I just started 3 months ago on a new job, new (complex) financial energy trading system as junior Business Analyst and need some feedback on how I am communicating to my Program Manager.

 I am nervous of not meeting expectations! Though my PM has always communicated positively to me, my mind is in doubt.

My previous employers were all small companies, <=20 people with the last one being us four in total. My current job is totally new financial banking system, integrated international orientated (I am in Amsterdam; my PM is in the UK).

I try as much as possible to learn the new system by participating in small projects like most recently a Impact Analysis. The Lead Analyst has been working here >11 years. This impact analysis is for 90% his input. He knows every detail from Board Level upto the the XML data fields. Actually, he was my main source of information for this impact analysis. 

My communication strategy;

  • Every Monday I send out a mail to my PM about my work that was done, and things to do.
  • I am very open about what I do, have an open agenda and in general just try my best.


I am afraid my contract might not get extended!  My current company is very much operational results orientated. The PM has on several occasions expressed appreciation for my efforts, the HR manager is enthusiastic and my lead analyst is moderately positive. I enjoy working here.


How do I communicate effectively to my Program Manager? I whish to be open, but afraid of being viewed as incompetent.  We don’t have 1-on-1s.



lindge's picture
Training Badge

I'd suggest you ask your PM how you could best communicate with him/her.   Everyone's different and with their own preference / style.

The project structure is a little unclear from your post.  Do you report into the PM or lead analyst (or someone else)?  Also unclear is whether you get any responses from your Monday mails to the PM.

If you report into the PM, arrange a phone call meeting (if you can't meet in person that is), and in it you could ask them their thoughts about how you could best provide updates to them - what content, when and in what form.  You could also ask them whether you're working on the right stuff.  You could also ask them to meet up on a weekly basis to provide an update by phone and establish priorities, even for 15 mins. 

The conversation with your PM can help direct you to work on the right activities as well as to provide reporting in the way he/she needs it if you're not already doing it.  For example, if you send out updates on Monday, but your PM provides management reporting on Thursdays, then your mail is out of date by then. 

If it's the lead analyst you report into, then speak with him and get his thoughts.  He may already have update meetings and provide reports to the PM covering his and your work.  Therefore it may not be a matter of providing separate reporting to the PM, but perhaps you could request to join him in his meetings with the PM if he has them.

Asking the PM / lead analyst these sorts of questions isn't an indication of being incompetent, in fact I think it's the very opposite and shows you're thinking the right things which is to add the most value you can by working on the right stuff and reporting in a way that helps the overall project.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Deliver results as best you know how.

I agree with Lindge - know how your PM wants to be communicated to.  Ask him if what you're doing is effective.  If it is, keep doing it.  

If you're saying you have NO contact with your PM other than that Monday note, and he thinks of himself as your boss, and you think of him that way, you'd need to communicate to him more than that...but perhaps not much more, depending upon his style.

And if your lead analyst is as experienced as you suggest, why not ask him?