4.1 The chapter stressed the idea that project management is a “leader-intensive” undertaking. Discuss in what sense this statement is true.
An effective leader is the one who has the communication skills, having integrity, taking responsibilities, being persuasive and supporting others. A project manager needs the same skills in order to be successful. That is why project management is a leader-intensive undertaking. A project manager is the centre point of any project. If the project manager has all the skills needed, then team can rely on the project manager and a project manager is the only point of contact where each and every department could connect and make things work.
A project manger with these skills can not only make sure the commitment of everyone towards the project but also inspires them to be committed. Without a dedicated project manager, the team might get misguided and it could get worst and make conflicts within the team. So, a project manager must be an effective leader in order to achieve the success.
4.2 How do the duties of project managers reinforce the role of leadership?
A project manager is the person is the one who has been assigned by any organization to lead the team towards achieving a goal. A good project manager should have a variety of skills including the responsibilities like plan, organize, manage everyday activity and ultimately deliver the project with potential future opportunities and stakeholders. Project managers accomplish the goal by working with the team and the other managers from other departments. So, a project manager should have the skills like motivation, decision making, communication, negotiation, trust building, team building, communication and most importantly influence which should be gained. All these are indeed the skills of leadership which implies that a project manager must be a good leader in order to deliver the project.
4.3 What are some key differences between leaders and managers?
The main key difference between the leaders and the managers is that the nature of the managers is to maintain and preserve the current system. On the other hand, leader is the one who takes the calculated risk to see something new, something innovative and search for efficient ways to get things done. The managers accept the status quo while the leaders challenge it. The managers make people to do the things however the leaders inspire them. Managers look for stability in the system whereas the leaders look for flexibility. Managers have employees and the leaders have inspired followers. So, a leader can become a manager but a manager is never necessarily a leader.
4.4 Discuss the concept of emotional intelligence as it relates to the duties of project managers. Why are the five elements of emotional intelligence so critical to successful project management?
Emotional intelligence has been recognized as one of the traits of being successful leader. To build a trustworthy relation with the associates, a leader or a project manager sometimes have to put himself or herself in the shoes of others. Being an emotionally intelligent means to identify and manage not only your emotions but the emotions of others as well. Empathy is a crucial part of all the relationships. A project manager should be able to recognize feelings of themselves and the others so that they can manage the problems and tackle with them emotionally. This is the key point of relationship building. If a person is not emotionally stable while working then the project will have missed deadlines, unfinished work and many other problems and it could also lead to failure. However, if a project manager is emotionally intelligent then the problem could be dealt with and it will resonate a positive energy along the team which would lead towards the success.
The five key elements which are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills are very important towards a successful project management and they are self-explanatory. If you are self-aware then you can control and manage your emotions with you and the others keeping professional life as professional which is self-regulation. If you can manage yourself then only you can manage others. Associates get inspired from the ones who are dedicated to the project work which gives the importance of motivation. Empathy is one of the key point which is keeping yourself into others shoe instead of only sympathizing. A good leader should always have the political and cultural awareness which indicates the importance of social skills.
4.5 Consider the studies on trait theories in leadership. Of the characteristics that emerge as critical to effective leadership, which seem most critical for project managers? Why?
There are five major traits of leadership and they are honesty, flexibility, communication skills, influence and interpersonal skills. Communication is the key to achieve the goal. A project manager is the centre of the entire project process and so all the internal as well as the external people go through a project manager. So, communication plays a crucial role in any project. If you can communicate your goal properly then people will have the credibility. People will trust a person who is committed and honest. Influence is the second major trait. You get the influence by two ways. Either by inspiring people or by authority. For project managers it could be authority, however for a leader it will always be inspiration. Flexibility often plays an important role for any project. In any project life, there will be number of changes and if a person can adapt quickly to the process then it leads to success. At last, interpersonal skills are also important as a project manager has to work through the associate and interpersonal skills are vital for the success of the project.
CASE STUDY : –
1. As the team leader, you have weighed the pros and cons of the five options and prepared a presentation to management on how to address this problem. What do you suggest?
2. Consider each of the options, and develop an argument to defend your position for each
6.1 This chapter discussed the characteristics of high performing project teams. List the factors that characterize these teams and give examples of each one.
A high performing project team should have a clear sense of mission, understanding of the productive interdependency, cohesiveness, trust, enthusiasm and it should be result oriented. These are the characteristics which have been discussed.
A clear sense of mission gives you a goal which has to be achieved and it gives the direction for the flow. So, every team member should have the understanding and they should accept the purpose of the project. If a person does not know the mission, then he/she might not be able to give input and sometimes it could lead the project in wrong direction.
A strong understanding of productive interdependency is also important as a project needs unconventional approach with different skills which needs people from different department. So, team should set aside their emotions and encourage the people with different skills so that the project will not have any time lags and will work smoothly. Suppose a member who does not have the sense of this understanding could try to solve the problem on their own or could ask the project manager to solve possibly out of their expertise as well.
Cohesiveness is the unitedness among the team. Any high performing team should always have attraction of working together with their peers. This will always help to succeed the challenges. Many companies use the bonus and rewards to increase the desire of people to work together and achieve the result quick and fast. Cohesiveness helps the teams a smooth and clear working conditions and build up the team bonding.
