Project Practitioners > Managing Up the Organization

Managing Up the Organization

By Randy Englund

In a previous posting, I wrote about "How to Tell Your Story Using Mindmapping."  Perhaps you may also be interested in how mindmaps can help project managers manage up the organization.  I'm sharing a couple other maps that, from my experience, have been consistently helpful, both to codify process steps that proved themselves as effective and also as a tool to communicate these steps to others in workshops, at conferences, and in presentations to managers.

We were conducting training for upper managers on "Project Management Fundamentals" and had really connected with them that their project managers had some great tools at their disposal and could "Speak Truth to Power" about what's going on in their projects.  One manager then asked, "How can we better receive the truth?"  In response, I put together the following map:

Management role

I presented the map, highlighting each topic area in turn.  This had the effect of reinforcing key points we had intended during the training and put a fairly complete set of expected behaviors together for them in one map.

Another map came out of our work on Project Sponsorship.  Over and over again we hear from project managers about their struggles to obtain and maintain effective sponsorship on their projects.  We documented case studies about a number of individuals who took the initiative to train their sponsors and set expectations for behaviors needed from them in their roles as sponsors.  Here is a mindmap that captures those behaviors:

Sponsorship Behaviors

I suggest that these mindmaps, and others you develop using a similar approach, will serve you well to prepare for encounters with upper managers and to put a comprehensive set of expectations in their hands...and then into their heads and hearts.

Randy Englund, Englund Project Management Consultancy

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