How much Freedom and Rigidity does a project need?

Achieving a workable balance between freedom and rigidity in project management can be tricky. Too much rigidity and creativity can be stifled, but giving too many freedoms can lead to a nonproductive team and, potentially, a failure of the project. So how does a project manager ensure there is a healthy balance between the need for discipline and the flexibility of freedom necessary to complete a project successfully?

Many project managers would agree that there is too much bureaucracy and an abundance of unnecessary paperwork involved in most projects. Detailed processes can overwhelm a simple task and make getting to the end of the project a nightmare.

As a project manager it is necessary to find a happy medium between the extremes of rigid discipline and responsiveness to the stakeholder. A system should be set up that establishes clear boundaries so that everyone is aware of their limits and latitudes in the workplace. It is important that there be enough freedom for innovation, creativity and personal judgment, while effectively maintaining organization and governance.

It is the project manager’s job to enforce these boundaries (or even change them if necessary) to keep things running smoothly throughout all phases of the project.

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