Gaining the Respect of the Programming Team

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organization can have an impact on the authority a project manager wields. For example, in a functional or weak matrix environment, the project manager holds limited authority, and in some cases, may be referred to not as a project manager, but as a "project coordinator" or "project liaison." Conversely, in a strong matrix environment, the project manager wields a high level of authority to do what it takes to deliver the project successfully.

Be aware of where you fit on this scale, and communicate it to the team, so they have a clear understanding of your role. If you are in a weak matrix, your team members should know it, so they understand the limits that upper management has placed upon you. If you are in a strong matrix, the team will expect you to advocate for them more effectively, regarding schedule and scope. Be sure you do it!

Since I began adhering to the above principles, I have enjoyed greater success in forming solid partnerships with programmers. It has reinforced the importance of building a team foundation on technology projects. It begins with a kickoff meeting where the above points are covered in detail. Get to know your team and be open about your role. You'll enjoy better working relationships and greater success.

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