Trust is to be clear and reliable. If you are capable and reliable then the team will always look up to you. So, in any high performing team, every member should have the trust to handle their indifference honestly and straightforward in order to achieve their goal.
Enthusiasm is nothing but the encouragement within the team. A successful team is always enthusiastic towards their goal. A good project manager is the one who keeps this running within the team which helps in creating a friendly, collaborative, supporting as well as challenging environment.
Finally, a high performing team is always result oriented. Result orientation is the final stage of any project and it should be the target of each and every individual within the team and a project manager should always emphasize on the importance of the work they are doing making sure that everyone is committed to the final goal. The continuous orientation towards the goal make sure that no time is squandered and no resource has been utilized where it not needs to be.
6.3 Identify the stages of group development. Why is it necessary for project teams to move through these stages in order to be productive?
There are five stages of group development and they are foaming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.
Foaming: – This is the first step which is also called as “floundering”. Creation of the team is done in this process. Roles are given and rules for the interaction will be given and it will be more like team bonding process with getting acquainted with each other.
Storming: – This is the second step in group development and it consist of testing the individuals on their limits and restriction and any prejudices or animosity towards any functional department of the subordinates.
Norming: – After discussing all the conflicts, this process helps the people in group to get on a mutual ground where the rules and standards are determined by complete group which makes the bonding stronger and establishes trust.
Performing: – This is the high performance and high strength stage as entire team gains the trust and mutual bonding. They appreciate each other’s work and collaborate with each other. If all the conflicts have been resolved then the team works confidently, efficiently and with high morale.
Adjourning: – This is the closing stage where the project comes to end and everyone needs to be assigned to a new project. Here the project manager should make sure that this transition is done smoothly.
6.7 Identify the five major methods for resolving conflict. Give an example of how each might be applied in a hypothetical project team conflict episode.
The five major methods for resolving conflicts are mediate, arbitrate, control, accept and eliminate.
Mediate the conflict: – This approach works with the members to get a solution instead of throwing a judgement. In this case, the project manager works with both the members to get a common solution. For example, if two people are in conflict regarding a process, then a project manager work with them and get a common ground by making them work together.
Arbitrate the conflict: – In this case, a project manager must be ready to impose the decision after listening to both the parties. So, in a situation where there is a conflict between two parties regarding the use of resources, then the project manager must get the facts from both the parties and take the decision on one.
Control the conflict: – In this approach, time is used as strategy. A project manager sometimes either let the parties cool down or else by controlling the interaction between the two parties, a manger tries to resolve the conflict. It is always better to let people calm down as in such cases a direct interaction could lead to animosity between the parties. For example, if the landlord is not very comfortable with one of the roommate, then it is always better that the other roommates communicate with the landlord regarding any issue.
Accept the conflict: – Everything cannot be resolved. Sometimes, you have to accept the fact that the two parties dislike each other from the start of the project and they will continue to do so even after the successful completion of project.
Eliminate the conflict: – Elimination is the extreme step in any conflict. If a person or a party is clearly guilty then it is always better to either transfer the person or punish so that everyone else will be in line. At last, everything is about the project and nothing can come in the way even if it is a project manager. If a person is not following the rules or creating conflicts within the team and you can see that then it is always better to punish or remove that person so that the conflict will not occur again.
6.8 What are some of the guidelines for adopting a strategy of “principled negotiation”?
Following are some of the guidelines for adopting of “principled negotiation”: –
Separate the people from the problem: – In this approach, we should not have any presumption or prejudices regarding the other party. We should not have any pre-mind set regarding any other functional department before the start of the negotiation. Everyone is human with all the basic human characteristics and they all would appreciate if it is a unbiased negotiation. We should not be emotionally attached to our viewpoint. Rather we should be open to listen to the other side, understand it, be empathetic and get a successful negotiation.
Focus on interest, not position: – In this strategy, interest is more important than the position of the parties. To gain something, you have to lose something. So, instead of holding our position in any negotiation, it would rather be better to focus on our interest. For example, if someone needs a vehicle for travelling (where travelling is the interest) and they want to buy a sports car but doesn’t have enough (here sports car is the position), they it would rather be best to go for a normal but a reliable car instead of sticking to a sports car for the sake of travelling.
Invent options for mutual gains: -In this case, instead of setting a premature idea of getting the best deal, project managers should work on all the alternatives available. We cannot get the best deal in every negotiation. So, we should check all the available alternatives to achieve a win-win position. It includes the use of positive and inclusive brainstorming where everyone tries to get all the possible alternative outcomes. In this way, we can make sure that we are not trying to beat the other party and rather we are working to achieve a common solution.
Identify shared interest: – In this technique, a project manager should try to identify the shared interest and work on those interest to get a solution based on common ground and which could become an agreeable solution for both the parties.
CASE STUDY : –
1. How would you advise Kate to proceed? Analyse the conversation she had this morning. What went right? What went wrong?
2. What should Kate’s next steps be?
3. How can she use the technology of the Internet and teleconferencing to enhance team development and performance?