Monday, July 21, 2014

The Sensible 12: No. 7

7. The project manager must serve the team.
The project will be successful only if the team succeeds. The project team consists of individuals who are blessed with their own strengths and skills. It is important to get these individuals to work together as a team to deliver the service or product which will ultimately provide value to the customer. Team production increases as the project manager serves their team members by doing things like removing road blocks, facilitating resolution of issues, and in general supporting their every need.
Again, no. The project manager serves the project sponsor, his/her investors and their customers. To do this he or she does all the above, but let's not forget that individuals join a project team voluntarily (that is, they are not conscripted and can walk out the door at any time) and expect the project manager to perform his or her role while they perform theirs.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Sensible 12: No. 6

6. The project manager must provide leadership for the team.
The project manager must provide leadership to the project team helping them evolve into a cohesive unit with a clear understand of the project vision. When successful, the team will be able to deliver greater value to the customer than what would be achieved by a leaderless group of individuals.
No. The project manager must manage the project. He or she will facilitate, provide resources, identify the work load, manage stakeholders, report, recommend action, provide information, or catalyse others to obtain information, and above all, will use thier position to move the project along.
Mature professional adults do not need 'leadership' as some exercise of moral superiority, they need coordination, common understanding of roles and responsibilities, and a focus for information and advice. If they are not performing, a conversation is required to identify the concern and resolve it.
Sheep and dogs have leaders, adults in a cooperative social endeavour (work) do not.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Project Management is an Information Game

Nice to see this reflected in one of Glen Alleman's recent blogs: The Value of Information.

In a way, its a commonplace: all we have in any intellectual or social endeavour is 'information'. That's not a special observation. However, what is special is how rarely this translates into common understandings of project management or how the related estimates of risk, cost, delivery performance are made.

A lot of discussion seems to refract PM as a time and/or cost (usually 'time' if the way PM is coupled with scheduling computer packages) game. Well, these are clearly part of it in the real world where both are limited, or constrained, but the project grows and lives (and succeeds) on the good management of information.