In the second of our two-part series, we look at some other challenges facing project managers and how best to manage conflict and change. By confronting these issues – and therefore improving project outcomes – you can boost your own performance, and benefit other team members in enhancing their own career development.

  • Project managers have to see beyond daily priorities, business as usual or personal glory. They need to deliver positive change for the entire organization that they are working for and consider how all parts of the project fit together. They also need to understand that project team members may have their own day jobs. For a project team, this means being able to think beyond your own area, about how you fit into the wider change programme or project and how you impact the end client’s or key stakeholders experience. This is about business sustainability and long-term success. Everyone is busy, but just being busy is not enough. Long-term project success requires long-term thinking.
  • Change is constant and unless carefully managed, it can be detrimental to teamwork and results. Change starts and ends with communication. Whenever you think you’ve communicated enough, you need to communicate some more – and it needs to be interactive: listen, talk and involve. Be aware of the change curve, or the four predictable stages of change: denial/resistance, emotional, hopeful, commitment. Each stage is needed, but how long someone stays at each stage can be managed and kept to a minimum.
  • Silo working is a reality for many project teams. Team members may sit side by side but not really work together. A great project team can be like the three musketeers – all for one and one for all. So if you are in a team, you may as well really be in it. Working together in earnest is about making the most of the fact that you are a team. Honour your time and efforts by seeing yourself as a full-time member of the team, not just an individual contributor. Imagine how great it would feel to be part of a team where everyone is thinking of the team and not just themselves – make that project a success by working together.
  • Conflict or a difference of opinion can be healthy and, if carefully managed, can trigger useful debates. It can make people think differently, expanding knowledge and insight; innovation can happen and results flourish. Different opinions are not a bad thing. It’s how we handle the conflict that makes a difference. Conflict should be seen as an opportunity, and a sign that people genuinely care about the outcome of the project.
  • A project team has a brand, an image and a reputation created by the actions and behaviours of the team members. A large part of the perception is driven by how well the team delivers on expectations and promises made. As a project team, you need to make sure that everyone understands and takes responsibility for their roles in creating the perception of the team. This includes both what is delivered on the project and how it is delivered. The brand should also reflect personal job satisfaction and a sense of mutual achievement in delivering a successful outcome.

 

Article: Russell Moore, Head of Resourcing  For further information please contact russell.moore@aspira.ie

 

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