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Topics: Leadership, Strategy
What are the intangible currencies of project management?
In the realm of projects, economies of many forms exist.

When recognized, a project manager's purchasing power (i.e., their ability to get things done) is enhanced. What does this metaphor represent to you? – please provide examples.
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Dear George
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

I would use the wine metaphor.
When aged in oak barrel, it gets a sophisticated touch.
The longer the wine is in the barrel, the better and more refined it will be.
The better treaty the higher its quality and value to the market.

Consistent wine production throughout the year and over the years requires some care.

Grapes must have certain characteristics and quality in order to obtain a good wine.

So a good wine starts with selecting the strains to plant and how the vineyard is cared for.

The same goes for project managers.

Although it is now possible to produce wine without grapes :-)
...
1 reply by George Freeman
Dec 23, 2019 8:14 AM
George Freeman
...
Luis,

That’s a good metaphor, but not exactly where I was going with the question. I should have provided an example and more explanation – reference below:

For instance, “time” is a commodity in project management. We transact in it, meaning we use it as a currency in negotiations with our sponsors and teams. This metaphor, along with others, provides a perception that can trigger a different “process of thinking” that can enable solutions to stubborn problems.

Another way to look at this question is from the viewpoint of empowerment; that is, project managers often find hurdles in projects where they lack the formal power to accomplish “x” or breakdown barriers to “y.” Therefore, they must reach into their “toolkit of the intangible” to create influence. These intangibles may have the metaphorical quality of being, Bought, Sold, Bartered, or Given as a gift.

With this explanation, what are the intangible currencies of project management?
Dec 23, 2019 4:51 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear George
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

I would use the wine metaphor.
When aged in oak barrel, it gets a sophisticated touch.
The longer the wine is in the barrel, the better and more refined it will be.
The better treaty the higher its quality and value to the market.

Consistent wine production throughout the year and over the years requires some care.

Grapes must have certain characteristics and quality in order to obtain a good wine.

So a good wine starts with selecting the strains to plant and how the vineyard is cared for.

The same goes for project managers.

Although it is now possible to produce wine without grapes :-)
Luis,

That’s a good metaphor, but not exactly where I was going with the question. I should have provided an example and more explanation – reference below:

For instance, “time” is a commodity in project management. We transact in it, meaning we use it as a currency in negotiations with our sponsors and teams. This metaphor, along with others, provides a perception that can trigger a different “process of thinking” that can enable solutions to stubborn problems.

Another way to look at this question is from the viewpoint of empowerment; that is, project managers often find hurdles in projects where they lack the formal power to accomplish “x” or breakdown barriers to “y.” Therefore, they must reach into their “toolkit of the intangible” to create influence. These intangibles may have the metaphorical quality of being, Bought, Sold, Bartered, or Given as a gift.

With this explanation, what are the intangible currencies of project management?
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 23, 2019 9:09 AM
Luis Branco
...
Dear George
Thanks for your comment

I certainly didn't understand your question.

In my opinion, all skills in the areas on one side of the Talent Triangle:
- Leadership
- Communication
- Personal organization (life-time management)
- Organization and Implementation Capacity
- Delegation Capacity
- Conflict management
- Negotiation
- Teamwork
- Decision Making Process
- Critical Thinking
- Give and Receive Feedback
- Listen Actively
- Facilitation
- Motivation
- Mentoring
- Coaching
- Organization and Management of Meetings

Are intangible currencies of project management

The greater the knowledge, experience and openness to learning in the above and other fields, the greater the value.

I hope I have fully understood your question
George -

Social capital is a big one. If a PM has taken the time to build alliances with key stakeholders (e.g. functional managers) before their help is required, it will make things easier when negotiating with them.

Political capital also helps, but is often abused as being the stick rather than the carrot...

Kiron
Dec 23, 2019 8:14 AM
Replying to George Freeman
...
Luis,

That’s a good metaphor, but not exactly where I was going with the question. I should have provided an example and more explanation – reference below:

For instance, “time” is a commodity in project management. We transact in it, meaning we use it as a currency in negotiations with our sponsors and teams. This metaphor, along with others, provides a perception that can trigger a different “process of thinking” that can enable solutions to stubborn problems.

Another way to look at this question is from the viewpoint of empowerment; that is, project managers often find hurdles in projects where they lack the formal power to accomplish “x” or breakdown barriers to “y.” Therefore, they must reach into their “toolkit of the intangible” to create influence. These intangibles may have the metaphorical quality of being, Bought, Sold, Bartered, or Given as a gift.

With this explanation, what are the intangible currencies of project management?
Dear George
Thanks for your comment

I certainly didn't understand your question.

In my opinion, all skills in the areas on one side of the Talent Triangle:
- Leadership
- Communication
- Personal organization (life-time management)
- Organization and Implementation Capacity
- Delegation Capacity
- Conflict management
- Negotiation
- Teamwork
- Decision Making Process
- Critical Thinking
- Give and Receive Feedback
- Listen Actively
- Facilitation
- Motivation
- Mentoring
- Coaching
- Organization and Management of Meetings

Are intangible currencies of project management

The greater the knowledge, experience and openness to learning in the above and other fields, the greater the value.

I hope I have fully understood your question
My trustworthiness and steadfastness are my biggest sources of purchasing power. People know I will always tell them the truth about a project, regardless of how high they are in the organization, and they know I will discuss topics everyone knows about but are reluctant to broach. These traits are valuable because even people who spurn project management in my organization turn to me when they desperately need to get something done.
Hi George - I would say relationship building is my biggest source of purchasing power. Creating solid relationships built on trust and inspiring teams to work well together focused on a common goal are valuable for my company.
George

I find that Building Relationships, Reputation and Trust comes on top of the list of Intangible currencies of Project Management.

When you build relationships, you establish trust and when you establish trust, you build a reputation which increases your positive influence.

RK
Purchasing Power (i.e., the ability to get things done) through:
- Trustworthiness / Steadfastness (@Eric, @Rami)
- Relationships (@Lori, @Rami)
- Reputation (@Rami)
- Political/Social capital (@Kiron)

These are right on target. What are other means that we can use to build Capital/Influence?
...
3 replies by Kiron Bondale, Luis Branco, and Rami Kaibni
Dec 23, 2019 6:12 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
George

Other I could think of are:

- Transparency
- Effective Communication

RK
Dec 23, 2019 7:10 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
George -

Expert power - if one is recognized as being a SME or thought leader in a particular domain, that will provide a fair bit of influence over those who respect that knowledge.

Kiron
Dec 24, 2019 4:03 AM
Luis Branco
...
knowledge
George, that is interesting.

I would say you need to be trusted, have political or social capital and demonstrate a level of transparency are all required.
Dec 23, 2019 5:02 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
Purchasing Power (i.e., the ability to get things done) through:
- Trustworthiness / Steadfastness (@Eric, @Rami)
- Relationships (@Lori, @Rami)
- Reputation (@Rami)
- Political/Social capital (@Kiron)

These are right on target. What are other means that we can use to build Capital/Influence?
George

Other I could think of are:

- Transparency
- Effective Communication

RK
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