“The cause of almost all relationship difficulties is rooted in conflicting or ambiguous expectations around roles and goals.” -Steven Covey
Much research has been completed in the past few decades on methods of motivating employees and building great teams. What have the researchers discovered? The single most important motivator turns out to be “clear expectations.” Guess what the greatest demotivator is. Surprise, surprise – it’s unclear expectations1, or employees not knowing what was expected of them.
Employees join organizations looking forward to making significant contributions. However, some people lose their enthusiasm and excitement due to environmental conditions. Managers fail to put the “right people in the right seats on the bus” as Jim Collins spoke of in his classic, Good to Great.Continue reading
Life is not easy. We are dealt hands that can be difficult. Project managers may be pre-assigned resources internally and externally that lack the skills and knowledge required for their projects.
Why do we always feel like we get the left-over resources?
What can we do? Jump ship. Give up. Find another job. Let’s try some other strategies.
Many organizations have under-performing projects. Why? Organizations do a poor job of defining their projects and understanding the resource requirements. Next, organizations overcommit – they commit to more projects than they should. Team members are stressed and organizations experience a lot of employee turnover. Furthermore, organizations fail to identify and acquire and develop skills and knowledge for these resource bottlenecks.
I am sometimes asked to take a look at organization’s resource problems and help them find solutions. My response? Before I come, prioritize your project portfolio and kill or postpone half of your active lower-priority projects. Do fewer projects better. Of course, very few organizations will do this…the insanity continues.
Question: Perhaps you feel different. What would you recommend to improve project resource management?
Have you ever encountered a friendly tour guide who just started their job and does not know any more about the local area than you do?
Have you had a child join a sports team where the coach lacked basic leadership and motivational skills?
Perhaps you’ve seen a brilliant doctor but found his manners less than pleasing.
When people are looking for a project manager, they want someone who can meet the total needs of the project. They want someone who possesses a wide range of skills including technical, industry, and soft skills.
If your past three project teams were to evaluate you, what would they say is your most limiting factor? Maybe you have great technical skills but lack the skills to properly staff and develop your project teams. Perhaps you find yourself at a loss when trying to help your sponsors align your programs and projects with your organization’s strategy.
None of us are perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses. While project managers should leverage their strengths, let’s not fail to discover the skills that limit us most. What’s the bottleneck in our project management career?
“75% of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for successful navigation of complexity in projects.” -Project Management Talent Gap Report
Let’s look at three superior skills that project managers should possess.Continue reading
Friends, I have observed hundreds of project teams through the years. And, I’ve seen some team members rise to “Superhero” status. But, superheroes can cause harm. Grab a cup of coffee or tea. Allow me tell you a superhero story.
I once worked at a global company. When I joined the information technology team, I was introduced to the linchpin of IT. He was the go-to guy for every project.
Though this person was a very talented technologist, he limited IT’s effectiveness in many ways. Over a period of several years, this individual had gained a tremendous knowledge of the business processes and systems. Rarely did he share or document his knowledge. This superhero liked the adrenal rush of being in control.Continue reading
If you survey people involved in projects on the importance of risk management for achieving project objectives, a high percentage of the participants will say risk management is important or very important. I’ve seen survey results where 90% of the people thought risk management was important. So…why do few people employ and support risk management?
Many people have had a bad experience. Project managers have performed risk management poorly. Let’s look at several reasons why project risk management can become useless and what we can do to gain better project results through risk management.
Some project managers just seem to find success easier than others. Maybe because they consistently do these ten things that others don’t.
Every project manager wants to be successful and help their teams achieve their project objectives. But so many individuals struggle to get there.
In my journey, I have spent more than 15 years managing projects, programs, and portfolios in different industries and organizations. While each organization is unique, I have noticed similar attributes of project managers with team members who love their projects (and their project managers). Here are ten you may want to incorporate into your practice.Continue reading
A few months ago, I posted an article entitled “10 Simple Ways to Thank Your Team.” Based on the response, I would say the article struck a cord with many people. Let’s look at additional ways to recognize and reward your team members and why a simple thank you is so powerful.
“The first job of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” -Max de Pree
I had a great boss and mentor years ago. He not only provided constructive criticism, but he had a great habit of saying thanks.
I remember times when I completed a challenging project. During a one-on-one meeting, my boss would look me in the eye, rehearse the project’s chronology, highlight the challenges, finally…with a pause…he would say, “You did a great job. Thank you for your hard work.”
He would stand, shake my hand, and say, “Congratulations. Why don’t you take off the rest of today.”
My wife would hear me say over and over, “I love my job.” Money was important (I had to feed the family and pay the mortgage), but the greatest reward was the gift of appreciation.Continue reading