One of the most important aspects of being a project manager is to effectively manage your project team. Without your direction their responsibilities and goals will not be clear and could lead to an unsuccessful project. While following a project management standard such as PRINCE2 is critical for the smooth running of a project, the ability to work with your team should also be considered.
Working with your team
When it comes to working with your team, one of the most important things is to ensure that the people on the team feel that their participation is valued and worthwhile. To do this, it is vital that you talk to your team about any issues which are faced by your department.
Asking their opinion on issues which affect the whole team will give them confidence, both in their importance to the team and in their importance to you. Their solutions will also offer up innovations for the running of the department. Remember – it is not your job as manager to come up with all the ideas. Rather, it is up to you to use the ideas which others give, making sure there are enough of them to keep everything running.
Involving individuals on the team by asking their opinion is also an excellent method of team motivation. If the team sees their contributions being acted upon during a project, they will be a great deal more interested in the project’s successful completion.
Engaging your team’s creativity will help you create better bonds with your team members as well as giving them better job satisfaction and the desire to put more energy and even more creativity into projects.
Your team’s development
You are responsible for the development of every member of your team. One of the main things you can give your team members is education in the fields that they need to develop. Read the rest of “Getting the Most from Managing Your Team”
When things go wrong with a Project there are often tough decisions to be made by the Project Manager. Should you decide to keep the project going? Or should you abort the project?
Consider your options before you jump ship
Depending on the size of the company or organisation the level of control needed to go back and change the business rationale, objectives or strategy may not be within the remit for many Project Managers. This may be especially true if the project came about through a formal initiation process. It may take stakeholders higher up the ladder to initiate discussions that would lead to an effective outcome despite a Project Manger’s conviction that something has to give.
Tips on Explaining Projects to Stakeholders.
To put things in perspective it’s important to realise that ‘failed’ and ‘completed’ are not exclusive conditions. For example a ‘failed’ project may still return value if completed rather than abandoned. There are instances where a decision to abort a project may present a risk or threat to high for a business. A Project may be deemed a failure because it is over budget, over time, over complicated, over resource and somewhat embarrassing, recovery may still be a valid option if business continuance is assured.
PRINCE2 is the best-practice approach to project management. On passing your PRINCE2 exam you will have an industry recognised project management qualification. PRINCE2 Training gives project managers the knowledge to make the decisions that matter.
So what can a Project Manager do when things slip? Read the rest of “Project Management – When Projects Go Wrong”
Stakeholder (apologies for dreadful visual pun!)
When it comes to organising a PRINCE2 project, keeping your stakeholders interested can be a real problem. Whether they’re simply losing interest with the project or are becoming disenchanted with the changes you’re making, it is really important to ensure that these problems don’t mean you lose their support.
If you find this useful, you might also like our recent post on what to do when projects go wrong.
The best way to keep your stakeholders involved is by keeping up good communications with them – if you tell them what you’re doing and why, they’ll feel a part of the process and you will gain more of that valuable support.
Here are five great tips to help you communicate with your stakeholders.
5 Tips for Communicating with Project Stakeholders
1: Plan your Journey
Imagine the act of communication with your stakeholders as taking them on a journey. You will need to work out where the stakeholders currently are, as well as where you want them to be once you have explained your project to them. Once you have done this, you can plan the journey in between the two points, deciding on the amount of information you need to give them as well as when to give it.
2: The Four Steps
The journey mentioned before can be planned easily with the use of four steps. These four steps will help you decide what information needs to be given and what needs to be asked for at which times:
- Increase Knowledge. It is very important that the stakeholders know what is happening with your project, since this will make them feel involved.
- Increase Positivity. Make your stakeholders feel more positive about the project, thus increasing their interest and willingness to give support.
- Increase Support. This comes as part of increasing positivity, but may require some nudging on your part. You want your stakeholders to publicise your project, after all!
- Increase Involvement. Encourage your stakeholders to be involved with the project. This should have the added benefit of increasing the outcomes of the first three steps.
Using the four steps as a rough guide to your communications with your stakeholders will help you to focus on what is most important in your relationship, while moving the stakeholders further along the path to involvement.