Project Management

Do you ever find yourself as just a “meeting scheduler” to one senior leader and an account manager to another? It’s exhausting & my role isn’t defined anywhere so I sort of understand. How do I deal?

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Depends on the agency and the structure/relationship. It’s funny because I was just going to post something very similar and then I saw this. Truth is this – as a PM, you are responsible for scheduling internal meetings, taking notes in that meeting, and facilitating that meeting. The reason why is because people look to you to keep everyone in line and accountable for tasks and deadlines so that they can focus on the work. If something is said in a meeting isn’t documented and it’s crucial, people are going to point the finger at you It does feel administrative at times – but as PMs, we take ownership of the schedule, project scope and details. And when I say ownership of the schedule, I don’t mean managing people’s calendars. Rather, creating a timeline based on the information you are given, carefully looking at the duration of days for tasks/project phases, forecasting potential risks and planning for those risks, and understanding the resources you have so that you can plan appropriately. You also have to be agile — adept at removing roadblocks during the life of a project as to not impede deadlines, reacting to scope changes as they appear, and sometimes, you have to do the work that no one else wants to do (like audits or schedule meetings) because if no one else will do it, then the delivery date is in jeopardy. And the success of your job is to ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget. If you want to feel like you have a role at your current company, I recommend owning things such as project scope, schedules, budget and process. Be the authority in those things and be someone that people can come to if they have a question about them. You’ll find that you will garner respect from your peers when you own these things and become the authority. Also one thing you have to remember in corporate America, no matter what level you’re at in your career, you will always be taking orders from somebody. That’s just a fact.

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@PM1 thank for this. I want to make sure it’s understood that I have no problem taking orders from somebody at any point in my career and I also have no problem scheduling meetings or doing any administrative tasks when needed. My issue is that it is more like managing people’s calendars and I’m not even invited to those meetings. What you described is what I want to be doing and what I thought I would be doing when I got here several months, however AMs manage budgets and traffic manages schedules. The only time I can do either is on clients that people don’t want to deal with. I’d have to step on some toes to gain access to that which may just be what I have to do. I do feel like I can use owning the process to my advantage. Just wanted to clarify but also this was really helpful and made me look at things in a new light as I don’t think this company works the way I was expecting

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@PM OP Oh yeah, what you just described is not typical of a Project Manager. You’ll only impede your career development if you stay at a place like that. You should be somewhere where you’re able to grow and develop. I’d look for other opportunities more suited to your career path

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I am going through the same thing at my agency. Quite a few ad hoc unnecessary meeting requests that I am asked to schedule, then move 100 times because people can’t manage their calendars/their calendars aren’t up to date. It’s frustrating, and quite a bit of extra work to my already packed list of responsibilities.

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If it’s a meeting that I’m not attending, I push back. There’s no reason I should own a meeting I won’t be at. Also grinds my gears when people ask me for job numbers as if they’re not on the hotsheet, on the server, on the routes etc

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Can I just make up my responsibilities and tell people what they are without anyone’s approval? I don’t really have a manager...technically I just report to the prez

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