Project Management

Foster Innovation In Your Team

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Innovation has proven to be very difficult to manage, schedule and plan. This makes it especially frustrating for project managers who want to create a timetable of delivery, including finding dependencies and critical paths, and who want to track and report progress towards a measurable goal. And yet, organizations are looking for project teams to innovate, create new products and capabilities, and to deliver it in a predictable way.

To a project manager, this may seem like a paradox; trying to put specifications on creativity will generally lead to less creativity, not more, and will yield a disappointing outcome. It can sometimes feel like it would be better to let the team run wild than to try to reign them in. This makes navigating the role of a project manager a challenge.

It may even seem that you shouldn’t attempt to manage the team or the project at all, if innovation is the desired goal. While it is true that using traditional methods to try to lead this kind of effort will sometimes be counterproductive, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for project managers and leaders. A project manager in this situation needs to shift focus, rather than stressing project deliveries, the manager should be looking to foster innovation within the team, and support them in getting the results that the organization is seeking. There are plenty of ways that a project manager …

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