Agile and Emotional Intelligence | Justin Buckwalter | Dharam Singh | Episode 14

Agile and Emotional Intelligence | Justin Buckwalter | Dharam Singh | Episode 14

🌟 Boost Your Agile Team’s Emotional Intelligence! 🌟

In our latest discussion on Agile and Emotional Intelligence, Justin Buckwalter, PfMP, PgMP, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP and I uncover the pivotal role of EI in team success. In the rapidly evolving project environment, Emotional intelligence (EI) is not just a bonus—it’s essential. 🚀

🔍 Episode Highlights:
+ Understanding EI: Discover why Emotional Intelligence is crucial for team collaboration and effective decision-making.
+ Agile & EI Synergy: Learn how to apply Agile practices to boost EI in your teams.
+ Navigating Challenges: Explore strategies to overcome potential conflicts when integrating EI into team dynamics.
+ Emotional Agility: Enhance workplace and personal relationships through improved communication and understanding.
+ Leadership Through EI: Empower project managers to harness EI for better leadership and more productive teams.

🎧 Tune into our conversation and gain invaluable insights on enhancing your team’s emotional capabilities! Check out the episode now: https://lnkd.in/gJepXGbi

đź’¬ Share your thoughts on Emotional Intelligence vs. Emotional Agility in our project environments. What challenges have you faced integrating EI into your projects?

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Closing the Stakeholder Expectation Gap – Means and Methods

Closing the Stakeholder Expectation Gap – Means and Methods

Delivering a successful project is challenging, especially when there are multiple stakeholders. However, even if a project is performed on time, on budget, and to the expected scope, it can still be regarded as a success only if the stakeholder expectations are managed appropriately.

Each project stakeholder has certain expectations. Project managers are at the forefront of potentially disastrous situations when such expectations conflict. They must address and resolve the issue or risk jeopardizing the project and their position. Because the fundamental cause of problems is only sometimes apparent, project leaders and teams must analyze links between issues and stakeholder motives using interpersonal skills such as resolving conflict, resistance to change, and trust building.

Project Stakeholders

Project Stakeholders

Project Stakeholders

A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organization that is affected by the result of a business venture or project.

Stakeholder interactions may positively or negatively impact the project’s life cycle. Thus, a project leader must identify important stakeholders and develop a stakeholder management plan to satisfy their demands. Using project management tools and strategies to keep track of the key stakeholders is an excellent method to remain on top of things and ensure that project stakeholders remain satisfied and productive.

Types of Stakeholders

Types of Stakeholders

Internal Stakeholders

An internal stakeholder is somebody whose interest in the project is directly linked to their affiliation with the entity in charge. Internal stakeholders want the strategic and commercial goals of the project to be realized. They might be project managers, team members, sponsors, owners, or investors.

External Stakeholders

External stakeholders are not directly linked with the company but are important to the business or are influenced by the project in some way. Those are frequently supply chain participants, creditors, or public groups.

Stakeholder Management

The stakeholder management process includes communicating project status, expenses, and barriers to stakeholders to increase visibility, navigate changes in project direction, and manage expectations. Project stakeholders are those involved in the project or whose interests may be influenced by the project’s execution or completion.

Stakeholder management helps project managers keep change at the forefront of their thoughts while making it less intimidating. Furthermore, the stakeholder management plan is a reminder for every interaction the project managers have with direct or indirect stakeholders, helping them maintain a genuine link between the project and day-to-day operations.

Closing the Stakeholder Expectation Gap – Means

An effective stakeholder management process ensures that timely and relevant feedback is provided, and that the stakeholder management strategy directs the change effort. The project manager maintains stakeholder expectations, resolves conflicts, and identifies and fixes any problems that develop throughout the project. In general, the following are the fundamental parts form the stakeholder management process:

