The Extreme Project Manager’s Leadership Role
In my practice, the primary role of the extreme project manager is to gain and sustain commitment to the project mission. Commitment is the energy that propels the project forward. No or low commitment keeps the project stuck: Team members don’t show up for meetings, promises are not kept, deadlines are consistently missed and morale is low. Other telltale signs are customer groups and other stakeholders dragging their feet in giving feedback, making decisions and signing off on approvals. Moreover, people may even proactively seek to kill the project.
Lack of commitment results in what I call a zombie project, a de-energized venture where people barely go through the motions.
The Project Context
The PMBOK® Guide, 2000 edition, refers to the project context as the broader environment within which the project takes place. To understand the role of the extreme project manager is to make the distinction between the project’s context and the project’s deliverable or content.
The project’s content refers to the actual development of the project deliverable which could be a system, software solution, service, tangible product, whatever the “thing” is that the team will be delivering to the customer. The content is the responsibility of the technical or subject matter expert. As Thomsett(1) points out, a major difference between extreme project management and traditional
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