I recently took up a new team as a senior project manager. This team has a two senior technical architects  having equal experience, all of us reporting to a director.

The total team size is 11 including all. Director  is saying all the three are leaders for the team and has set up goals of project delivery as 30 % each. The project is getting foundered because of lack of correct reponsibility. All his communications are sent to three people addressed as " team do this" teamdo that", eventually nothing gets done as each thinks it is not my job it is others.

He also sent a mail to stake holders that for this project any commmunication needs to be copied to all the three ( four including him)

I an finding this frustrating because as a manager i dont have control on anything, and every small thing needs to go through discussion with  other guys.  He says all meetings should be attended by all three. Much worse is each person schedules their own meetings and expecct people in the team to attend. Team members are confused as well.

Is it a good management practice to have such an arrangement ? I always believed in single line of leadership for any team. 

Before i took up the job, i was told i will be responsible. After i joined, the above was the arrangement. 

This has taken away accountability on my part, how do i make my director understand this will not work. Or am i missing something here ?

naraa's picture

 I agree with you the situation is very confusing and not efficient al all.  That said i don't know if there is anything you can say to convince your manager of it.  I believe the only thing you can do right now is asume this is the situation and take leadership through persuasión specially among three of you.  You must make a plan of all activities That need to be done, it would be ideal if they can be devided into there main grups, each one assumes the responsibility over one group and asign specific tasks and deadlines for the Other 7 people in the project.  The three of you leaders must meet periodically, weekly, or more often dependend on the frecuency of emails and time for response and establish who does what by when.  You must then meet weekly for one-on-ones with the people That have tasks which you respond too, regardless whether they also meet with the Other two.  And have a team meeting hopefully with the three of you already in agreement. The only way this can work out is if one of you assumes more leadership but this leadership Will have to be gained through technical expertise and persuation, it Will come naturally. The only way for you to be persuasive is to forget who gets the credit and who has the power and only focusing on getting the project done.  Within a group of 11 people is pretty easy to spot who is working and who is not and who is actually leading.  

In short i believe establishing who does what by when is the key. Take the initiative, make the proposition and submit for the Other two leaders for review.  There are a few manager-tools on persuasión which you should probably review.  Also there is a book called crucial - find comon ground among you three - which you Will probably find useful.  You Will need a lot of comunication among the team.

If decisions become dificult, no agreement can be reach among the three of you, then bring the issue to the director to resolve it.

Good luck.


RaisingCain's picture

If there are 3 leaders with 30% delivery then you'll be stuck in a project that never ends!  Aka, 100%!

All kidding aside, I'm making a point.  Focus on finishing.  Focus on getting to 100%. All the project is, is a person completing a task by a deadline.  If you ignore everything else and get those tasks done you'll be a hero (in a good way not a firefighting way) to all involved.