Tuesday, 02 June 2015



"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." Ronald Reagan

"Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations." Peter Drucker

To successfully run a project and see it to completion depends upon how well a project team and task are managed. A leader or Project Manager is someone who turns around a situation from the first spark of ideation to the successful achievement of project goal. In order to create something from an initial idea to a concrete product mainly rests on the Project Manger’s leadership qualities. There are various theories on leadership styles and how it affects the project and its team. Generally speaking there are different types of leadership skills and how to use them effectively for a project lies in the hands of the project manager’s discretionary capacity.

Whatever type of leadership style project managers use to achieve their final result, eventually it depends on the situation, task and team mindset. Good leadership styles are those that encourage seamless changes which are adaptable and inspirational for the team. 

Leadership Theories Explored So Far

Lewin’s Leadership Style – 1930s

In the 1930s Psychologist Kurt Lewin laid out the framework upon which the later leadership theories have been founded. Lewin emphasized that leadership was based on three main styles.
  • Autocratic Leadership
  • Democratic Leadership
  • Laissez-faire Leadership
In these three styles of leadership the manager being the decision maker decides how he would approach the final decision making.

Autocratic leadership is about making decisions without the team members being involved and merely stating an ultimatum to them.

Democratic leadership is open towards involving the team members through the decision-making process while retaining the final verdict with the leader.

Laissez-faire leadership provides lots of freedom to the team for being actively involved in decision-making process. But this form of leadership might backfire if there is sloppy team management.

Leadership Explained with Blake-Mouton Management Grid - 1964

It was first published in 1964 where a choice between people and product decides the leadership style. The Grid had two distinct styles: People-Oriented Style and Task-Oriented Style. Project Managers make the decision on where they will place the importance– people or task. On XY axis of results and people, the grid lists five types of team managing:
  • Impoverished Managing is low on results and low on people
  • Country Club Managing is high on people and low on results
  • Authority-Compliance Managing is high on results and low on people
  • Middle-of-the-Road Managing is medium on results and medium on people
  • eam Leadership is high on results and high on people


Manager’s Maturity LevelBest Suited Leadership Style
Low Maturity; Low SkillsTelling or Directing
Medium Maturity; Low SkillsSelling or Coaching
Medium Maturity; Medium SkillsParticipating or Supporting
High Maturity; High SkillsDelegating

Path-Goal Theory - 1971

Psychologist Robert House developed this theory wherein the choice of four types of leadership is based on the situations. The four types of leadership are:
  • Supportive leadership
  • Directive leadership
  • Participative leadership
  • Achievement-oriented leadership
Managers with the above leadership styles help their team to relate to the project and achieve goals, overcome their obstacles to the goals and rewards them on successful completion of project tasks.

Six Emotional Leadership Styles – 2002

Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee brought forth the six emotional leadership styles in their book “Primal Leadership” published in 2002. These leadership types are based on the situation and how to manage personnel involved in the project. The six types of emotional leaderships are:
  • Visionary leader
  • Coaching leader
  • Affiliate leader
  • Democratic leader
  • Pace-setting leader
  • Commanding leader
The Leadership Style of Flamholtz and Randle – 2007

The Leadership Style Matrix expounded by Eric Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle in their book titled “Growing Pains” in 2007 is based on a team’s ability to work on their own and be trainable or programmable. These leadership qualities fall under the four quadrants and they are:

Quadrant 1: High Programmability/Low Job Autonomy which leads to two leadership styles: Autocratic and Benevolent Autocratic

Quadrant 2: High Programmability/High Job Autonomy which leads to Consultative and Participative leaderships

Quadrant 3: Low Programmability /Low Job Autonomy which also leads to Consultative and Participative leaderships

Quadrant 4: Low Programmability/High Job Autonomy which leads to Consensus and Laissez-faire leadership styles.

In Conclusion

There are many different leadership style theories which project managers should be aware of in order to ascertain the right leadership based on the situation, team and project. It is also important for the managers who take the Project Management Certification to be aware of their team’s learning and task handling competency. PMP Certified Project Manager can learn some of these styles experientially or by increasing their self-awareness of their own leading style. 

