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How to Effectively Lead While Running Multiple Projects




Project leadership can be a complicated responsibility, especially when you’re managing multiple ventures at once. It’s important to think proactively and plan ahead to realize success. Gain a solid understanding of the leadership qualities needed to motivate your team and keep them inspired. Learn to delegate effectively, assigning the best possible people to complete each task.

Get Organized

Organization is key when managing multiple projects simultaneously. As the leader of the initiative, it is your responsibility to know the deadlines and goals associated with each project and ensure all activities stay on track. Meet with team members frequently for status updates, so you know exactly where each project stands. Pay close attention to how team members are working with one another to gauge the group dynamic.
It’s inevitable that you’ll incur roadblocks and unanticipated changes along the way, so prepare for these issues in advance. Coach your team on ways to manage change, so they’ll have the ability to effectively cope with potential setbacks and turn them into positive adjustments. Schedule regular meetings with stakeholders to provide updates and communicate changes.

Motivate Your Team

The motivation of team members has the ability to make or break the success of an entire project. It’s your job to lead by example, setting a positive tone for the entire group. When initially distributing assignments, make sure each person has a solid understanding of their responsibilities and your expectations. Ask for feedback and listen to all suggestions, as having a stake in the project allows a team member to feel a sense of ownership.
Maintain a high level of involvement in the project process and regularly acknowledge employees’ positive contributions, as people are motivated by praise. Help your team solve problems and stay focused on their tasks. Create a culture of communication, where people feel comfortable coming to you with questions. When changes need to be made, approach the situation carefully, explaining the need for the adjustment and the benefits it will bring. This can help team members maintain their sense of purpose.

Delegate Responsibilities

An effective leader doesn’t try to control every aspect of the project. Put your trust in employees by delegating assignments out to create a sense of shared responsibility, build trust, save time, increase skills and conserve resources. Make your expectations for each assignment clear and be sure each person understands the importance of their tasks. Provide feedback to let people know how they’re doing, allowing them to learn and grow. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised at what your team can achieve when given the freedom to reach their potential.
Staying organized, learning to effectively motivate team members and properly delegating responsibilities is the key to successful project leadership. When you lead your team the right way, you’re able to manage multiple projects at once without a hitch. Take the time to develop a system that works for your team and you’ll realize results you never thought possible.
Marwa Hijazi | University Alliance | Notre Dame

Marwa Hijazi writes about business topics related to leadership and management on behalf of University Alliance, a facilitator of leadership and management programs online.

Posted in: Guest Blogs, Leadership

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A wide-angle lense for your project efforts


gripWhile some of my peers are still thriving for planning tools and methodologies to strengthen their grip on projects, others offer ten keys to a happier living and pursuing a great dream. It’s the summary of this month’s PMI Netherlands Chapter’s 3rd Summit on the thin line between project success and project failure. Discrete task management as a 20th Century invention, cultivated from the times of Frederick Winslow Taylor‘s book The Principles of Scientific Management to David Allen‘s Getting Things Done. Resemblance with the classic Divide & Rule strategy elements is surprising:

  • creating or encouraging divisions among the subjects to prevent alliances that could challenge the sovereign
  • aiding and promoting those who are willing to cooperate with the sovereign
  • fostering distrust and enmity between local rulers
  • encouraging meaningless expenditures that reduce the capability for political and military spending

Proven project success factors however are e.g. trust, collaboration, communication, and contribution to a greater cause. Research led Daniel Pink to rethink Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (I bet you know this pyramid) and come up with 21st Century drivers for our professional and personal motivation:

  1. Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives.
  2. Mastery — the urge to get better and better at something that matters.
  3. Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

sagrada familiaConnecting dots, zooming out of discrete tasks to larger structures up to the organization, value chain or customer journey shows a wide-angled view:

  • Working on brick by boring brick appears to the final stage of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona.
  • A piece of Java code skips a mouse click in an application form, raising chances a customer will continue buying an insurance policy.
  • Implementing legislation in processes, systems and information products avoids penalties and saves cash for investments.
  • A proper configuration of a server keeps hackers out and the business focused on their core business.

