Friday, 15 April 2022

Role of Leadership in Implementation of project management

This article discusses the role of the top management of the company in which the implementation of project management and automation of project management begins.

More and more managers of the organization understand the need to implement a project approach to management and, as a result, the introduction of a software product for these purposes. The practice of implementing several dozen projects shows one identical problem for most organizations – not enough participation of management in the implementation project itself.

Let's leave out the scope of this article the path that companies have to go through to decide on the implementation of project management and an automated system and consider the main problematic points of the implementation project itself:

  • The director, after making a decision on the implementation of the management system and signing a contract for the purchase and implementation of software, eliminates himself, or rather does not take an active part in the implementation project. The reasons may, of course, be different, but from the point of view of the objectives of the implementation project, this has fatal consequences;
  • Responsibility is assigned to the "elected" employee of the organization, who is declared the Implementation Project Manager and should be responsible for the implementation.

An implementation project manager is often chosen as the project manager that the company performs as part of its core business. Therein lies two potential time bombs. First, the management of the project for the introduction of an information system and, for example, the construction of a house are very different projects, both in essence and in approaches to planning, communications and so on. This is a classic problem of the halo effect of the project manager, when success in some projects leads to the conclusion that the employee will also be successful on the project of implementing a management system and an information system. Secondly, such a project manager will be 99% busy with his current activities in the organization, and will simply not be physically able to control the implementation project, let alone directly participate in it. The most that he can do is give instructions to the executors over the phone. In addition, at the time of choosing which project to deal with, such an implementation project manager is often inclined to the project for the main type of activity. Blame him for this is hardly worth it.

The implementation project manager gathers a group of employees to distribute responsibility for project management, executors are appointed who directly must:

Work in the program

Answer the questions of programmers who are finalizing the information system "and how should it be"
Verify and accept the results of improvements

Participate in staff training

Performers, as well as the implementation project manager, perform daily work on the projects of the main activity, so you should not expect one hundred percent return from them. Often performers simply do not read the documentation that is sent to them and without looking (or with minimal cosmetic changes made for the species) agree on fundamentally important documents. The attitude of performers to such projects as a kind of "bliss" from management, which will see that there will be no result from the next implementation project and will safely forget about it. The lack of a clear and transparent motivation system for performers does not improve the situation. Make and launch a project or fail it – the reward and reward will not change.

Software implementation technologies (from survey to maintenance) are a prerequisite, but not sufficient to achieve the goals of implementing and launching software products in the organization. No less important is the active role of the head of the organization in the comprehensive control of the implementation project. The director and the owner of the company are the ultimate beneficiaries of the implementation of the management system and its automation. Everyone else in the company, by and large, does not need it, and sometimes frankly interferes. Therefore, the following are often manifested:

Sabotage of the performers. Sabotage is manifested in the non-execution of orders in principle. Explanations are very different, but, as a rule, without specifying specifics.

Distribution and shifting of responsibilities both within the implementation team and beyond. Often, members of the implementation team begin to coordinate with other departments and everything either stops there, or goes into very long and unpromising discussions.

Additional requirements for the management system or information system are set, requiring lengthy modifications, which postpones the launch and postpones the goal of the implementation project itself.
Separately, it should be said about the motivation of the implementation team within the organization. The manager treats subordinates as a resource to which he pays a salary, and they, in turn, must follow his orders, but:

A staff member occupies a specific position and is expected to perform a limited but limited list of functions. The implementation of an information system is, as a rule, much beyond the scope of the usual performer of the work and to give such work "by default" is at least not correct. But for the most part, employees are simply not able to fulfill it due to the certain direction of their professional skills. Additional competencies are required to formulate "as it should be", to check "as it should" whether it corresponds to "as it is", and "how best" for the company.

Certain relationships are always formed in the team, even within the hierarchy of the organizational structure of the company. The introduction of a project management information system can significantly change such relationships, show undesirable moments for employees, add work, add responsibility. This is almost never in line with the personal goals of the performers. All this must be taken into account when choosing performers for the project team.

The lack of clear remuneration (not necessarily material) or the lack of its formalization (when they do not talk about the benefits for employees after the launch of the management system) leads to a misunderstanding of "why all this is needed" and, as a result, poor-quality performance and even sabotage.

The active participation of the top management of the organization in the project of implementing project management and automation is a necessary condition for achieving goals and improving the efficiency of the company as a whole.

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