Fact or Opinion?
One of the main issues a project or programme manager needs to deal with is dominant people in the group trying to control the agenda to suit their interests ahead of the interests of the Team, or even the desired Need or Outcome to be achieved.
Take the third party supplier who sees an opportunity to create more work for his company if certain tasks are introduced to a backlog. By stealth he or she will start to question the validity of some of the work undertaken and submitted by the Subject Matter Experts or the Customer Focus Teams.
Statements as "That cannot be possibly be right!" or "I know for a fact that is not right" should always be challenged, and the question posed (in the most polite of ways), "What evidence do you have that what the Subject Matter Experts have presented is wrong? Please can you set it out for all of us to discuss." or ask "Is what you saying Fact or an Opinion? If it is an opinion then please share and we can discuss it."
I have seen projects completely derailed as so called experts (not from the SME team) have presented their Opinions as Fact and Senior executives involved in the Project have called a halt whilst a witch hunt is carried out of why the SME Team could get things so wrong.
Please read and go onto the Agile Listening Project Group on LinkedIn and share your experiences of this situation. The more examples the better!!