A monthly review of your risk log or skipping the benefits section in a mandatory business case for a ‘compliance project’ will get a different meaning, once you understand the effects of your efforts. Costs turn into values. System integration enables business sustainability. Daily routines like a stand-up or check-in become an index of project health or happiness of team members. What drives you home? And back to work tomorrow?

Posted in: Guest Blogs, Leadership, Project Management, Project success

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Questions about self-organizing teams


Following up my webinar about “The Illusion and Promise of Self-Organizing Teams” I gave on March 6, 2013 I have consolidated all questions asked during and immediately following the webinar.  As promised I will answer each of the questions in the coming weeks. In the meantime PLEASE share your thoughts about the following questions about self-organizing teams:

1)   Definition and understanding of self-organizing teams vs. managed or self-governed teams

Marc L.:  What’s the difference between a self organizing team and a mob?

Dinesh K: How do you rate productivity of different team (managed vs. self-organized vs. self-governed team?

Thomas D.: Do Managed Teams use teamwork?

2)   Development of self-organizing teams

Wilma L.: how does the self-organizing team begin to organize itself for a project? Who determines that this is going to be a SO team, especially in a corporate environment?

Rajakrishnan C.: A typical project team may comprise of people with different experience levels and pay scales. A junior member may not feel as equally responsible for the success of the project as a senior high paying resource. Will this hamper self organizing capability of the team? If so how do we handle such situations?

Alonso A.: Any additional suggestions for teams that are new and still going thru the storming phase?

3)   Roles in self-organizing teams

Elise O.: If this is a self-organizing team, why are we still framing it in terms of “YOU and YOUR team”?  It sounds as though you still need a leader/mentor/sponsor role to get this to work.  Does it really become a team where everyone is a peer?

Naga B.: What will be the role of project manager in self oraganizing teams?

Xavier Z.: what about the risks specific with scrum team with a scrummaster but without project manager?

4)   The MVP Model in action (Motivation, Vision, Project Objectives)

Douglas D.: Can you talk to the idea that, part of the value add for an engagement, is gaining, and documenting, the MVP?  In other words, they project team may not have been able to articulate this until you showed up.

Milagros L.: Thinking in the kick-off meeting, when would conduct the MVP workshop? After or before it?

Mounir G.: How you can apply MVP in a hierarchy, military environment where top down commands are applied?

Loui H.: What would you do if some stakeholder or team members don’t want to play along?

Nihad K.: Here is where the project sponsor gets into the mix.  Isnt it really about their vision?

William P.: What about assigning, defining roles?  Do the team members work out who does what?

5)   Empowerment

Oscar S.: which is the most important empowerment effect in the management?

6)   Acknowledgement

Krithika V.: is monetary acknowledgement (bonus) allowed ?

7)   Promoting performance

Shilpa E.:Q: In self organizing teams, micromanagment is out of question, then how can we promote self performance to ensure project milestones?

8)   Conflict management

Noemi J.: what about conflict management inside self organizing and cross-functional teams? how should a project manager manage it?

9)   Virtual teams

Justus B., Mitra B., Timothy B.: Do the same rules shown today also apply for vitural teams, for example in a culturally diverse environment?

10)         Cultural differences and respect, moral, ethics

Rebecca K: It seems that cultural differences can be the source of disrespect. How can this be overcome?

11)         Project management vs. project leadership

Samuel J.: Dr. Juli has separated Project Management and Project Leadership.  Would he suggest that the PM should aim to be the Project Leader in order to be able to assert authority as necessary?

12)         Project challenges and the right leadership style

Shilpa E. Micromanagement or Delegation has been a question? But to meet the business goal in very rough projects which would help?

13)         A good project manager

Aida C.: How do you know if you are a good project manager other than the hard results which come in the end?

14)         Self-organizing teams and the PMBOK

Cory P.: Good luck mapping these concepts to the PMBOK

 

Posted in: Agile, Empowerment, Leadership, Project Management

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