Project Management

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Topics: Career Development, Leadership, Talent Management
Mindset and Project Management
I heard and read this word being used differently from the proposal by its author Carol S. Dweck

What does Mindset mean to you?

To what extent can Project Manager Mindset affect project outcomes?

Can we change our Mindset?
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Luis -

Mindset is how we see the world which influences or controls how we behave.

As a PM holds significant influence over some stakeholders and especially over the team members, if your mindset causes you to behave in a manner which antagonizes or demoralizes stakeholders, the result will be poor project outcomes.

Carol Dweck's research indicated that if you have a Growth Mindset, then yes, it can be changed.

It will require practice, coaching and regular feedback. As the saying goes "You can't think yourself to a new way of working, you have to work yourself into a new way of thinking".

Kiron
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 18, 2019 7:00 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Do you think that if most people you entered in category # 3 entered in this reflection we would be abiding by the law of diminishing returns?
Dec 18, 2019 6:18 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

Mindset is how we see the world which influences or controls how we behave.

As a PM holds significant influence over some stakeholders and especially over the team members, if your mindset causes you to behave in a manner which antagonizes or demoralizes stakeholders, the result will be poor project outcomes.

Carol Dweck's research indicated that if you have a Growth Mindset, then yes, it can be changed.

It will require practice, coaching and regular feedback. As the saying goes "You can't think yourself to a new way of working, you have to work yourself into a new way of thinking".

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Do you think that if most people you entered in category # 3 entered in this reflection we would be abiding by the law of diminishing returns?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Dec 18, 2019 7:06 AM
Kiron Bondale
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You may have lost me, Luis :-)

Are you connecting the dots between this thread and the other you started about increasing engagement of other community members?

If so, then I'd suggest that most of the folks in category #3 already possess a growth mindset. While there are some who have demonstrated that they are unwilling to budge from their opinions, most are pragmatic and flexible.

Kiron
Dec 18, 2019 7:00 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Do you think that if most people you entered in category # 3 entered in this reflection we would be abiding by the law of diminishing returns?
You may have lost me, Luis :-)

Are you connecting the dots between this thread and the other you started about increasing engagement of other community members?

If so, then I'd suggest that most of the folks in category #3 already possess a growth mindset. While there are some who have demonstrated that they are unwilling to budge from their opinions, most are pragmatic and flexible.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 18, 2019 7:09 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Kiron
Honestly, I would be delighted if this topic were debated by everyone in this community.

I saw written "Agile Mindset" (beyond other situations)
Is the Mindset concept used correctly?
Dec 18, 2019 7:06 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
You may have lost me, Luis :-)

Are you connecting the dots between this thread and the other you started about increasing engagement of other community members?

If so, then I'd suggest that most of the folks in category #3 already possess a growth mindset. While there are some who have demonstrated that they are unwilling to budge from their opinions, most are pragmatic and flexible.

Kiron
Dear Kiron
Honestly, I would be delighted if this topic were debated by everyone in this community.

I saw written "Agile Mindset" (beyond other situations)
Is the Mindset concept used correctly?
Your Mindset will most likely influence many aspects of a project. With mindset being an "established set of attitudes", you will need to work at adapting and changing the way you think.

This is more Nurture than Nature in my opinion - Mindset is established as we progress through life, even from the youngest age. You can adjust your vision by learning and listening to those around you, to gain different viewpoints of the world you exist in. To the same end, we are all influencers of others views.

People who are leaders, inspirational and open to change are usually more flexible in the control they have over their mindset.

In short - the mindset of a project manager will directly influence the outcome. This is not necessarily a negative point, but one that must be considered. Mindset is a big contributor to a person "fit" into a role.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 20, 2019 12:10 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Karl

Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We agree that: "the mindset of a project manager will directly influence the outcome"

Help me to understand. To you is Minset the same as Paradigm?
Luis, great questions. Let me take them in order of length of answer!

Q1: What does Mindset mean to you?
A1: To me, mindset means attitude.

Q3: Can we change our Mindset?
A3: Yes, subject to Willingness/Ability (ref SLM, Hersey/Blanchard)

Q2: To what extent can Project Manager Mindset affect project outcomes?
A2: To a considerable extent. Consider the misguided mindset that the purpose of project management is to finish the project on time and on budget. Just think of how many PMs make this basic mistake and fail to understand the business context of the project, the stakeholder bias for the project and the constraints of the project, and how to thus apply the most appropriate project management techniques over the course of the project. Case in point, is a time-to-market project the same as a project subject to penalties? Of course not. PMs must know not just the data points of the Triple Constraints but the stakeholder biases for every constraint data point in terms of ranges, thresholds, and drop-deads.