The Necessary Elements For Successful Stakeholder Management

The Necessary Elements For Successful Stakeholder Management

  • Managing stakeholder expectations: The project is more likely to succeed when stakeholders’ expectations are actively managed. As a result, to ensure perfect conformance with project goals and expectations and to continue the project management effort, the project manager must continually negotiate and influence the demands of stakeholders.
  • Managing stakeholder perception: It is critical for project success to ensure that stakeholders are involved in the project regularly and are kept up to date on the project’s progress. High-level stakeholder perception increases the likelihood that stakeholders will provide the necessary support and the project will be completed as intended.
  • Keeping track of stakeholder activity: The project manager is primarily responsible for recording and tracking all stakeholders’ activity. As a result, to secure stakeholder acceptance and project communications plan adherence, the project manager should formally document all contacts with stakeholders and keep records of the project’s outcomes.
  • Solving problems and resolving conflicts: To avoid challenges and conflicts, the project manager should address stakeholders’ concerns and identify risks and threats in collaboration with conflict management. By referring to change requests, the project manager can generate solutions.

Understanding the components of the managing stakeholder’s process enables the project manager to engage with stakeholder expectations and demands and build action plans to be used when disputes and challenges emerge. The project manager can utilize the following tools to assess conflicts and challenges, as well as manage stakeholders on an individual and group level:

Tools To Assess Conflicts And Challenges In Managing Stakeholder's Process

Tools To Assess Conflicts And Challenges In Managing Stakeholder’s Process

  • Issue logs: An issue log is a tool for assessing issues and documenting resolutions. It is a document with a rigid categories structure that allows each issue to be placed in the appropriate category (issue group). The project manager uses problem logs to ensure that each stakeholder understands the project and maintains positive working interactions among all stakeholders, including project team members.
  • Change Logs: It is a tool for documenting any changes that occur throughout a project. The project manager uses change logs to track changes and their impact on project goals and deliverables. A change log should be provided to project stakeholders and should include data on changes to risks, uncertainties, costs, and budgets.

A change request for project deliverables may result from the technique for managing and engaging stakeholders. Changes to the stakeholder management approach and registry are also feasible. The method of managing stakeholders allows for evaluating and modifying stakeholder benefits created earlier in the project’s life cycle.

Five pitfalls to address while dealing with the expectations of stakeholders

5 Pitfalls To Address While Dealing With The Expectations Of Stakeholders

5 Pitfalls To Address While Dealing With The Expectations Of Stakeholders

  1. Identify the stakeholders

A project often involves many stakeholders, and it can take time to identify all of them. A stakeholder is a person, a group, an organization, or a set of organizations that are actively involved in or may be affected by the project. Stakeholders can have an impact on a project in a variety of ways.

For example, if a stakeholder is top management in an organization and is not completely committed to a project, it may drastically limit buy-in throughout the business. Founders and C-suites are also stakeholders who can positively or negatively impact a project. Therefore, the identification of stakeholders is a critical step in managing expectations.

  1. Classifying stakeholders

Effective stakeholder management necessitates a project manager categorizing stakeholders based on their role in project completion. A project manager must determine which stakeholders are supporters and which may be obstacles to the project. It might be challenging to define the types of risks, where and when each risk exists, the impact on the project, or how to build strategies to handle possible risks if stakeholders cannot be classified.

  1. Mapping expectations

Project managers must resolve possible concerns, keep stakeholders involved and motivated, and finish the project on time. A project manager must have a good understanding of all stakeholders’ expectations. Stakeholder analysis and adequate documentation can be useful in mapping expectations. Stakeholders may have different priorities when completing tasks, milestones, or the full project. Their interests may be interpreted differently and have different definitions of success.

For example, one stakeholder may prioritize project completion on time, while another defines success as keeping it under budget. Mapping expectations and obtaining clarity among all stakeholders enhances the possibility that a project manager and their team can effectively complete a project.

  1. Using appropriate communication methods

Stakeholder management requires determining and implementing appropriate communication methods. To successfully manage stakeholder expectations, a project manager must establish the available and preferred communication mechanisms for stakeholders. A poor or incorrect communication approach can lead to distrust and dissatisfaction between stakeholders and a project manager. It is also essential to adjust communication tactics and frequency based on elements such as time, message, purpose, secrecy, or changes based on stakeholder contexts.

  1. Engaging stakeholders

Stakeholder engagement during the project with frequent updates boosts stakeholder confidence, which is essential for project success. In addition, efficient stakeholder management necessitates the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making by the project manager.

