?
Joanna: Yeah I mean in my world I'm empowered to make a lot of decisions myself because the boss has lots of other things to worry about and I've been given the job of doing communications and directing that in order to move the whole organization forward. And so in many ways a communications is a fairly senior position within a church. So for me my relationship with my boss is fairly I have a lot of wide range and freedom but the things that I'm trying to communicate back to him are around where we're at in projects, what we're excited about, where are the obstacles we're facing right now, where are some things that you know what this is a project I'm actually not sure I know it I know we have a budget for it but now when we budget for that that was six months ago and we did our budgets and now I'm actually not sure this is the right way to go. Can you help me and our children's pastor kind of understand what your priorities now are as a senior leader so that we can move forward together. So it's in some ways is not an a maybe an adjudicator if there are some tensions between what the right ways to go on a project. I would bring that would bring that to the boss but for the most part I'm able to make those decisions. Another thing that I love about working with a boss is having someone who really is my cheerleader my advocate. So tomorrow I want to talk about something I call "the wall" and how I think that helps me but how it also helps my boss better understand my world so that he can be my cheerleader.