Guiding the management of a project

To distribute tasks, to delegate... all part of a manager's daily mission. But the mission is more complex than it seems because it is not enough just to say what is to be done or even to lay out the goals to be attained. It also involves creating or reinforcing the conditions for success.
Clarify the degree of oversight expected
Before starting the process of accomplishing a task: imagine it already accomplished! You can then answer the question, "what would make us say, at these given moments, that it is advancing as it should?" and establish the timetable for monitoring. It is a question of determining what we want to know, and when, rather than just discovering what happens as it occurs.       
Involve your co-worker in defining the timetable
It is up to the co-worker to project himself into the different stages of a project. By leading him to set the nature of and the calendar for monitoring, you help him to anticipate the resources he will need in order to advance, to get past certain obstacles, etc. You invite him to look ahead.       
Agree on how you will follow up
"My door is always open" is not enough! Of course, certain experienced and autonomous co-workers will be irritated by being monitored too closely. You need to determine the mode of oversight that works best for each one (regular meetings to check in, written reports...) as well as the frequency of your exchanges.
What is important is to have, throughout the whole year, a clear vision of the projects' states of advancement and of your co-workers' possible needs.       
Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!
1 / 3   Increase the chances of reaching an objective
Bill has an ambitious goal to attain, and you think it would be useful to put a monitoring plan in place. What do you do?
You propose regular updates in order to follow the progress and to modify if necessary the action plan.
Why not? but that won’t really motivate him, and you will be depriving yourself of his ideas about the follow-up method.
You ask him: ‘What do you need in order to achieve your objective?’
Interesting question, but broad; it would be better to go directly to the subject that interests you.
You ask him: ‘Why do we need to set key milestones in order to reach the goal?’
An essential question because it is your colleague who must look towards the coming months and anticipate what will be the milestone targets. 
2 / 3   Starting a briefing
You have a monthly briefing with Paul, the subject of which is a mission where you know he is encountering difficulties. How do you address the discussion?
I feel you are not progressing as expected on this mission, what's happening?
Allowing Paul to speak first will, straight away, give you more matter to discuss.
So, let me review the state of progress of the mission. With regards to the planning we defined: How do you see things today?
A question sufficiently precise and open, which will allow Paul to express himself. You can then share your ideas and adjust the action plan.
I have heard you are having difficulties, we must look at what needs to be done, although, you should have alerted me earlier.
Bad start! Paul will start by asking himself where the information came from, and then start defending himself.
3 / 3   A collaborator doesn't need to be accompanied
You are the manager of a collaborator who is very experienced and has been autonomous for many years in his job. Should you plan follow up briefings with him? 
It isn't necessary because he doesn't need to be monitored while carrying out his tasks.
Even if this colleague does his job perfectly well, it is useful to organise follow up briefings: they will be opportunities to discuss daily routine, share questions and ideas for the purpose of continual improvement. 
Follow up briefings are useful even for an experienced colleague; they will, though, be less frequent than for junior or less autonomous colleagues.
There is, of course, no point seeing each other every week. You could establish together a pertinent rhythm where you will be able to take stock of what is happening (what's right, what's not right and what needs to be improved...). 
No, there is a risk the colleague will take it badly and freeze up.
On the contrary, if the rhythm and the content of the briefings are adapted, he could then see them as a sign of attention.
In the case of an experienced colleague, the follow up briefings could be the yearly performance assessment and a mid-year assessment.
But this not the purpose of the yearly performance assessment, which is just as important, as it will complement the follow up briefings held throughout the year.
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