Effective management

This blog will be used to discuss general topics related with project management and the importance of soft skills development in order to have an effective management.

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Somatic Balance for Project Managers - Change Leaders

Aligning Objectives

Sharing knowledge is key to success in projects

Change Management in Digital Transformation Processes

A leader brings out the best in his team

When authority becomes authoritarian

In any organization, there are multiple levels of authority and in every project, the project manager must have some level of authority over team members and available resources. This authority provides a certain level of power. However, exercise authority and authoritarianism are ideas that are far from each other. The first is required to coordinate and use resources efficiently and must be earned. The second generates an adverse work environment that most likely affect the overall performance of the project.

The project manager that search to be a leader can use his authority to manage the project, identify corrective and preventive actions, assess performance and help to grow the team members. This authority may come from a formal designation accompanied by respect acquired based on their experience and lessons learned,

This brings the word "confidence" to my mind.

Authoritarianism on the other hand, is present in those managers who fail to make the team to work voluntarily, Instead they gain control imposing its authority, inspiring fear instead of trust, transforming work in a heavy environment. In other words, discouraging the project team and preventing these members use their creativity for the project. This can arise for various reasons. The fear that another person could highlight or the lack of confidence to delegate are just some of them, but the truth is that this attitude will eventually become self-destructive,  because when working in teams is always possible to learn something from others (superiors and subordinates).

Regarding this subject, Albert Einstein said "The worst thing is to educate with methods based on fear, force or authority because it destroys sincerity, trust and only a false submission is achieved"

Under this scenario, it's possible that a project, carried this way, culminates, to some extent successfully, or resulting in failure, but in both cases the lack of confidence of the team members and the working environment generated will eventually generate that the project manager get stuck in their professional and personal growth. Also team members, once acquired knowledge, will seek other opportunities in other companies, and the organization loses the knowledge and experience of such people, besides investing in expenses for additional recruitment and training 

Posted on: October 28, 2016 01:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Art of Project Management

Categories: , art

Have you ever asked yourself if project management has any relationship with art? I'm pretty sure many of you did it and I would love to discuss the subject with any interested.

I think two comparisons illustrate this point 

Analogy 1:
Considering that one of the principles of project management is defining the scope and that the project charter define what you want as result of the project the project. What could be the relationship with a painter?
We can start from the definition of a project "temporary effort to produce a unique product, service or result" [PMBOK Guide]. The keyword here is unique. There are no two identical pieces of art. Each painter has a particular style that makes them represent reality in their own style. On the other hand when a painter begins a work, starts with an idea and perhaps a mental picture of what he wants, but the truth is, he doesn't know how it will end. In a project we start with a defined initial scope that will guide the project's efforts, but throughout the project, changes emerge and require the project manager and the team to make decisions that could alter the course of the project and from innovation point of view, the result of the project could  be different from the initial definition 

Analogy 2:
The other analogy I think is even clearer. What is the function of an orchestar director? Without much thought we could say that its function is to guide the orchestra members to get together a sound that delights those who hear it. I don´t think that he is the boss, instead i think he performs as a coordinator or facilitator. Its function is to use the talent of each of the musicians, so they can obtain together a good sound. Likewise, part of the work of the project manager is to use the knowledge and skills of team members to achieve the desired objective.

Finally I'm pretty sure that communication skills, conflict resolution and other soft skills required for effective project management can not be considered an exact science, so there has to be some art inside.

So what do you think?

The truth is that in this reflection there is one aspect that I think is undeniable. No matter how much we plan, we know that within the project we can meet unplanned situations and changes, and to solve them we must use our creativity. Thus, part of what makes a good team, it is precisely his ability to find creative solutions to the problems they face and this includes the project manager.

Posted on: October 05, 2016 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

My Introductory Post: Project Management and Soft Skills

A couple of years ago, I started a new blog, and actually this topic was my first post.  This blog is intended to share experiences about the knowledge and skills required in order to manage projects and project teams.

Every set of activities developed with a common goal can be seen as a project, and in order to be succes, you need knowledge of techniques and tools, of those learned in educational institutions, but also, and more importantly you need interpersonal skills  (leadership, teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, etc).

If we do a bit of memory, we will notice that in our lifetime we participated in several projects with different results, some good and some not so, (but you learn from all experiences). So if we analyze these results we can perhaps ask "what was good? ", "what could you have done differently?," "I felt good working on this project?" "Who led the team?" "What I learned from the way he managed the project?". All these questions are the basis for learning from ourselves.

Since school time, is possible to identify certain children with a tendency to direct the games. When they mature, these people have the opportunity to further develop these skills, however this leads to the question "Are leaders born or made?" From my point of view, some people have talent, but any skill can be improved with training 

In my professional experience, I have had the opportunity to participate in projects for different industries (insurance companies, banks, port companies, software, etc.), but also in social responsibility projects and some projects in the education sector.  No matter the sector, I found challenges and people with different personalities and interests. In most cases everybody have something to contribute, but there is always the challenge of making this group of people  a real team.

So as conclusion of this first post, I want to say that it is important to participate in courses and workshops so-called hard skills (PMI, administration, specific knowledge of the business, accounting, finance, etc) but it is also important to devote some time to develop interpersonal skills at all levels of education,  and in my personal opinion this must be also a commitment made by Schools and Universities to ensure comprehensive training.

Posted on: September 16, 2016 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

- Fred Astaire



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