The Web Project Guide Podcast: Episode 3: Form Your Project Team (w/ Patrice Embry)

It’s The Web Project Guide Podcast, and we made you a new episode.

Deane and I had a wonderful time talking with Patrice Embry, project manager and consultant, about the practice of creating a web team and piecing together the different personalities that make up a project. Patrice is wonderful, and we know you’ll think so too.

From our interview:

To what extent do you feel that it’s your role as a project manager to protect your team from unrealistic expectations? Like as a project manager, your job is to report and be the liaison between the stakeholders and the team. Are you ever in situations where you think the stakeholders are ridiculously unreasonable and your team is under too much stress and they’re doing damage to your team, and to what point do you step in that gap and say, “No.”

Yeah, that happens often. I feel like one of the biggest parts of my job is to make sure that I am protecting the team.

Now, I’ve been doing this job for about 400 years now. I’m like 82 years old. I’ve been doing things long enough to be able to feel really comfortable going to leadership and saying, “There’s problems here. This is what’s happening, and this is what’s going to happen if we don’t put things in check. Here’s the way things are going to run down.” I’ve seen it before, or I can see it coming. I’m concerned about it.

I like the team to know that I’m looking out for them. I might say, “All of this feels like it’s a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, and I recognize that. I’m going to do what I can to try to get us some breathing room on some of these things. Understand that I’m going to go to bat for you.”

Then I actually literally go to bat for them. I’ll say it’s unrealistic. It’s unreasonable to ask people to do this in this amount of time, or to ask them to do things when they have limited skill sets to be able to do that. It’s unreasonable. I’m always asking, is this reasonable? If I’m asking you to do something, this thing in this timeframe, is that reasonable? Is giving you four hours reasonable?

I go to bat for my team often. I feel like that’s one of the bigger parts of my job as a project manager.

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