EduMind Management at 09:03

          


Friday, 14 November 2014


"Project Success is in the delivery of a Project Output that meets Clients expectation with Maximized Efforts"
"Victory is ensured for well-matched project management methodology and the right type of Project"

A Project is a collection of activities like planning, executing, implementing and monitoring for an expected outcome. Project Managers who handle all the various activities to provide the clients’ required output is called Project Management. Project Managers plan, assign, execute, monitor and document the various stages and are responsible for making sure that all this is done without any hindrance. While they are managing a project there are a lot of methodologies that can be used. Here are some popular and not popular methodologies that Project Managers can use in their business practices.

Project Methodologies

Project Management practices has a few common project management methodologies which is known in the business circles.

Waterfall (Traditional)

This is the oldest form of Project Management that is mostly used in the Software development. This method is now replaced newer versions of managing a project. This method believes in having fixed and linear timelines for the project development lifecycle.

Agile Software Development

The Agile Methodologies believe in being very clear about its project requirements. The agile method believes in short-term delivery cycles or Sprints and with each iteration a new additional features are produced. It requires dynamic work culture, non-restrictive project control and excellent immediate communication.

Scrum

As part of the Agile Methodology, the central focus is to provide improvised team productivity. The hurdles in the way are removed by Scrum Masters who are in-charge of the scrum projects and they ensure that the team functions smoothly without any hitch.

Crystal Methods

As part of the agile category, this method gives prime focus on team communication, skills and interpersonal team interaction. The processes itself is given low priority.

Extreme Programming (XP)

The central aim of Extreme Programming is to bring down the cost of project requirement changes. This continuous process places importance on fine scale feedback with shared understanding which ensures programmers’ well-being. XP works with low detailed specification on software architecture build.

Adaptive Project Framework

In this method the project scope changes to adapt to the project time and cost. Project Managers given cost values for Time and cost which means the project scope is adjusted to bring out the maximum output based on the given inputs.

Rapid Application Development (RAD)

This method aims to develop products quickly while maintaining their high quality. Workshop method is used for gathering requirements and Prototypes are created to clarify them. The software components are recycled to speeding up development timelines. The mode of communication among the team is usually informal.

Dynamic Systems Development Model (DSDM)

This methodology was an upgrade of RAD method. It is also considered as the subset of Agile Methodology. It provides strong training and documentation support for the project. The end-user is involved in the project right through the entire project lifecycle.

Feature Driven Development (FDD)

This methodology is focused on clear and simple processes with feature driven delivery cycles that are short progressively improving versions. All project plan and execution are based on features.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

As a collection of best practices in project management, the ITIL spans across the wide spectrum of all project management. It starts right from the organizational management level and goes downwards to the last member in the production loop.

Joint Application Development (JAD)

All throughout the project life cycle, the JAD holds sessions of collaboration with their clients to keep the focus client-centric. Since there is an involvement of client at the early stage, there is a strong influence of client based requirements on the project tasks that gets assigned to the project team.

Lean Development (LD)

In order to provide the highest value for the Customer’s money, the team is focused on developing software that are prone to change-tolerance. Customer satisfaction becomes the foremost priority of the Project Managers and their teams.

PRINCE2

This methodology is strictly based on the eight high-level processes to make sure that the project arrives at its closure.

Rational Unified Process (RUP)

As the name suggest it takes into account all the various modern software development methodologies and unifies them into a single process. This method was the first one to suggest an iterative approach for software development.

Spiral

This method uses waterfall model while also using prototyping of the project at each level. This is used for larger projects and is an extended waterfall model.

Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

This method relies heavily on documentation and following strict guidelines. The method combines two or more project management to bring out the best product through the project management process.

Project Managers are in a place where they should pick the right kind of Project Management methodologies and bring out the best project output that provides client satisfaction. Pick a methodology that best suits you clients’ and project teams’ need. 


Sopm Columbus at 20:02

          


Thursday, 11 September 2014


"The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft." - Will Smith
Successful project managers are people who have polished their skillset into a talent.

Project Managers who are good at handling a project from its initiation to completion are praised as talented Project Managers. Is it talent or skill which is most needed for a Project Completion? Project Management skillsets such as subject matter knowledge, effective time management, knowledge in project management tools, organization, communication, political savvy, and leadership qualities are the most required for the Project Managers. These skillsets are acquired through actual on-the-job work experience. Even the most talented Project Managers should have functional knowledge of managing a project.

