You may have the perfect plan but is the manner in which to motivate people understood, to implement it?
The reality is that people are responsible for project success. Project managers may know the process that utilises a well oiled machine, but like any machine the obsession remains in what it does not how it does it. The difference between projects succeeding and failing is not in ‘what’ the process does, but how it is done. ‘How’ in this case is not the means by which it is done, as that brings us back to the machine model again, but the manner in which a project is run. Few PMs get the chance to experience the manner in which projects are understood and applied, that suggests a way of being, a way of thinking and a disposition towards the role and the environment – something human, therefore never normally asked of a machine.
Effectively forming and leading a multi disciplined team largely of borrowed resources requires influence skills and conflict management know-how and has very little to do with project management process. Successfully managing difficult stakeholder relationships calls for receptivity to change. Now, factor in today’s virtual team issues and managing multidisciplinary, cross functional/cultural teams takes on a new level of complexity.
Project Leadership and Team Development helps leaders of project teams experience the manner in which best practice behaviours apply to the phenomenon of bringing people together from different divisions/functions that do not directly report to them. They experience the attitudinal, interpersonal, team and organisational interplay between the dynamics and reasons for project leadership and team development participatively planned together.
The experience helps people understand and learn the attitudinal and behavioural thought patterns necessary to form and lead across their organisation, while identifying and managing stakeholder interests more effectively.
The manner in which project leadership and team development is understood and applied can help reduce project failure, through the natural tendency towards “disorder” that tends to exist, particularly in projects that lack project management (Graham, 1989, p. 25)[i].
Six elements attempt to explain these natural tendencies of project failure and have been identified as:
1. Sufficient assets are not allocated and there is not enough time.
2. The schedule, if there is one, starts to slip one day at a time.
3. The project manager suddenly realizes the slip and seeks a culprit.
4. People from various departments start to accuse people from other
departments of delaying the project. More time is wasted in finger pointing.
5. To make up time the project manager decides to ‘crash’ the project by
applying more assets to all activities that are currently being performed.
6. Everyone scrambles to crash their job and people are infuriated to find that
they are either, further behind or finished and their part is not yet needed.
Interest wanes as people chafe under the new delays. The project is over
budget due to all the crashing and the whole thing is either on time but
shoddy, well done but late, both shoddy and late or abandoned.
After completing the simulation experience participants will be able to:
· Form and lead a multi disciplined project team so that it meets its potential for productivity and effectiveness.
· Facilitate an effective project work environment through the PMI 5 process groups.
· Apply principles of change management to gain team member support for the project.
· Influence the project team to work on and support the project.
· Use conflict management techniques to build the project team.
· Look beyond the critical path and understand project time-management.
· Experience leadership styles and how they must change throughout the various phases of a temporary team’s development.
· Help the team reach optimal performance in a very short time frame through ‘Power’ and ‘Political’ astuteness.
The program also focuses on Stakeholder Management, dealing specifically with:
· Building organisational support for the project.
· Identifying and mapping key Stakeholders.
· Developing plans to managing stakeholders throughout the project life
This is not easily experienced or understood unless you can practice working in the role, ideally in a safe environment in which to experiment and make certain decisions, before experiencing their consequences. So at the core of each workshop is an interactive computer based simulation. Project Leadership & Team Development enables participants to receive hands on experience in forming a team of borrowed resources, managing a project from inception to completion and dealing with change. As Project Leader you are responsible for bringing your team together ensuring that all are focused on the project goal. At the same time you must satisfy the needs of your boss, your internal and external clients and other project stakeholders, while ensuring that the project comes in “on time and on budget”. The outcome is a compelling and memorable experience that is immediately applicable in the workplace.
Project Leadership & Team Development’s problem-centered learning approach is designed to address project management concepts through the Five Phases of Project Management.
This workshop addresses several core learning and behavioural areas:
· Core Leadership Techniques;
· Managing the different stages of team and project development;
· Stakeholder identification and management;
· Understanding and managing diverse personalities;
· Virtual teams Vs cross functional teams?
· Identify factors that are critical to the success of virtual and global teams.
· Communicate frequently with virtual/global team members to maintain their commitment to the project.
· Manage common problems that occur in virtual/global teams.
· Describe the differences between managing virtual/global teams and managing co-located teams.
· Selecting the virtual team, getting the team started, leading the team & success factors.
· Risk Management
· Conflict Management
· Influence from a position of responsibility BUT not authority
· Building Trust and credibility.
Sample Project Environment Assessment Tool - PEAT® (Gap analysis tool)
Sample of Mastery Test and format for strategic program
Extract example from Virtual Team Module in the course:
[i] Graham, Robert. Project Management as if People Mattered, USA, Primavera Press, 1989
“Fantastic Course. The most interactive I have ever attended and it felt so natural”
"Probably the best project management workshop I've attended in years. A novel approach to what can be a complex area. The simulation aspect was particularly good as it put flesh and personalities on roles"
Chamber of Commerce Ireland
“Peter and Strategic Management Group provides a unique and excellent service. I specifically learned from Peter on Cross Functional Team-Project Management, I would recommend this course and Peter even to the most experienced Project/Operations Managers. The unique delivery and simulation system challenges you and brings to the forefront real dilemmas/problems for discussion amongst the peer group. Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Creative”
Pfizer Bio Pharmaceutical
“The Knowledge was very easily transferable and easy to put into practice”
“A really worthwhile 2 day workshop that helps one think about how they are presently managing their projects. From this a better understanding is achieved which allows new methods and approaches to be implemented.”
Managing Director, Digital Directions Specialist at Step Change & Digital Director (Consultant) at Community Life GmbH
Peter is an excellent advisor and facilitator. With little prior involvement, Peter engaged quickly and effectively with me and my team to guide and facilitate us through a critical stage in a strategic planning exercise that we were conducting under challenging circumstances. His deep understanding of the advantages and challenges of matrix delivery organisations operating within the broader context of traditionally organised companies was very helpful. He quickly identified a gap in our approach to this task, indeed all tasks required of our large cross-functional, multi-company, leadership group and suggested a structural approach to our tasks. I enjoyed working with Peter and would welcome the opportunity to do so again in the future.