Handling Ambiguity as a Project Manager

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Shubhi Kotiya
CxO / Board, Germany

Handling Ambiguity as a Project Manager

🔥NEW As a project manager, having the ability to handle ambiguity in a rapidly changing business setting gives you the upper hand. Ambiguity is considered one of the main challenges in managing complex projects. The ambiguity that project managers are facing could be in the goals, requirements, schedules, vision, and other areas related to the project.
As the project manager, your team may look up to you, and expect you to resolve the ambiguity. How should you handle ambiguity in current challenging times?

Ways to Deal with Ambiguity

  • KEEP CALM: In challenging times, handling ambiguity with grace and poise will help inspire other members of the team to do the same.
  • EXPRESS EMPATHY: Have an understanding of what other team members are thinking and feeling. Let your team members know that you care about them, the challenges they are facing and you are there to support them.
  • COMMUNICATE WHAT YOU KNOW CLEARLY: Maintain transparency in the information flow downwards. In times of ambiguity, there are certain aspects of the project which are fixed while a few change. Communicate to the team what you know is going to remain steady and on track. And also communicate what you don't know and might change due to internal or external influences.
  • MAKE DECISIONS AND STICK TO THEM: Try not to second guess (publicly doubt) your decisions in front of your team, since this can lead to greater uncertainty. Remain firm on your decisions. If you need course correction, inform the team about the change of your decision and provide the rationale for your change in decision.
  • TRUST THE EXPERTISE OF YOUR TEAM: With the given competencies of your team, increase clarity by having everyone on your team discuss in terms of what is involved in specific tasks and resources needed and that your team already possess that. Instill confidence that the job can be accomplished with the current competencies of the team. Also discuss what you still don't know and brainstorm ways to gather more information.
Mastering these 5 competencies will allow you to innovate and grow as a project manager and leader. Please share your comments about handling ambiguity in project management?
Sources:
Course - Project Management Foundation, 'Key competencies: Flexibility and handling ambiguity' by Google

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