Talent Vs Skill: A Talent is a natural ability of a person and whereas, Skill is a person’s learned ability.

Inference on the Dispute

Let’s take the two different abilities and we can understand the differences more clearly. A project manager may have talents in certain project management skillsets but may lack in others. Whereas, the skilled project managers have worked on their inborn talents and their acquired managerial skills to perform well in a project. 

Skillsets such as knowledge, organization, and communication can be learned over a period of time. When a project manager with mere natural ability is handling a project, then there are possibilities for the project to be faced with a lot more challenges. When a project manager with learned project management skillsets is handling a project, then it would be finished within the given project constraint. Thus, an acquired skillset is easily available for anyone who is willing to learn and gain from it.

Project management skillsets can be learned with good and structured training. Earlier these skills were only learned through on-the-job experiences. A person can sit for the Project Management Professional Exam, only if they have fixed years of experience in the field. But with the growing number of Project Management Training institutes, it is now possible to learn about the basic through a self-guided online course. Alternatively, it is possible to gain knowledge and experience from joining a Project Management Office (PMO) within your organization.   

Skillsets Needed for Project Managers

So what are these learnable skillset that Project Managers should have? Here is a mention of just the most important skills:-

1.    Knowledge of Business Process:  A good project manager is aware of all the latest business processes that are currently in function in the business environment. The business process tends to keep changing at fast-pace with the growing project needs and client’s requirement. A sound knowledge on the various management methods helps a project manager to excel in completing a project. The best way to be updated with the latest Project Management related information is by allotting time in your schedule for reading up on the topic. This is a strenuous effort where talent plays no part.

2.   Technical Knowhow:  A project manager with a specific role in the project needs to have certain types of technical knowledge, which would enable them to clearly understand how the project should be directed. These technological skills can be acquired with extra training or continued education. Here also, the talent doesn’t play any part but conscious hard work is needed.

3.    How Project Management works: An efficient project manager is well aware of the different stages of project management and is able to execute it properly. This various stages of project management form a part of the detailed project management procedures, which the project managers should be aware of. Even this does not indicate talent, but just a hard earned ability that is developed into an acquired skill.

4.    Leadership Skills: A commanding voice and a personality to match cannot immediately mean that the person has leadership skills. A Project Manager needs to have soft and hard skills in commandeering a project to its closure. If the person works on their basic character and makes relevant modification, then they are sure to learn leadership skills. Leadership skill is learnable and retainable for a determined project manager.

In all this, what can be seen clearly is – to become a project manager, it is not so much about talent but it is about acquiring a skillset through strenuous and hard work. When you continue to work relentlessly on your acquired skillset, then it will turn into a talent. In this way you can learn to become a talented project manager. We, at School of PM, believe that you can also become a Talented Project Management Professional and gain a certification to excel as a Skilled Project Manager, if you take our PMP Exam Prep Course

Sopm Columbus at 09:53

          


Wednesday, 11 June 2014


"Almost 88% of professionals across 34 countries would like to work for companies that are committed to strong ethical values, according to a survey conducted by Kelly Services."
"Project Management Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct are discussed in chapter 1 of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guidelines 5th Edition."
Why do you think professionals prefer ethical companies?  What is the point in following ethical values in an organization when you are already committed towards the organization’s goal? Well, the answer is not so complex. With no ethical values and morals followed, no organization can flourish in spite of having great objectives and well-planned project structure.

You will come to understand the truth behind the necessity of adhering to the ethical codes when you look at history. It shows that companies that have a code of ethics have outperformed the average companies that had no such ethical codes.

Code of ethics in an organization will lay the basic foundation for the organization to establish itself further in a strong way. It really helps the organization to think sound and execute things well. As you find different people in an organization, it is really tough to handle all of them without a common code of ethics.

Project Managers sometimes tend to act unethical with or without knowing the consequences. Let us discuss a few uncommon situations below.

Bid Rigging is one of the most important issues that give a strong blow to the economy of the company. It is an act of revealing important and confidential information to others without the knowledge of the company.

