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Topics: Leadership, Talent Management, Teams
Fairness and Project Management
What does fairness mean to you?

Can you always be fair to your team members?

Can you always be fair in all situations?
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I do my best to be fair, however, you may or may not achieve this.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 08, 2020 10:17 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Abolfazl
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

What dictates that you are being fair?

What could keep you from being fair?
Luis -

Let's distinguish fairness and being "nice" or doing something which will always benefit a given stakeholder.

We should always strive for fairness which means that we don't allow our decisions to be made in a biased manner, but those decisions might still end up hurting some stakeholders.

A simple example is if a project we are managing is now forecast to not deliver any useful business outcomes. As a PM, we are obliged to inform key stakeholders (e.g. customer, sponsor) of this and if they do decide to cancel the project, it might put team members (including us!) out of work.

How we go about presenting the situation to those stakeholders and how we go about informing our team should be done as fairly as possible regardless of the outcome.

Kiron
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 08, 2020 10:31 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We agree that being fair is not the same as "being "nice" or doing something which will always benefit a given stakeholder"

I would like to better understand your point of view
To what extent, in the example you have given, can fairness be called into question
Luis, you are in a roll for your question.

Can we say that fairness is giving a similar chance/voice to all team members?

You are as fair as people perceive.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 08, 2020 10:46 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Vincent
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Who should dictate whether we are being fair or not is our conscience.
Do you agree?

What might lead stakeholders to think that we are not being fair?
Jan 08, 2020 8:30 AM
Replying to Abolfazl Yousefi Darestani
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I do my best to be fair, however, you may or may not achieve this.
Dear Abolfazl
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

What dictates that you are being fair?

What could keep you from being fair?
Jan 08, 2020 8:55 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Luis -

Let's distinguish fairness and being "nice" or doing something which will always benefit a given stakeholder.

We should always strive for fairness which means that we don't allow our decisions to be made in a biased manner, but those decisions might still end up hurting some stakeholders.

A simple example is if a project we are managing is now forecast to not deliver any useful business outcomes. As a PM, we are obliged to inform key stakeholders (e.g. customer, sponsor) of this and if they do decide to cancel the project, it might put team members (including us!) out of work.

How we go about presenting the situation to those stakeholders and how we go about informing our team should be done as fairly as possible regardless of the outcome.

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

We agree that being fair is not the same as "being "nice" or doing something which will always benefit a given stakeholder"

I would like to better understand your point of view
To what extent, in the example you have given, can fairness be called into question
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jan 08, 2020 12:15 PM
Kiron Bondale
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In the scenario I provided, if the PM held back from informing the team about the recommendation and decision to cancel the project till the last minute, that would certainly be considered unfair. Even more, if the PM only informed certain team members but not others, that would definitely be unfair.

Kiron
Luis: Fairness is very important to me. To me, it is an impartial way of treating your teammates, giving everyone the same treatment in spite of favoritism or discrimination. There are some people I connect with easier than others, I honestly like some people more - but I try to keep that separate from my business decisions. For me, fairness is a component of the respect I try to give everyone I come in contact with. That doesn't always mean I will always agree with another person, or that I can give all applicants the job - but I hope to always treat everyone with respect.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 08, 2020 11:06 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Lori
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

You addressed a very important point: "To me, it is an impartial way of treating your teammates, giving everyone the same treatment in spite of favoritism or discrimination"

What tells you that you're being fair?

Changing the subject
Yesterday, for professional reasons, it was completely impossible for me to watch your webinar
Do you know when ProjectManagement.com will make it available on the platform?
Jan 08, 2020 8:55 AM
Replying to Vincent Guerard
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Luis, you are in a roll for your question.

Can we say that fairness is giving a similar chance/voice to all team members?

You are as fair as people perceive.
Dear Vincent
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Who should dictate whether we are being fair or not is our conscience.
Do you agree?

What might lead stakeholders to think that we are not being fair?
...
1 reply by Vincent Guerard
Jan 08, 2020 12:51 PM
Vincent Guerard
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Dear Luis,

To us, it is our conscience.
Stakeholders, they see us bias when they don't like a decision!
Jan 08, 2020 10:45 AM
Replying to LORI WILSON
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Luis: Fairness is very important to me. To me, it is an impartial way of treating your teammates, giving everyone the same treatment in spite of favoritism or discrimination. There are some people I connect with easier than others, I honestly like some people more - but I try to keep that separate from my business decisions. For me, fairness is a component of the respect I try to give everyone I come in contact with. That doesn't always mean I will always agree with another person, or that I can give all applicants the job - but I hope to always treat everyone with respect.
Dear Lori
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion

You addressed a very important point: "To me, it is an impartial way of treating your teammates, giving everyone the same treatment in spite of favoritism or discrimination"

What tells you that you're being fair?

Changing the subject
Yesterday, for professional reasons, it was completely impossible for me to watch your webinar
Do you know when ProjectManagement.com will make it available on the platform?
...
1 reply by LORI WILSON
Jan 08, 2020 1:48 PM
LORI WILSON
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Your question: What tells you that you're being fair? My thoughtful response would be - maintaining an open mind, asking the other person to ensure they believe I treated them fairly, trusting my instincts and experience....but, you made me realize some of this may be subjective.
Your question about the webinar? I'm not sure, but I hope it is available soon. I really enjoyed the process and have connected with people from all around the globe offering some resources, some encouragement and feel enormously blessed for the opportunity!
Jan 08, 2020 10:31 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
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Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

We agree that being fair is not the same as "being "nice" or doing something which will always benefit a given stakeholder"

I would like to better understand your point of view
To what extent, in the example you have given, can fairness be called into question
In the scenario I provided, if the PM held back from informing the team about the recommendation and decision to cancel the project till the last minute, that would certainly be considered unfair. Even more, if the PM only informed certain team members but not others, that would definitely be unfair.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 08, 2020 4:52 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Kiron
Thanks for your feedback

We agree.
Favoring some team members over others is a matter of fairness, clearly

When the Project Manager is a transparent person in the processes and results, it is his obligation to inform the team in a timely manner.
Jan 08, 2020 10:46 AM
Replying to Luis Branco
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Dear Vincent
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Who should dictate whether we are being fair or not is our conscience.
Do you agree?

What might lead stakeholders to think that we are not being fair?
Dear Luis,

To us, it is our conscience.
Stakeholders, they see us bias when they don't like a decision!
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Jan 08, 2020 4:57 PM
Luis Branco
...
Dear Vincent
Thanks for your feedback

As regards justice, there will be two weights and two measures

One thing is the law, which is often created to benefit certain interest groups.

Another thing, completely different is the
justice, based on Principles governing humanity and dictated by our conscience
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