Conflict Resolution in Project Management

The inevitable conflict that occurs in project management may not necessarily be a bad thing. Conflict occurs when individual goals or needs clash. One reason it is so common in project management is because projects often include people with different ideals and personalities. The term conflict generally carries a negative connotation however conflict can be constructive and serve to help to build relationships and improve team dynamics. The key is in the resolution of that conflict.

The project manager must be able to address problems while respecting individual differences. Maintaining good relationships should be a top priority. Be calm and treat one another courteously even if you are under a great deal of pressure.

Be careful not to confuse the person with the problem. Sometimes project managers believe people are just trying to be difficult when, in effect, they are making a valid argument. By listening carefully to the problem you end up debating real issues and have a better understanding of why the person has taken such a position. In addition, when you understand where the person is coming from you are better able to defend your position.

Revisit and agree on the project objectives then take a close look at the facts surrounding the situation. By working together you could find the answer lies in a third position involving compromise or in thinking outside the box. The fact that you arrived at this decision jointly will foster respect and help maintain or build a good relationship.

There are many ways to deal with conflict in project management and these are just a few ideas for turning a potentially volatile situation into one that positively impacts the project.

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: ,

How to lead when you are not the manager

The task of leading a team can be daunting, especially if you are not the “official” manager of the team. Imagine being the leader of a team over which you have no real authority, yet you are being asked to ensure the project team do the necessary work to complete the project successfully. It may seem impossible on the surface but there are a few team building techniques which can help overcome this hurdle.

First of all, it is important to get all team members on board. One effective way to do this is by making sure everyone shares common goals and has shared responsibility for achieving those goals.

The team leader must also communicate effectively so that all team members have a full understanding of the goals. Communications should not be condescending in nature but instead should empower the members of the team fostering ownership and a commitment to the goals set forth.

Another useful technique is to identify specific team members who might help unify the team. Utilizing people who are self-starters will get the work started and keep the ball rolling throughout the life of the project. These people should possess leadership capabilities but also know the boundaries of authority.

Finally, it is imperitive to identify issues which could inhibit the team in reaching their goals. These issues must be addressed to remove the inhibitors so the goals of the team might be achieved.

Project management requires a certain amount of finesse. Bottom line, know your people and take full advantage of their abilities, skills and talents to get the job done.

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: , ,

A project plan is more than a MS Project Gantt Chart

A project plan not only outlines the specific goals and timelines for a project, it also breaks down the various tasks needed to accomplish the goal of the project. Project planning is an important part of making sure a project gets done right and within a specified time frame. There are many resources available to project managers that will help them in both planning and plan execution. Charts like the Gantt Chart (or Bar Chart in the PMI world) are helpful in establishing a deadline and marking progress toward that deadline. Most projects, however, need a more detailed project plan.

Planning methods such as The Project Management Life Cycle (by PMI) are more practical than Gantt Charts because they include important aspects of planning such as process groups which outline the tages of project development and knowledge areas which break down the process groups into areas of expertise. These methods allow project managers to better distribute their project to employees.

Risk management plans help project managers and the project team to anticipate various risks associated with their project and plan for them. Another planning necessity is a resource allocation plan. Resource allocation plans ensure that the appropriate resources are made available for each stage of the project, and are not overused in any of the beginning stages.

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: , , ,

Difference between Project Management and Program Management

There is confusion between the term project management and program management. Although, the words seem similar there are some differences.

Project management is the act of creating plans and managing resources in order to accomplish a project. A project is a scheduled undertaking for the purpose of creating a product or service. Program management, on the other hand, is the act of creating and managing multiple projects, most of the projects are usually related to one another.

Project management is usually short-lived with specific time constraints while program management is an ongoing process in order to achieve the goals and objectives.

The job of a project manager usually involves working on finite projects or objectives. The program manager works more often with strategy.

A project management team works to identify the triple constraint of time, scope and cost of a project. Then, they plan and report on the delivery of the project. While the project is being accomplished the triple constraint is reviewed. At it’s close, the project management team will review and report on the accomplishment of the project.

A program management team works to identify the mission, projects to be accomplished, and it’s close. The team provides support for the requirements of the projects. They monitor the program plan and keep track of information within the specific projects. After the completion of the project, it is reviewed and documented.

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: ,

PMI and IPMA Certifications

Two premiere project management organizations, the International Project Management Association (IPMA) and the Project Management Institute (PMI), have been facilitating first-rate project management services since the mid nineteen sixties. These organizations serve businesses needs on a local and global scale. In order to best suit a businesses needs, the IPMA and the PMI use various and different means to certify the most qualified talent pool. But there are differences in the testing procedures between the IPMA and the PMI. First off, the testing procedures for the International Project Management Association are broken down into levels. Level A is the highest achievable certification. The title for a Level A certification is Certified Projects Director. Next is Level B. It’s proper title is Certified Senior Projects Manager. Level C is refferd to as a Certified Projects Manager. And finally, a Level D certification is called Certified Project Management Associate. Now we shall look into the certification procedures of the PMI.

The Project Management Institute uses testing and work hours completed as a judge of potential candidates for certification. They have three different levels of certification. First is the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). Second is the Program Management Professional (PgMP). The last certification offered is the Project Management Professional (PMP). The PMP was recently accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This may give its holders a very competitive edge. The Institute also requires its PMP certified members to maintain their membership status by completing Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR). These world-class project management organizations have been on the cutting edge for over forty years. With the varied but rigorous certification programs they employ, these organizations will stay on the cutting edge for years to come.

Filed under: UncategorizedTagged with: , , , , , , ,