Regrettably, most PMOs and PMs only discover these after the project is in the ditch. Hence, this becomes both a poorly managed project and project outcome and a missed opportunity for the best possible application of project management techniques in order to achieve the best possible product of the project outcome.

The project manager mindset needs to be much more business context, business outcome, and stakeholder oriented. Many people suggest, and I agree, the mindset for project management is often and regrettably reinforced by the PMI certification for project management which is based upon learning the PMBOK rather than competency in its application. This is not meant to be a discredit to PMI, rather just a calling out of an unintended consequence and resulting mindset.
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2 replies by Luis Branco and Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan
Dec 20, 2019 12:17 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Mark

Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We agree that: "To me, mindset means attitude."

Help me to understand. To you is Minset the same as Paradigm?
Dec 22, 2019 9:00 PM
Muthukrishnan Ramakrishnan
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Well explained.
To what extent can Project Manager Mindset affect project outcomes?:

I am yet to read the book so my response might be more generic than in context with what the author meant.

The mindset is a mental state and a collection of thoughts and beliefs that can shape habits, and reactions. Sometimes these mindsets are formed and developed over a period of time while others are just spontaneous or short term based. This state of mind will definitely have either a positive or negative effect on how a project manager handles a project. I would say that a mindset in itself is a type of project risk.

It is important to note that the project manager is basically managing and handling two group of things- The tangible and the intangible. The tangible consists of physical and human resources while the intangible consists of elements that can be seen and felt but cannot be touched (eg. time).

If a project manager carriers his emotions into his project, there is a very big tendency that the project will be impacted positively or negatively. The right mindset of a PM must be guarded by emotional intelligence.

Personally, I tend to put my state of mind in check when working on projects. The more frustrated I get, the more I tend to take it out on team members and open up cracks for mistakes during integrated change control. A disturbed mind also tends to forget things and leave room for errors and delayed implementation of identified risk responses.

I will conclude by saying that every project has its "mindset and soul" and it is the job of a good PM to find that connection between himself and the project, rather then letting his mental state dictate how the project is actually executed. The only other acceptable mindset I would endorse for a PM without analyzing twice would be "Expert Judgement"
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2 replies by Luis Branco and Ola Abimbola
Dec 22, 2019 6:33 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Ola

Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting what you wrote: "The more frustrated I get, the more I tend to take it out on team members and open up cracks for mistakes during integrated change control"

I already had the opportunity to read the book
Help me better understand how people position themselves:
- In life
- In the face of life's challenges
Dec 22, 2019 5:20 PM
Ola Abimbola
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Hi Luis,

I think that in life people desire/naturally tend to position themselves either as victor's or as victims, definitely not as the guilty.

So the first reaction to life circumstances is to see how it will work to one's advantage. In a situation where this would not be the case, the next disposition would be to see how such a person can be exbonorated or even compensated. Most of the time, it takes superior argument or evidential proof to make an individual admit that a negative mindset or disposition to an event is the root cause of failures or challenges.

This also applies to everyday projects
How individuals view or interpret the meaning of the term mindset is subjective to that particular individual. From a high-level, mindset is an umbrella term for how we....think, visualize, interact, engage, listen, execute, plan, organize, live.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 22, 2019 6:24 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Andrew

Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting what you wrote: "How individuals view or interpret the meaning of the term mindset is subjective to that particular individual"

Help me to understand. To you is Minset the same as Paradigm?
Luis,

My thoughts are akin to Ola’s, but I put together the following in summary:

I would define mindset as a “Philosophical viewpoint, that is, your way of thinking related to a given situation/task.” In the realm of project management, your mindset may need to be logged into the risk register if it’s driven by one’s emotions (i.e., what you feel). However, if one’s mindset is driven by challenge-based thought (i.e., reasoned thought), then successes door is always within reach.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 23, 2019 4:21 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Gerorge

Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting what you wrote: "Philosophical viewpoint, that is, your way of thinking related to a given situation/taskl"

Help me to understand. To you is Minset the same as Paradigm?
Mindset - Dictionary definition : a mental attitude or inclination or a fixed state of mind or the established set of attitudes held by someone.

So the success of the project does really depends on PM's attitude and views. And YES the attitude or mindset can always be changed though it is not very easy.....
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 23, 2019 6:43 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Sreepathi

Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Interesting what you wrote: "a mental attitude"

Help me to understand. To you is Minset the same as Paradigm?
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