Although a project manager may believe they have already determined the optimal course of action, they should incorporate stakeholders in procedures and pertinent talks to ensure all options have been examined; otherwise, key possibilities and expectations may be missed.

Closing the Stakeholder Expectation Gap – Methods

Before beginning a new project, start by identifying all stakeholders. First, identify those impacted by the project and the organizations that will influence the project. Then, using the strategy outlined below, begin developing strong relationships with each stakeholder.

Closing the Stakeholder Expectation Gap – Methods

Closing the Stakeholder Expectation Gap – Methods

  1. Analyze stakeholders

Conduct a stakeholder analysis or an evaluation of the key participants in a project and how the initiative will affect their issues and requirements. Determine their unique qualities and interests. Find out what motivates them and what frustrates them. Define responsibilities and levels of engagement, and assess whether there are any disputes among stakeholders.

  1. Assess the influence

Determine the extent to which stakeholders can have an impact on the project. The more powerful a stakeholder is, the more a project manager will require assistance. When evaluating stakeholders, consider the question, “What’s in it for them?” Knowing what each stakeholder needs or desires from the project allows the project manager to measure their degree of support. Remember to weigh support against influence, like Is it more necessary to have strong support from a low-level stakeholder or moderate support from a high-level stakeholder?

  1. Understand their expectations

Determine the exact expectations of stakeholders. Then, when necessary, seek clarification to ensure they are thoroughly understood.

  1. Define “success”

Every stakeholder may have a distinct definition of project success. Discovering this towards the end of the project is a potential disaster. Instead, gather definitions and integrate them into the objectives to guarantee that all stakeholders support the final results.

  1. Keep stakeholders involved
  • Don’t just provide updates to stakeholders.
  • Solicit their opinions.
  • Schedule time for brief meetings to get to know them better.
  • Determine each stakeholder’s ability to engage while keeping time restrictions in mind.
  1. Keep stakeholders informed
  • Send regular status updates.
  • One update each week is generally adequate.
  • Hold project meetings as appropriate, but allow enough time between them.
  • Respond to stakeholders’ inquiries and emails as soon as possible.
  • Regular contact is usually valued – and may help ease the impact when you have unpleasant news to deliver.

These are some of the fundamentals of developing effective stakeholder connections. However, like with any relationship, there are subtleties that every effective project manager knows, such as understanding the distinctions and responding successfully to various types of stakeholders.

Final Thoughts

There is a link between resolving conflicts in stakeholder expectations and project success. Similarly, the faster project teams defuse a potentially dangerous situation by recognizing the source of conflicts, the link between issues, and the motivations of stakeholders, the simpler it is to develop trust, settle conflicts, and overcome resistance to change.

Using diverse modes of communication between the project team, senior management, and stakeholders improves prospects for mutual understanding. These methods may help the project managers to meet the stakeholder expectations and reduce the risk of project disaster.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting talktodharam.com

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

 

 

Project Management-Oriented Employment (PMOE) – Future Outlook

Project Management-Oriented Employment (PMOE) – Future Outlook

Project management is a fulfilling career choice that may offer competitive pay and a wide range of job opportunities. As a result, project managers are constantly in demand: Qualified individuals are always needed to plan and provide work in every business.

Over the next ten years, demand for project managers is one of the roles which will expand faster than the need for workers in other roles. But on the other hand, organizations may face risks due to the talent gap.

Understanding PMOE

Projects are becoming an increasingly important component of business completion. The acceleration of business evolution, increasing emphasis on digital transformation, and ever-changing consumer expectations and competitor offers are here to stay. As a result, project management skills and talents are becoming increasingly important in organizations.

Organizations will not invest in training the people in those positions to accomplish that work if those roles are not recognized as contributing to project management. As a result, they will not foster an environment where employees may develop experience, and they will eventually find themselves unable to sustain the number of projects that must be delivered.

One of the reasons that technical roles are considered part of PMOE is the growing adoption of agile ways to deliver work. However, many organizations still see agile as a ‘project management free’ delivery method, where the self-organized nature of agile teams eliminates the need for project management. But, again, this thinking must change if there is any hope of closing the skills gap.

