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3 Key Causes of Disengagement and Their Effect on a Project Management Office

Businessman using a desktop computer with a view over his shoulder from behind of the blank screen of the monitorThere are many different components that contribute to disengagement in a project management office. Unfortunately, disengagement has negative outcomes when it comes to productivity. In our previous blogs, we’ve discussed some of these issues and how they encourage disengagement and lead to a lack of productivity in a project management office. To fix the problem of disengagement in your office, it’s crucial to know what causes it– as well as the outcomes. In this article, we’ll outline 3 of the key causes to recognize and the negative effects they can have on your office.

Priorities Shifting Cause Problems

Priorities shifting unexpectedly sends the message to project managers that no project is important, and leads to a higher amount of errors– this is the first key cause of disengagement. Project managers are left disorganized and confused when senior management shifts gears and gives the team an entirely new project to work on seemingly out of nowhere. When a team is abruptly told to work on a new project and disregard the directions they were given the previous day, it lowers the project managers’ urgency to complete any project on the plate.

Vague Communication Leads to Confusion

Another common yet preventable mistake is not communicating efficiently. If senior management does not accurately communicate what needs to change within the office, then no changes will occur. A senior manager who gives vague, unclear instructions leads to the project management team continuing to do what they’ve always done.

Even the best upper management team can also make the mistake of trying to change the wrong thing. When attempting to fix an issue, if upper management implements change without knowing the cause of the problem – then they are not likely implementing the correct changes.

A Lack of Passion Leads to Complacency

The third key cause of disengagement in a project management office is complacency. Project managers beginning to lose their passion for responsibilities is an issue that signals complacency. This also contributes to the team taking shortcuts in their work.  Complacent project managers don’t have much motivation and appear to be on auto-pilot.

If no real changes are made, then resistance to change increases over time. Managers have come to accept late deadlines and other issues due to it becoming normal within the office, and even the strongest management teams face these problems.

The Costs of Disengagement

With a disengaged project management office, errors such as typos can occur frequently due to disengagement. When a project manager is focusing more of their time on fixing typo errors, it costs your company time that could be better spent on other projects.

Another mistake made by disengaged project managers is a departmental mistake. If a project manager produces a mistake in one part of the project management chain, it slows down the entire chain and adds to the overall workload for everyone involved. After the initial manager creates the mistake, the next person in line either spends time remedying that mistake or sends the work back to the original project manager to correct. Although work is being done twice, there is only one outcome.

Finally, when a project with errors is handed off to senior management, the management then ends up using a flawed report with bad data. If senior management has made a commitment outside of the company and can no longer hit a deadline due to the disengaged project manager’s data error, this can be an expensive mistake. Errors such as this reduce profit within your company.

These Key Issues Encourage Disengagement

A myriad of aspects lead to disengagement in a project management office – including shifting priorities, vague communication from managers, and complacency. With the combination of all three, the costs of disengagement can be very high. Therefore, project management offices must know how to identify the cause and effect of disengagement within their office to properly remedy these issues.

 Learn How to Fix Disengagement in Your Office

For nearly 20 years, Enterey Consulting’s life science consultants have been helping clients integrate improvement strategies to assess and improve engagement. At Enterey Consulting, we have the experience and knowledge to minimize disengagement in your project management department. Our documented techniques, processes, and procedures will improve engagement while simultaneously improving morale.

Attend our Webinar on October 26th to learn how to create a methodology that can be easily automated to improve productivity and reduce disengagement in your project management office!