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Project managers are usually dedicated and committed to the project.

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Project managers are usually dedicated and committed to the project.
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Kaushal Mehta
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mehtakaushal87
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Project managers are usually dedicated and committed to the project. - August 23rd, 2013

Who should be "looking over the shoulder" of the project manager to make sure that the work and requests are also in the best interest of the company? Does your answer depend on the priority of the project? Give practical examples from your employing organization.
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Re: Project managers are usually dedicated and committed to the project.
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Raj Verma
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Re: Project managers are usually dedicated and committed to the project. - August 23rd, 2013

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Originally Posted by mehtakaushal87 View Post
Who should be” looking over the shoulder” of the project manager to make sure that the work and requests are also in the best interest of the company? Does your answer depend on the priority of the project? Give practical examples from your employing organization.
Here your Answer with examples...

Effective project team leadership is probably the most important factor that will determine whether or not a project will be successful. Without leadership, project teams splinter into smaller groups and slowly drift apart to work on their own set of objectives resulting in a lack of effective communication, conflicting roles and responsibilities, redundant work, and all too often, rework. If a project manager does not establish a leadership role and a clear set of responsibilities for the project team at the start of the project, it will be difficult to develop a cohesive and high performing team.

A critical factor in conditioning a team for success is for the project manager to take the time to establish expectations about team performance before that actual scope of work and project details are introduced. The project manager is, in many ways, similar to the coach of a sports team. The coach seeks out talent, identifies potential in each player and plans to develop those players who need some additional support. That additional support is most effective when it comes from other team members The more experienced or skilled players create an environment of support that in turn creates a team wide feeling of confidence. It all begins with effective leadership. Upon approval of a project and the signing of the charter, the project manager begins the planning process.

In an ideal world, the project manager has the opportunity to select the project team and picks the most skilled and qualified resources to perform the project’s activities. More realistically, the project manager is provided with a pre-selected team or must settle for whoever is available at the time. A true leader will not dwell on who has been assigned to the project but will identify the potential of each team member. Imagine a project manager speaking to his or her team for the first time and saying “Well, you’re not what I really wanted but I guess you’ll have to do.” How would each person react to a statement like that? Can you expect commitment and dedication to achieving project objectives? It is most likely that you will receive minimum support and will have to spend great amounts of time micro-managing.

To create an environment that will encourage the project team to step up to the challenges of the project, the project manager should invest some time and effort in the very early stages of the project planning process to establish a foundation for team work that will lead the team to success. The management science identifies several team member roles that a project manager may encounter. There are Destructive Roles and Supportive Roles and every project manager should be aware of their existence. The goal is to emphasize and continually enhance supportive roles while discouraging destructive roles.

The project kick-off meeting is an ideal setting to introduce a project manager’s expectations around the supportive roles and also create awareness among the project team members about the undesired destructive roles.

Destructive Team Members

The Aggressor Criticizes the team members, challenges ideas, deflates egos
The Dominator Manipulates and tries to take over
The Devil’s Advocate Finds fault in everything and challenges any idea
The Topic Jumper Switches from one idea to another, creates imbalance an inability to focus
The Recognition Seeker Always argues for his or her position, attempts to take credit for successes
The Withdrawer Does not participate, withhold information
The Blocker Provides multiple reasons why ideas won’t work


It is clear by the descriptions of these roles that they would be undesirable on any project team. By introducing and explaining these roles during the project kick-off meeting and their negative impact on the project, the project manager can set expectations about what behaviors should not be displayed during the project life cycle. Explaining what is not desired is only a part of the expectation setting process. The project manager should, upon reviewing the undesired destructive roles, immediately focus on the supportive roles.

Supportive Project Team Member Roles

The Initiator Looks for new ideas, uses phrases like – “Let’s try this!”
The Information Seeker Tries to become more informed, looks for resources and supportive data. Offers to research for the benefit of the team
Information Givers Share what they know, increase the knowledge of the team
The Encouragers Shows visible support for other peoples ideas.
The Clarifier Helps make sure that everyone understands and issue or a decision
The Harmonizer Creates a unified feeling among the team

The Gate Keeper Ensures that all information is relevant and the team stays focused on the issue at hand

Working with a team that is actively displaying and practicing the supportive roles described in the table will significantly increase the chances for project success. By explaining these roles at project start up, the project manager effectively sets expectations for overall performance and proactively encourages the team to establish an environment that will make the work of the project more enjoyable and possibly fun.

The key here is for the project manager, as the leader, to prevent the destructive roles from developing by actively displaying the supportive roles and acknowledging team members when they display the desired characteristics of the supportive roles.

Hope these will meet your requirements.
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