Organizations must assess their skill profiles for all roles and determine if project management competencies should be included. Even roles that do not entail daily project delivery or where employees are more frequent contributors than leaders are likely to benefit from project management skills and experience. Unless that is ‘built in’ to job profiles, hiring and development methods will remain the same, and the shortage will remain unaddressed.

Talent Gap Report 2021

Successful projects are a significant contributor to global economic growth. As more industries become projectized, the demand for qualified project managers will likely rise over the next decade.

The Talent Gap Report 2021

The Talent Gap Report 2021

The Talent Gap Report 2021 has been released by the Project Management Institute. The headline is the scarcity of qualified candidates for project management-oriented employment (PMOE). As a result, around 25 million more employees will be required by 2030 than in 2019. To put this in context, there were 90 million workers in those positions in 2019, implying a 30% increase.

Simultaneously, 13 million existing project management-oriented employees will retire, with the vast majority nearing the top of the experience curve. This phenomenon implies that enterprises will lose significant knowledge and skill. And this will happen when they increase the need for that experience by introducing a large number of new project-related staff who must progress quickly. In developed economies, on the other hand, retirement is the primary source of job possibilities for younger workers.

The report’s most critical statement comes near the end: “Global demand for project management expertise is unlikely to be addressed by 2030 unless firms encourage a culture of continuous learning.” As a result, firms confront a huge growth in PMOE roles and an inability to address that requirement based on current business processes.

Addressing challenges of this magnitude demands a strategic approach backed by financial commitments and constant responsibility for performance. In some circumstances, it may also necessitate a transformation in how leaders understand their companies and roles.

3 Reasons For The Project management Talent Gap

3 Reasons For The Project management Talent Gap

Why and where is the Talent Gap?

There are three reasons for the project management talent gap:

  • The number of positions requiring project management skills is increasing.
  • Project managers are in high demand in emerging and developing companies.
  • Project managers are retiring faster than young talent can replace them.

Upskill the people 

Unless firms foster a culture of continuous learning, the worldwide need for project management skills is unlikely to be met by 2030. The most resilient firms will prioritize reimagined employee capability-building.

According to a McKinsey report, over 80% of business leaders consider skill building to be “very” or “very” vital to their organization’s growth, up from 59% before the pandemic. As a result, organizations will need to support new learning initiatives and seek partnerships to equip employees with the appropriate project management skills to develop their talent. These talents include power skills like teamwork and leadership; business acumen to develop well-rounded employees; and mastering new methods of working, such as growing use of tech-enhanced problem-solving tools.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage in the Talent Acquisition Race: The Front-Runners

According to PMI and PwC study, a cohort of 250 organizations face fewer challenges in attracting and retaining talent than their counterparts. Their project management offices (PMOs) are better connected with corporate strategy—three quarters have a C-suite presence, and 90% are seen as strategic partners by their executive leaders. As a result, they have an easier time recruiting people with important project skills. They are more successful at developing project managers. They are also twice as likely to have outperformed in revenue growth, customer acquisition, customer happiness, and environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) indicators.

Facilitating project-based organizations

The concept of stable operations is unlikely to exist at any scale by 2030, which is one of the most important factors driving the demand for more individuals in PMOE roles. The rapid growth of technology has resulted in much shorter lifecycles for both customer-facing and internal solutions. This trend is expected to continue as digital transformations drive organizations to the point where technology is vital in managing every business area.

Future of project management

Project management is being massively disrupted by management technology. As a result, forward-thinking professionals are questioning how to effectively prepare for the upcoming tidal wave of change caused by technological innovation.

Here are four skills that project managers of the future might need:

  • Data Science
  • Conflict resolution
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Resource management

Project Management’s Future in the Age of Advanced Technology

Because of emerging trends such as remote teams, digitalization, and automation, project management has changed dramatically in recent years. As a result, companies now rely significantly on technology to plan, execute, and monitor work. As an example:

  • Big data and artificial intelligence for better risk forecasting
  • Remote progress tracking using digitization technologies
  • Automation software for more efficient execution

These innovations have improved firms’ management capacities and altered project management’s future. According to Gartner research, 80% of management duties will be automated by 2030, and future managers will need more technological abilities. They must be knowledgeable about cybersecurity, blockchains, machine learning, and robots, all of which are expected to play larger roles in management.

