Project managers are aware that projects are only considered successful when they are completed within the bounds of quality, time, cost and scope. Bad project management has a detrimental impact on the organization, as it can be difficult to deal with, especially for bigger projects that require extensive funding to operate and finalize.
A very small percentage of projects undertaken across the globe happen to be successful. Even though projects are closed or completed, none are considered to be successful because of time or cost overruns - two of the most common causes behind project failure. Therefore, it is necessary for businesses to employ better ideas and frameworks to manage projects in the best manner possible.
People's behavior is usually one of the key factors impacting the success of projects. In the remote work environment of today, it is necessary that managers understand the emotions and culture of their work team to give employees a chance at succeeding in the long run and completing projects in the manner that they should be handled.
People sit at the very core of project management and their behavior has an almost direct impact on the success of the project. All processes interact with and revolve around people, which is why projects cannot succeed without their opinion and thoughts.
In this article we take a look at the way people impact projects and how project managers can manage people without compromising on the success of the project at hand.
People Centric Project Management
People centric project management emphasizes a project management strategy based on experience, human psychology and dynamics rather than just being based on processes. Wise project managers look at the behavior of their employees and understand how they function as individuals and as team members. It is important to figure out the behavior of people during project transitions to find out how they can be managed in the best manner possible.
The following instrumental elements can be incorporated for a people-centric project management strategy to succeed.
Culture is one of the most important and sensitive factors for humans. The term culture can mean different things to different individuals. From the perspective of a project manager, culture could mean something as simple as ‘how a project is managed here’. Culture is something that people bring with them as baggage. It is important for project managers to interpret and understand the importance of culture in the workplace.
Understanding cultural variables can be extremely difficult for managers at a global level. The global reach of project management teams might have brought an influx of talented individuals, but it has also led to a situation where project managers aren’t always in control of how culture is perceived by individuals in their team and what they can do about it.
Oftentimes employees are asked to work in organizational cultures that aren’t supportive of the efforts they put in and the work they do. The lack of recognition and praise where it is due can significantly hurt employee morale and destroy the confidence they have to try new things in the workplace.
Engaging Team Members
The second thing to do after understanding culture is to engage team members and ensure that they remain attentive. Engaging team members and harvesting communication between them is necessary for successful project management. The level of engagement should be the same for both, team members and stakeholders, so that all parties are on board with progress and are ready to chip in with their contributions wherever required.
Across a typical project lifecycle, engagement levels should be monitored and a stringent check should be kept on how employees feel. How the project team is socializing and doing as a whole can have a significant impact on productivity as well.
Understanding the Importance of Motivation
Emotions have a lot to do with neurotransmitters and hormones within the human body. Emotions drive employee motivation in a positive or negative manner. Project managers often find it hard to understand the emotions of team members and come up with strategies that can harness these emotions to possibly motivate them.
A good project manager shouldn’t just be well versed with the technical details of a project, but should also know what it means to keep team members motivated. This is achieved by a good understanding of emotions and where they come from.
Identifying Behavioral Risks
Behavior refers to the manners exhibited by people in a project. Project managers assume certain behavioral standards based on factors such as attitudes, culture, perceptions, emotions, ethics, rapport and values among others.
Many of these assumptions do not hold true on most occasions and project outcome is inevitably affected as a result. Even if project managers aren’t factors in the behavior of people in the team, they will be able to tell when they behave differently than what was first expected. Since the ultimate goal is to ensure project success, managers should sharpen their mind-reading skills and take prompt action.
Focus on Communication
Problems in people management have nothing to do with the technical side of day-to-day interactions with people, but they are concerned with the lack of communication between stakeholders. At any point of time, there are going to be a number of channels that employees can utilize to communicate to each other. Make sure the communication is persistent and helps bring positive results.
If project managers want to achieve successful results on their new projects, they will have to step outside the directions mentioned in the books. The emotional bonding of people as individuals and as team members should be understood to effortlessly manage them and reduce complications.