Another usual ethical issue that happens in most of the companies is ‘’Low Balling’’. This is quoting a lower price on a project but knowing that it actually consumes a higher amount. After receiving the contract approval, you tend to re-negotiate or cut corners of the project plan in order to compete the project within the lower budget. Low Balling is not a sign of a good project manager.

Another very important yet became-normal ethical issue is bribery. This is the unhealthiest issue that stands as a root cause for violating ethical rules and codes.

Without a best material usage and marketing strategy, a company cannot survive in the competitive business market. Still, some Project Managers tend to use substandard materials for the purpose of cost-cutting.

One more ethical issue that is becoming very general is failure to admit the project failure. This unfair attitude of Project Managers approving a project knowing that it has some flaws will be realized some years later down the line.

Understanding the chances of such ethical issues, the Project Management Institute (PMI®) has set a code of ethics to refine the thoughts of such issues by Project Managers. These ethical values are discussed in a separate chapter as part of Project Management Professional (PMP®) Training. One who is trying his/her hand out in PMP® Certification Exam would have to concentrate  on the Code of Ethics chapter because  may be tricky most of the times.

Of the four ethical values, Responsibility is the first and foremost one. Project Managers should learn to take responsibility of the actions. The second one is, Respect. Managers should respect all the higher officials, subordinates, clients, customers and treat everyone with respect. Here, Project Managers should act like a wise leader. The third ethical code is Fairness, which is being impartial towards all the employees irrespective of their status and position. The last but not the least code is Honesty. This means, Project Managers have to be transparent in all the dealings, they should be explaining all the pros and cons of the project to the stakeholders or customers. All these ethical values together shape a Project Manager into someone we can trust.

Responsibility, Respect, Fairness and Honesty – compose a beautiful project with all these tunes put together.

Training the professionals with such a code of ethics will help them to analyze what is right and what is wrong; what should be done and what not should be done; difference between good and bad; and so forth. Finally, it helps Project Managers to handle the projects ethically. This helps to bring out good project outcomes, better Project Managers and the best organizations.

Want to handle projects with ethical values, yet you don’t know what are they? Fret no more! School of PM is one of the leading institutes that help professionals to understand ethical values. We train them in our PMP Exam Prep and PMP Boot Camp, both onsite and online!

Sopm Columbus at 07:48

          


Monday, 19 May 2014


"In the US, 39% of Project Management Professionals are women, which is way better when compared to other countries."
"Women make better Project Managers because of their good interpersonal communication skills."
"Women have also entered into the growing field of Project Management. Turning every hurdle as a stepping stone, women are succeeding and growing in this field with Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification, a well-known Project Management Certificate."

During the 19th and 20th century, women were not seen in most professional fields. They were not even given proper education and their entries into many fields were restricted. Women were often put into low grade positions in many companies.

Now, in this modern world of the 21st century, with too many efforts, women are slowly making their way into every profession. Of course, there still exist a lot of people who do not treat women with dignity. And, the so called Glass Ceiling still exists in some companies. Bypassing all such struggles, women entered into the field of Project Management as well.

There is a popular saying, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. This statement goes true as the values they hold and the way they handle problems and situations vary from each other. Though men and women are different, women are no lesser than men.

There is a misconception that men are better project managers than women. But research says that women are great in multitasking, better listeners, mentors, problem solvers and they have a pretty good IQ. All these traits turn them up into a good project manager naturally. Another innate quality of women that is a sign of a good Project Manager is they are "nurturing". They encourage their team members and stand beside them during not-so-good situations.

The most popular Magazine Fast Company released an article stating that the most successful companies have at least one woman as a board of director and the least successful companies do not. So it all takes one single woman to make a difference - Source

It has become a mythical fact that companies prefer men to women when it comes to Project Management. Since the number of Project Managers goes down day-by-day, companies cannot afford to lose any valuable talent. With the rate of women Project Managers being increased alongside their notable successes, the field of Project Management is going to grow bigger and bigger in the near future - Source

Most of the successful women Project Managers happen to be PMP® certificate holders. In fact, those successful women advise other women volunteers who are interested in becoming Project Managers to get involved with PMI® Source

School of PM is one of the best schools in offering review courses on PMP®. Join us, pursue PMP®, show up as a dynamic Project Manager and enter the clan of successful women Project Managers!


Sopm Columbus at 06:14

          


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