Future Trends of Project Management

Consider project management ten years ago: fewer tools, smaller teams, and more straightforward tasks. Since then, the project landscape has changed dramatically, with major trends such as:

  • Blockchain
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Sustainability
  • Remote teams
Future Trends of Project Management

Future Trends of Project Management

Trend 1 – Blockchain

More companies use blockchain technologies for management, such as when conducting dispute investigations. The capacity of blockchain to automatically update data makes it ideal for reconciling records and transactions. One of the most significant contributions of blockchain to project management will be smart contracts, which are effectively self-executing contracts powered by computer code.

Smart contracts reduce the number of key functions within the project manager’s scope, such as checking on project milestones and assigning new ones, which speeds up management processes. As a result, quicker workflow assures project completion on time and improves a company’s overall performance.

Trend 2 – Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence quickly infiltrates project management systems, handling anything from predictive analysis to risk management. Because of its efficacy, AI is expected to contribute:

  • $42.7 B (7.7%) to Egypt’s economy
  • $135.2 B (12.4%) to Saudi Arabia’s economy
  • $96.3 B (13.6%) to the UAE economy

The primary capacity of AI is to provide data insights for decision-making, which increases the agility of any given project. For example, assume a manager considers which product features to include; AI finds correlations and patterns in consumer data and then recommends which product features are more likely to sell. Such insights improve an organization’s competitiveness by avoiding commitment to poorly planned, hazardous ventures.

Trend 3 – Sustainability

Today, project sustainability is more crucial than ever. Governments and societies all around the world are demanding greener approaches throughout the life cycle of a project.

Green initiatives are cost-cutting methods from a business standpoint. For example, energy is required for project execution, and shifting to renewable sources reduces costs. In addition, this frees up resources for other essential areas, such as innovation and research. Meanwhile, sustainable practices improve a company’s brand and foster consumer loyalty.

Trend 4 – Remote Teams

Remote teams have been the norm since the advent of communication technology. As a result, businesses gain from a more diverse and borderless talent pool easily available through contracts. In addition, they spend less on office space, travel, and other administrative expenses.

As a result, it’s not unexpected that 65% of workers anticipate that workplaces will become entirely virtual over the next several years. In general, remote working arrangements enable businesses to extend their resources while increasing operational efficiency. As such, they are crucial in developing lean, competitive firms.

Skills Future Project Professionals Need 

To stay up with modern project management trends, a fundamental understanding of ideas such as data science, conflict resolution, and entrepreneurship is required. For example, understanding data science may assist a manager in incorporating AI into more elements of the project life cycle.

Here’s a closer look at what these talents comprise and how they’ll stay up with future project management improvements.

4 Skills Future Project Professionals Need

4 Skills Future Project Professionals Need

Skill 1 – Data Science

Big data insights are essential management tools, particularly for large projects with extensive life cycles. Insights from previous projects show inefficiencies that guide the current project, such as the number of slack hours and their causes. Data analysis assesses progress and uncovers deviations early, such as changes in material costs and currency rates that exceed expectations. As a result, project managers must comprehend topics such as statistical inference and regression analysis.

Skill 2 – Conflict Resolution

Today’s projects are extremely complicated, with constantly changing deliverables. As a result, conflicts are never far away. These issues, if left unaddressed, can undermine the team’s performance, resulting in delays and missed deliverables. Managers must thus grasp the various aspects of conflict resolution, such as:

  • A conducive work environment’s behavioral and organizational components
  • Effective communication
  • Effective contingency planning

Skill 3 – Entrepreneurship

Project managers are, in essence, CEOs. On the one hand, they manage project deliverables. Yet, simultaneously, they negotiate with shareholders and set goals based on estimates. As a result, being effective requires more than technical and administrative skills.

Entrepreneurial skills, such as strategic thinking and market insight, are also required of project leaders. Such skills are especially important when modifying deliverables, typical in agile projects like software development.

