One piece of advice I received from a Project Management course on Leadership taught by Dr. James T. Brown was to kick off every project with your internal project team. Review the dos and don’ts, expectations and rules, communication styles and formats, roles and responsibilities. This enables every project team member to understand the project direction, management style, and expectations. Continue reading
For a project manager to be effective he/she needs to be able to both lead and manage. Leadership and Management are not the same. However, they must complement each other if you are to be successful. So how are they different?
I’ve used skills developed as a project manager to deliver multimillion dollar projects, develop an award winning airport management team, and even organize household tasks. One of my friends, nicknamed “Bubba,” also uses what he’s learned as a project manager–to raise his children.
Every day he and his wife evaluate their nine year old daughter and twelve year old son using an Allowance Compliance Matrix. The matrix covers whether or not they’ve cleaned the kitchen, living room, and their own bedrooms; completed their homework, and are ready on time for school. Full completion of tasks results in a full allowance. Failure to complete one or more items means their pay is docked.
Part 2 – The Project Team
I discussed in Part 1 on this general topic that the strong support of the intended Project by executive management is a critical factor for success – they need to support the projects sponsor, and smooth the path of challenges that sometimes occur when change is contemplated. Vibrant and effective executive leadership is likely to be critical in solidifying the vision for the project. The target of effort to achieve project acceptance and enthusiasm is cascading in that the focus of executive leadership is middle management, and then it effort fans out to focus on users and supervisors.
Once in a great while a speaker tells you something that sticks with you, and really helps you improve your game. Several years ago at a Project Management Institute dinner I heard Carl Pritchard tell a story that has helped me many times.
Setting and managing Project expectations requires more than documenting a concise definition of what will be delivered, when it will be delivered, and how much it will cost.
One important factor is the establishment of a comprehensive and bilateral Project Communication Plan that takes into consideration the participation of all project stakeholders.
Effective communication allows discovery and management of unrealistic expectations or misconceptions. It also provides an effective conduit for consistent reaffirmation of the established project goals and timelines.
The plan may include less frequent, but highly valuable, Project Team and Stakeholder Forums – where incremental successes throughout the project lifecycle, as well as new project opportunities, can be highlighted and discussed along with other appropriate information.
A well thought out and open communication plan can make the difference between a project that is judged as a failure, and one that is widely acknowledged as a genuine success.
“Special thanks to Neil Lindsey for his valuable input”
Robert Hughet, PMP
Senior Project Manager