3 Tips For Embracing New Ideas

From the Voices on Project Management Blog
by , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

About this Blog

RSS

View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Marian Haus
Lynda Bourne
Lung-Hung Chou
Bernadine Douglas
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Jen Skrabak
David Wakeman
Roberto Toledo
Vivek Prakash
Cyndee Miller
Shobhna Raghupathy
Wanda Curlee
Rex Holmlin
Christian Bisson
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
Jess Tayel
Ramiro Rodrigues
Linda Agyapong
Joanna Newman

Recent Posts

Bring on the Praise

Credit Where Credit Is Due

The Unsung Hero of a Mega Transformation

Victory Is Fleeting

Change Is Cool



by Dave Wakeman

Back in the old days of command-and-control project management, ideas were mostly helpful at the front end of a project: during the planning phase. But as we’ve moved away from command and control into a world of specialization, ideas in projects and project management have taken on an entirely new role.

More than ever, ideas are what make the difference between success and failure.                           

For many project managers, however, it’s challenging to embrace and utilize new ideas and new ways of approaching problems.

Here are a few ideas on how to embrace new ideas more readily in your regular project work.

1. Understand that your team is full of experts.

Old-school project managers needed to have a high level of expertise in many areas, but today project managers’ key skill is really the ability to communicate. This means it’s likely the project manager doesn’t really know everything about every aspect of a project.

Which is actually good for embracing new ideas. Because as someone who has the key role of communicating and putting team members in the position to be successful, you have to understand that you are dealing with teams of experts. They’ll have ideas—be sure to listen to them.

2. Always focus on outcomes.

I know that the idea of focusing on the outcomes should be common sense by now. But in too many instances, project managers still focus on activities rather than outcomes.

So focus on the outcomes and allow your teams to have the flexibility to take the actions they think will lead to a positive result.

3. Find a new point of view.

Too many people become wed to one way of looking at things.

The problem with that mentality ties back to my first point: project managers can’t control every decision. We don’t have expertise on everything that is going on in our projects.

Get out of your own head and try to gain a different point of view. Think about a challenge from the viewpoint of the end user, the sponsor or the members of the team required to do the work. Thinking from another point of view will help you come up with a different set of ideas that you can bring to your project.

The old ways of doing things or a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in every case any longer. The success or failure of your project is likely tied to the ability of you and your team to come up with and implement new ideas.

How do you ensure you’re noticing and taking advantage of new ideas on the projects you lead? 

Posted by David Wakeman on: July 24, 2017 10:54 AM | Permalink

Comments (15)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Thank you for sharing the article. There might be blind spots therefore, it is wise to keep an open mind, listen to other people's perspectives and being receptive to ideas and feedback. Not to mention, the benefits of the wisdom that comes from the life experiences of seasoned team members. We cannot be experts in everything but we can leverage our team members strengths.

Hi David, thank you for sharing.
I always tend to think, that good ideas get even more necessary when the project goes on and is confronted with not so easy to match customer request or other things that come along.
My favourite is 2, focus on the outcome, or how I tend to call it, keep the eye on the ball.
This keeps my mind focused on the things I want to achieve and not the bad things that happened in the past (and you can't change anyway).
Enjoy your day
Cheers
Christian

We have to move away from post-mortems that may help the next project and move towards continuous improvement that can be applied immediately in the current project.

Lateral thinking is a great technique which includes all these aspects.


Thanks for the articles and information that you have been shared.

Good insightful article

Simple and effective. Nice job!

Thanks David, good points, open minded

Nice sharing David,
In your first point "Understand that your team is full of experts". There is huge difference between Understanding and accepting it by heart.In case of functional organization, in mostly projects we have entirely new team and we don't know much about our team, So as a project manager it's difficult to understand that your team is full of experts...Don't yo think so??

Thank you!

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.

ADVERTISEMENTS

"He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream, and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it."

- Douglas Adams

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors