Project Management

Putting Some Kindness Into Project Management

PMI Kenya Chapter

Stephanie is a project process specialist, trainer and mentor. She is the Lead Consultant at Jaeger Consultants Ltd in Nairobi. Stephanie specializes in the human aspect of project management and leadership, and encourages discussion and feedback. She also writes regular blogs on

Having worked as a project manager for over 20 years, I have seen a general trend of our craft becoming more and more focused around KPIs, goals and performance. While these are not bad things, I personally believe that project management should revolve more around people and leadership. I think we all need to work on making project management more human again.

Those who have read my articles about leadership or listened to any of my talks know that for me, the human being is always in the center of attention. Yes, we need goals and KPIs and any of the leadership tools we learn about. However, these should be used more as decision-making tools and not result in punitive measures.

What this means is that if an individual or a group does not achieve a KPI, instead of punishing them or scoring them badly, the leader needs to look at three things:

  1. Where have I as the leader failed to enable the team members?
  2. What can be done different to achieve the KPI or goal moving forward?
  3. Was the KPI/goal realistic and achievable for the people concerned under the current circumstances?

So how do we put kindness into the equation, and what does it achieve?

1. It starts with your attitude.
As a leader, we need to keep asking ourselves if we have the right attitude toward each of our team members—even the one team member who keeps rubbing us the wrong way. This is …

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Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes.