Project management is all about the people

ProjectI love the reforming project management blog,  it has some great insights.  As an architect/solution manager who has dabbled with project and programme management for 15 years I have found that all too often project managers get tricked into managing the project and not managing the people.  A great example of this is a list of project management steps which lists 16 steps of essential project management.  Hal then crisply points out in his comments:

It’s not a bad list. If you only followed Lee’s advice, then you would do ok with your projects. However…the author misses a central aspect of projects. Project participants are autonomous. They have the opportunity to say, “No,” even though they often go along saying, “Yes.” They also are likely to misunderstand what they are asked to do, just like you and I misunderstand what we are asked to do.

Projects require leader-managers who care for the project participants. The leader-manager sees that the participants are acting as a team — taking care of each other. Success depends on those relationships to avoid misunderstanding and to create a project setting where intervening in each others’ work is not seen as meddling.

I like to think of successful project management as all of the above, but also the management of the soft areas of team dynamics:

  • Co-development
  • Co-operation
  • Co-decision
  • Co-ordination
  • Commitment

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree. an essential part of a large project is the people that are involved in it. Not managing the people is almost as bad as not managing the project. That’s why good large project management software is so hard to find. It has to manage a project and it has to manage the people that work at it. The project management can be abstracted resulting in great complexity but the management of people is an absolutely impossible task for a computer/software. So you can always try a company that deals with people as a business. For example: Arizona Payroll Services.

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