Workplace conflict comes with the territory. In any setting where different personalities are required to work together, you expect disagreements to arise. However, this doesn’t mean that petty disagreements should be allowed to grow unabated. Disagreements can be caused by opposing personalities, power struggles, role conflict, ego and pride, and performance discrepancies among other issues.
The Cost of Workplace Conflict
Leadership and conflict will always go hand in hand and as an effective manager, it is your duty to ensure disagreements are solved early before they blow up in your face. To lead effectively, you have to understand all pertinent issues around a conflict in order to resolve it. For starters, it is imperative to appreciate how conflict can bring down your business.
Take a look at some consequences of unresolved workplace disagreements:
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- Toxic workplace environment: Nothing is as frustrating as managing workers who can’t even talk to each other. Such an environment is plagued by gossip and sabotage.
The truth is that there are quite a lot of things that you would need to take into account when you manage a project. Even though a stakeholder communication plan isn’t always necessary, for long-term and heavy projects you are most certainly going to need to have one. With this in mind, we would like to go through a few things that you might want to take into account in order to be able to create one from scratch which meets the expectations of the stakeholder and fulfills its overall requirements and expectations. Let’s go right ahead and take a look.
Identify the need for communication
This is rather obvious but it’s particularly important. Your client and all of the stakeholders need to be well aware of the fact that you are incredibly concerned with their critical opinion and that breeds the need for transparency and communication. Upon doing so you are instantly gaining their trust and that’s generally one of the most important things that you would have to do in the first stages of the project. Read the Complete Article
Conducting Successful Gate Meetings
By Dave Nielsen
Projects don’t arrive at their conclusion perfectly executed and delivering all the benefits promised in the Business Case, at the advertised cost. They must be measured along the way to ensure they are developing to plan. Our project management training (especially our PMP Exam preparation training) provides us with a variety of tools to measure project progress against schedule, budget, requirements, and quality goals. The most critical of these for demonstrating your project’s successful progress is the Gate Meeting. These meetings are variously called Phase Exit Reviews (by our PMP Exam preparation training), or Business Decision Points.
Whatever your organization calls your meetings, these are the points at which all the project stakeholders will determine whether your project is on track to meeting the organizations expectations for it. This article should provide you with some useful information, tips, and tricks to ensure that your meetings are successful. Read the Complete Article
How to Start a Project: On Your Marks, Get Set, Go
By Carlos Urrutia
After spending several years managing project managers for various technology organizations, I always get amazed to find out that many project managers struggle on how to get a project started. They are assigned a new project, and for many weeks and sometimes months they don’t know what to do to move their project forward, and little or nothing gets done during that time. Could it be that the project manager doesn’t fully understand the assignment, is not comfortable with their business knowledge on the subject, or maybe with the technology to be used? Neither one of these excuses are valid or relevant, but in either case, the project managers feel overwhelmed with the complexity and lack of definition of the task at hand. They don’t know how to take the first step and they end up wasting valuable time that is usually precious towards the end of the project. Read the Complete Article
Projectize your Project Meetings
By Amy S Hamilton
All Project Managers are familiar with the triple constraint of time, cost and quality/scope. Recently, while I was waiting for a meeting to start, I began calculating the cost of man hours in the room of the staff waiting. Then, when the meeting finally started, it was disorganized and ran over time! I thought to myself, wow, if we can’t run an effective meeting that meets the triple constraint, how will we get our projects completed on time? Here are a few tips for running effective meetings.
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- Start on time: Don’t wait for people who show up late, people show up late because they know the meeting will start late and it becomes a death spiral. Never wait.
Stand for informal meetings: Going around the room works very well for agile, but often does not work well for other organizations. If you want your meeting to be a scrum, huddle, stand-up, etc.
Communication Plans for Change
By Keith Mathis – PM Expert Live
Communication is critical for driving change forward. Plans might be clear to the upper management who created them, but those same plans often become muddled as they move farther down the organization. Creating a communication strategy helps the entire organization work to prevent this from happening.
When major changes are taking place, the rumor mill will tend to run riot as staff members tell different stories they have heard about the future state of the organization. If we do not communicate effectively, the rumors will increase. False reports may push the organization into a state of paralysis. Rumors can lead to organized opposition toward the change initiatives. Having a communication plan in place for changes will greatly reduce the fear and opposition that often accompanies change.
Communication helps everyone plan his or her direction
Senior managers often assume each employee knows the future plan and is clear on the direction in which the company is moving. Read the Complete Article
How to Undertake a Project Quality Review that will Increase Your Bottom-Line
By Michael Stanleigh
A project quality review helps to identify the root causes of problems on a flailing project and provides detailed guidance for how to get it back on track. It has a direct, positive impact on an organization’s bottom-line. When undertaken at the end of a project it provides valuable “lessons” for project teams working on future projects.
In my consulting work in project management I am often called upon to audit projects or undertake project quality reviews of problem projects. Bringing in an outside auditor/consultant to conduct the project quality review is a good practice; it provides project team members and other project stakeholders with the opportunity to be candid and share their opinions and feelings about what is happening or happened on the project without risk of lash back.
The process for conducting a project audit or project quality review is similar regardless of whether one conducts it mid-term on a project or at its conclusion. Read the Complete Article
7 Essential Project Performance Measures
By Stacey Barr
When we think about measuring the performance of a project, it’s not really the same as measuring the performance of a team or a process. So we need to think a little differently about the kinds of measures that will tell us what we really need to know.
When we measure the performance of the business process or team, we’re interested in how a particular business result produced by that process or team is changing as time goes by. When we’re measuring the performance of a project we are interested in the impact the project has at a point in time, or over a fixed timeframe.
This is because projects by their very definition have a start point and an end point. The reason we do projects is to make a difference and usually the difference we’re trying to make is to make some kind of result, especially in business, better. Read the Complete Article
The Art of Giving Feedback
By Lynda Bourne
One of the key supervisory skills needed by every leader is the ability to give feedback to their team on individual performance. The reason is simple, if the team don’t know what you expect from them, you are unlikely to get the performance you need. If someone is doing the ‘right thing’ they need to know it’s ‘right’ and be encouraged to continue. If someone’s not doing what’s required they need to have their efforts redirected.
Feedback is different to motivation – a highly motivated worker producing the ‘wrong thing’ quickly and efficiently has the potential to do more damage than an unmotivated worker producing very little. The ideal is a highly motivated team, all doing the right thing and all knowing they are doing exactly what’s required. Effective feedback is one of the keys to achieving this nirvana.
The starting points are effective delegation, making sure each team member knows what they are expected to achieve and why; and a constructive team environment where people understand the ‘rules’ and are willing to help each other. Read the Complete Article
Essential Communication Processes for Effective Project Management
By Ben Snyder, CEO of Systemation
Effective communication is one of the most important components of project management. Project managers need to communicate regularly with stakeholders and the project team to ensure the all the project goals are achieved on time and on budget.
View our infographic to see the importance of communication in project management, as well as what processes PMs must take to ensure smooth project completion.
Figure 1: Infographic: Communication Processes for Effective Project Management
Ben Snyder is the CEO of Systemation, (www.systemation.com), a project management, business analysis, and agile development training and consulting company that has been training professionals since 1959. Systemation is a results-driven training and consulting company that maximizes the project-related performance of individuals and organizations. Known for instilling highly practical, immediately usable processes and techniques, Systemation has proven to be an innovative agent of business transformation for many government entities and Fortune 2000 companies, including Verizon Wireless, Barclays Bank, Mattel, The Travelers Companies, Bridgestone, Amgen, Wellpoint and Whirlpool. Read the Complete Article