Skill 4 – Resource Management

Budgets and timeframes became tighter as projects became larger and more complicated. Today’s project managers must balance budgetary constraints, quality delivery, and achieving deadlines with limited resources. They are entrusted with creating a lean organization.

For optimal efficacy, a precise balance of resource allocation is required, as over-allocation to one activity inhibits the others. As a result, managers must understand resource management principles such as equilibrium shifts and flexibility.

Bridging the talent gap

The PMI Talent Gap report delves into a decade’s worth of project management-related job trends, costs, and global implications. PMI has completed its most recent study of the “projectized” businesses that leverage these talents better to understand talent and employment trends in project management. Using data from selected areas, the PMI Talent Gap report provides a birds-eye perspective of the most in-demand talents and the magnitude of the talent shortfall.

PMI data shows a continuing gap between the global demand for project management skills and talent availability. This data translates into many new career prospects in PMOE for job-seeking project professionals. However, the skill shortage is a significant issue for firms that rely on project leaders and changemakers. For example, by 2030, this skill gap is anticipated to affect every area, resulting in a potential global GDP loss of up to US$345.5 billion.

Here is a summary of the top three reasons for the skill gap, as identified by PMI research and explained in the report:

  • An increase in the number of professions that need project management expertise.
  • Economic growth drives demand for project managers in emerging and developing countries.
  • The rate of labor-force retirement

Final Thoughts

Project management has a bright future. There is still a high demand for change agents. PM will transition from being viewed as an administrative function by some executives to the strategic partnership that it has the potential to be in every organization, not just those enlightened businesses with high levels of program management maturity.

For many years, the skills of project managers have migrated toward “soft” skills. However, given how the future of work is shaping, this will become much more important. Project managers will need to be team players. As a result, we’ll need to interact with people who have the skills that the technical companion lacks:

Skills That The Technical Companion Lacks

Skills That The Technical Companion Lacks

  • Empathy
  • Strategic thinking
  • Fun
  • Creativity
  • Motivation and persuasion
  • Thoughtful customer service
  • Listening

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Justin Buckwalter in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting talktodharam.com

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

People Skills for Project, Program & Portfolio Managers

People Skills for Project, Program & Portfolio Managers

What makes a successful Project/Program/Portfolio Manager? Is it the number of years of experience? Technical know-how? Or the one who is good at managing people?

Creating objectives, critical path analysis, work breakdown structures, resource scheduling, and risk management are just a few of the technical areas of project management that project managers usually get training in. However, understanding pertinent people and management issues is important to a project’s success. In addition, a project manager must also continually deal with clients and other stakeholders. As a result, project managers’ people skills, also known as soft skills, are becoming increasingly important.

People Skills

People Skills

People skills

People skills are linked with behavioral patterns or behavioral interactions that assist one in communicating effectively with people. Project leaders with strong people skills may favorably influence others, socialize effortlessly, and overcome public anxiety.

Project Leaders With Strong People Skills

Project Leaders With Strong People Skills

They are transferrable social abilities that allow one to collaborate well with others. The three main types are personal, interaction, and interpersonal skills. These categories achieve the same overall objective: making the working connections with others mutually satisfying, pleasant, and productive.

Types of People Skills

Types Of People Skills

Types of People Skills

  • Personal skills: These include the capacity to communicate your skills and exhibit yourself to others successfully. It comprises characteristics such as self-assurance, honesty, and aggressiveness. Furthermore, one must be able to recognize their limitations and make sound judgments based on logic rather than emotion.
Personal Skills

Personal Skills

  • Interaction skills: It is essential for understanding the behavior and ideas of others while preserving limits and creating connections. A project manager, for example, should have social etiquettes that need empathy and listening skills to know that you have listened to them and given respect for their limits and requirements to connect with co-workers and clients productively.
Interaction Skills

Interaction Skills

  • Interpersonal skills: These are related to intercession skills, but they apply mainly to situations in which the persons involved have opposing interests or viewpoints.

Contrary to popular belief, people skills are not subjective concepts. On the contrary, these skills are critical, particularly in the project management role, which is largely concerned with people.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal Skills

Project management is more than just completing the project; it is also about how you lead and assist your team. Leading others and leading them through the whole project lifecycle entails a certain amount of responsibility and necessitates certain abilities.

