One of the most important components to understand about project management- is that it requires leadership. This is something that I am still working on in my own personal development in and outside this internship- so teaching it is not realistic at my current state. What I can do is share some finding’s based on research I’ve done for my own education. I recently read an article from the project management institute titled “Learning to Lead Chaos”. I combined a few of the paragraphs that were from that article that really stood out to me.
“You, as project manager, have the responsibility to guide the project and its people; however, you are not in command. In most projects, people do not report to you, they are simply assigned. Your power is whatever the project team gives you no matter what the parent organization says. Your challenge is earning tremendous influence for leading to successful project delivery. You create the culture of the ‘willing’ who give their all for the good of the project. You are given a position, but little power. Intentionally use tools to enhance your ability to guide and influence the team. She who has the Schedule – Rules. Use your project management skills to make their work as effective and efficient as possible.”
Honestly, this opened my eyes. This made me realize that I have this position, this position of high importance yet I only have so much power. It is the responsibility of the PM to influence and guide the team because ultimately, the PM is only as strong as their team. Making sure what team has the resources they need, resolve any project dependencies, removing roadblocks are some of these responsibilities and what contributes to the team performing at their best- which means the PM is performing at their best.
The article continues with stating 12 tools that project managers can utilize to improve impact and results of project outcomes and delivery. Every tool is important but the ones that influence leadership are:
Be the Example:
“You are the Example, so the team members first evaluate then choose to follow. Your values are their values; your focus is their focus. Where you spend your project, time says what is important to you.”
Cohere – Bond the Team
“Any project team is an assemblage of unrelated people. You have to manufacture morale and you have to find the glue to stick the team together. Use a few minutes of each progress meeting to bond people. Make these working lunches. The more people know each other, the more willing they are to help each other out.”
Challenge the System:
“Remember the system is there to prevent you from getting your work done. As project leader, you are to patrol the boundaries of the project to find and eliminate barriers to performance and productivity. This demonstrates you are serious about helping the project people.”