Project Management

Are You Addressing Biases in Team Culture?

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

The Seventh Edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has a lot of changes (PMI members can get a copy here if you haven’t yet). One of the aspects that stood out for me was in the team performance domain where there was a notable focus on culture. The previous versions made reference to the importance of culture, but this time things go into a lot more detail and make it clear just how important culture is to the performance of the team.

I suspect that many newer and younger project managers will take that in stride—never considering that culture would be anything other than critical to success. But for those of us that are perhaps a little further removed from our project management education, the idea of creating and maintaining a team culture is one that is perhaps less familiar. And I think that makes it worth exploring.

New focus, familiar considerations
First off, let’s put things in perspective. Consciously considering the importance of team culture on the ability to deliver a successful project is new, but many of the concepts involved are not. Project managers don’t succeed if they aren’t good leaders, and to be a good leader means to consider the needs and interests of others—both individually and collectively. I have seen evidence of that at every organization I’ve worked for …

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