Thursday 17 February 2022

How to motivate a team to complete the project successfully

What is project management and what is its importance for business

Project management is a set of methods and tools that allow you to achieve results that are valuable to their consumer, in conditions of uncertainty and in compliance with some formal restrictions. In business, projects are the main, and today, probably, the only way to effectively develop and maintain competitiveness.

Through the projects, the development of new products, the modernization of equipment, the introduction of new production and organizational technologies are implemented. At the same time, the uncertainty in which projects are implemented is great, and its sources are very diverse: from macroeconomics and market conditions to the internal environment of the organization itself.

And in these conditions, projects need to get results of higher quality, faster and cheaper than your competitors do.

  • How to start a project and how to finish it
  • The traditional idea of the project life cycle can be represented as a more or less standard scenario. First, the general idea or concept, then the design, then the implementation and finally the delivery of the finished object. This logic, of course, in many cases works today, but in conditions of high uncertainty, its effectiveness falls.

That is why alternative approaches to building the life cycle of the project began to develop - incremental, iterative, flexible, hybrid. These approaches allow you to keep up with changes and create results before they are no longer of value to the customer.

The first step – even before the start of the project – should be to evaluate the business benefits of this project, and the final step is to analyze the achievement of these benefits.

Why roadmap is often used in project management

The roadmap (or milestone plan) captures key events and moments of intermediate and final results of the project. Such a picture is very convenient for coordinating various areas of work within the project.

Another important area of application of the milestone plan is the management of portfolios and programs of projects, in which this tool allows you to determine the possible timing of the launch of projects related by results or resources used.

How to assemble the necessary team and motivate it to the final

First of all, you need to understand what kind of people you need – specialization, level of professionalism, experience. For some types of projects, the psychological compatibility of team members is important. You will find a significant part of the people you need without much difficulty – in your organization or in the market. But with the filling of certain positions, as a rule, the most significant for the project, problems may arise. The selection of such people should begin in advance, not counting on the fact that everything will somehow settle down.

And of course, the more serious and complex the project, the more thoughtful the motivation system for its participants should be. Just an interesting task to maintain motivation at a long and even medium distance is not enough. Of course, it is important to maintain a balance of material and non-material motivation, but there are no universal recipes here.

How to Deal with Employee Burnout

Working on projects often requires extraordinary efforts from the team. If there are risks that this will become the daily life of the team, you need to prepare in advance for such a situation. Here it is important not only to keep the employee in the project until its completion, but also not to discourage him from continuing to work in projects, and not to provoke his departure from the organization.

The main solutions here lie in the field of creating a working environment that promotes efficient work.

What can improve efficiency:

  • special services for the team
  • flexible schedule and remote work capabilities
  • team rotation
  • psychological support of the team
  • creation of a favorable moral climate
  • non-material motivation

Why deadlines are important and how to comply with them
Most often in projects, the beautiful word deadline means only the deadline for the completion of the work. If it is broken, a domino effect can occur, when all subsequent processes move along the chain, there are additional risks of delays for parallel work and, as a result, obligations to deliver the project or its stages to the customer are violated. Of course, such situations have a bad effect on the image of the performer, and for the customer this entails serious losses.

People have different attitudes towards deadlines. The most comfortable category for the project manager is people who are well organized, neat and responsible. For them, the natural behavior will be to perform the bulk of the work in advance, and they will not violate the deadline under any circumstances.

The second category is people who are characterized by "student syndrome". They will do everything and do well, but they will do all the work at the last moment. The risks for the project in this situation are quite high. The simplest solution in this situation is to assign artificial ahead deadlines for such people. They don't care about their "student syndrome", and project risks are reduced.

Another category is people for whom the deadline means nothing at all. They just don't think about it, they work the way they're comfortable. For such people, you need to split the task into small parts and assign many small deadlines.

It is important to understand that there is no malicious intent in the "wrong" attitude to deadlines, just different people are arranged differently, and this must be taken into account.

How to negotiate with the customer and not go crazy

We have to admit that today the change in the expectations and requirements of the customer during the project is becoming an inevitable reality. It's not his whims, it's not a manifestation of his unprofessionalism or irrationality. In the vast majority of cases, this behavior is a consequence of high uncertainty at the start of the project and no less high variability of the project environment during its implementation.

This new reality must be accepted and learned to live in it. Agile and hybrid approaches are the tools that allow you to create value for the customer in conditions of uncertainty and variability. Born as tools for managing IT projects, today these methods (the most famous are scrum, kanban) are widely used in other areas.

But we should not forget about social skills. It is very important to work with stakeholders, negotiate, demonstrate empathy.

In general, it must be recognized that the modern project manager cannot be considered as a technical manager, which was often the case in the past. Today, he should be not just a true professional in the field of project management, but also a versatile harmonious personality.

How to plan a budget and not forget anything

If you understand what and how you will do, and what resources you will need for this, it will not be difficult to calculate the budget of the project. It's just a matter of accuracy and experience. Even for infrastructure mega projects, it is possible to make such calculations with very high accuracy.

But here is the time to once again remember the uncertainty and variability. The calculation made at the beginning of the project may become irrelevant very soon and at the same time for reasons beyond your control.

To avoid these troubles, there are two possibilities. First, you need to think about these risks in advance and provide the necessary reserve in the budget. Secondly, use flexible contracts, in which only the framework value of work is determined, and the composition of work and their cost are fixed during the project by additional agreements.

Of course, both of these opportunities have serious limitations, and the real effect is achieved only by creating a truly partnership of stakeholders.

How to Become a Leader To Follow

The concept of leadership in the Standard of the International Project Management Association (IPMA) includes many elements. Among them: initiative, responsibility, interest in the result, adequate use of power, authority and influence. In addition to leadership, the standard defines eight other elements that make up the personal characteristics of the right project manager.

Another question is whether you will be able to manifest yourself in this way, even if you know all these nine commandments and even own the appropriate tools. This is definitely necessary, but, in my opinion, still not enough. Some qualities should just be an integral part of your nature. You should be interested in working with people, their problems should be your problems, you should understand and respect their values.

How to close deals and put a beautiful point in the project

Project completion is often overlooked, especially in organizations where project activities are put on stream and people move from project to project with little to no interruption.

The completion of the project must be celebrated, and this should be a significant event in the life of each project participant. So, you need to understand what matters to the team and look for the right solutions. The less formulaic they are, the greater the effect of commitment to a common cause they will create.

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