Voices on Project Management

> Back to Voices Home

Breaking Your Commitments

| | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (0)
In my previous post, I talked about work commitments. Sometimes success in project delivery requires breaking those commitments if they are not in line with your goals. If you need to break a commitment, I recommend the following steps:

1.    Identify a commitment you have made that is not benefiting the project.

2.    Consult with the project manager and/or supervisor whether this activity can be removed from your list.

3.    Identify someone suitable to deal with this task. Seek advice from your manager when in doubt.

4.    Once you've secured management authorization, transfer the details of your commitment to that person.

5.    Advise the person to whom you originally made the commitment that the task has been reassigned to another person, and explain the reason for this action.

Depending on your role and authority, you may be able to deal directly with the person to whom you made the commitment, and you can resolve the conflict without involving other parties.

There's no magic formula for undoing what's done. But by breaking such commitments in this professional manner, you are renegotiating the terms of your commitments and earning trust and credibility. 


Bookmark and Share


The views expressed within the PMI Voices on Project Management blog are contributed from external sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PMI.

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Breaking Your Commitments.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blogs.pmi.org/mt-tb.cgi/309

Leave a comment

All comments are reviewed by our moderators, and will not appear on this blog unless they have been approved. Comments that do not relate directly to the blog entry's contents, are commercial in nature, contain objectionable or inappropriate material, or otherwise violate our User Agreement or Privacy Policy, will not be approved. For general inquiries not related to this blog, please contact Customer Service. Please read the Comments -- Question and Answers.


Dmitri,great comment on the post. One thing we focus on in our team is "What's right, not who's right." If we keep that in front of us as a guidepost, we understand the position that we're making decisions from.

great post as usual!

Project management is a whole responsibility of the project and the commitment with the customer, commitment with the company and with the coworkers too.

I am going to add one more thing that project manager should know about the resource, how strong team he has and how strong relationship he has with their co-workers, so that he can make on time and good commitment with any one easily.

great article

In addition to the basic steps that we all know, but rarely recognize as easy to do, I wanted to point out the psychological side to making such a decision.

The psychological side of breaking your own commitments may trigger feelings of “being labeled as making the wrong initial decision” or “being wrong”.
We, as individuals, often put a lot of importance into “being right” or “being correct." We often do not take it well when we are told that we are “wrong” in making a certain decision or commitment. Breaking it seems to be even more so.

Ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s going to benefit the project’s end result: delivering on commitments for the sake of being right or delivering on commitments that ensure project success?
- Who am I being when I fear breaking such commitments? And who am I being when I stick to commitments for the sake of “being right”?
- What impact do I have on me, my team and my organization when I focus only on what’s required to be done?
- Is it more important to me what people think or what they see as the end result of my actions?

Taking the psychological side of our decision making will clear up the reasons we create for not doing something we need to do or want to do, whether it is for the work we do or in our personal life.


About This Blog

Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with — or even disagree with — leave a comment.

All posts represent the opinions of the bloggers.

Follow PMvoices on Twitter

About Bloggers

Keep checking back because the voices for this blog will continue to grow and change to represent a variety of regions, industries and opinions.

Read blogger profiles

Voices Poll