Leadership from Within

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

For many organizations, the work a project team performs—or at least the environment in which that work is performed—is changing fairly significantly. There is increasing recognition that teams are able to be more effective when they are given more autonomy over the work they do. I don’t necessarily mean the agile concept of self-organized teams (although that’s part of it), but the same changes are occurring within more traditional project delivery models.

Team members are being given more freedom around how they perform their tasks with lower expectations for each individual to have a serial set of tasks that have to be performed within a defined timeframe. Part of that freedom is a necessity—projects are more likely to change and evolve from the original scope, schedule and budget as organizations ensure they remain aligned with delivering the benefits the organization needs.

Another part of that flexibility is aligned with the organization’s empowerment of project teams to make decisions around that expected change. If teams are allowed to act on opportunities to improve or maintain the project’s ability to deliver business results, there must be some flexibility in the work that is done and how it is delivered.

For this to occur effectively, we need to do more than ask our team members to behave differently—we must …

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