Furthermore, as work evolves, businesses embrace a varied workforce. As a result, people skills are essential for embracing tolerance and diversity. In short, good project management is based on human communication and connection.

Essential People Skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers

A successful project professional must possess a wide range of skills. Those that come to mind first are the technical skills required to create a project plan, schedule, budget, and all relevant paperwork. One must also have the conceptual skills to “see” the project as it develops.

However, such talents will only assure project success if the project manager can supplement their technical skills with a wide range of interpersonal skills or people skills. Here are some of the essential people skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers:

Essential People Skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers

Essential People Skills for Project/Program/Portfolio Managers

  1. Leadership

One of the crucial skills a successful project manager has to have is leadership. This skill is essential because the project manager frequently has little control over the team members involved. This aspect calls for leadership on their part to handle the project. Although managing via leadership rather than authority might be more challenging, it is typically more effective since it is based on respect and trust.

At the start of a project, a leader must establish their vision and express it to the team. It makes supporting the project’s objectives easier for everyone on the team. Effective leadership will also keep the team members inspired and motivated to perform at their highest level.

  1. Team Building

Another vital skill for a competent project manager is team building. Because of the nature of projects, personnel from diverse departments are engaged. Most employees might have never worked together and may not even be familiar with one other’s departments. If the project manager can unite these individuals into a cohesive team with the same goal, the project may stay within its objectives.

Although some of the project’s individuals or sub-teams may execute their jobs individually, they must feel like they are part of the overall team. When choosing their part of the project, they must consider what is best for the project, not simply what is best for them and their departmental problem. A sense of belonging to a team that solves an issue for the entire company (rather than playing departmental favoritism) may go a long way.

Creating a team in which each member feels comfortable reaching out to the others will also guarantee that minor problems do not escalate into major concerns later in the project. It is consequently critical that project managers not only understand the duties and procedures involved in team building but also have the skill and finesse to apply them correctly.

  1. Motivation

If you want your project to succeed, you should concentrate on improving your motivating skills. Having these qualities will assist your project team members to stay interested in the project, strive for excellence, and work toward a common objective.

Good motivating skills will enable a project leader to create an environment where team members can fulfill project objectives while being satisfied with their work.

  1. Communication

Most professions require excellent communication skills. Some project managers believe the communication part of project management to be their primary job obligation.

Excellent communication skills are essential for building relationships among project team members, establishing trust, and keeping everyone motivated and on track.

A project involves several stakeholders informed of its status, timeframes, progress, risks, and concerns. A skilled project leader must convey all of these facts to project stakeholders on time and in the manner they anticipate. Project managers must also interact effectively with top management within their business.

Giving the interested stakeholders too much or not enough information might prevent the project from reaching its full potential.

  1. Influencing

It is critical to be able to influence people if you want to be a successful project manager. But what is important is understanding when and how to utilize such skills and avoid becoming a manipulator. There is a narrow path to follow.

A project manager’s responsibility is to bring employees from disparate departments together and get them to work together toward a similar objective. Sometimes, getting these diverse people to comprehend and agree on the specifics of achieving that goal might not be easy. A skilled project leader will utilize their skills to persuade others and assist them in reaching an agreement.

So, think about your relationship and influence over people not just for the time of the project but also for how things will proceed long after the project is complete. After the project, customers and end-users will utilize the goods, deliverables, and outcomes developed by the project. A powerful and positive effect creates a trusting atmosphere among all team members during and even after the project.

  1. Decision Making

A successful project manager must acquire various talents, one of which is decision-making skills. There are four primary decision-making styles: Directive, Analytical, Conceptual, and Behavioral. Project managers should be conversant with all four since either has to be leveraged at some time. In addition, consultation, consensus, command, and random styles are provided.

Having a decision-making model will facilitate this process. In addition, since so many people who may disagree with a decision are involved in the project, having a process to follow can be very helpful in gaining consensus with the group.

  1. Political and Cultural Awareness

In today’s world, project managers work in a more globalized context than in the past. As a result, cultural diversity is another critical component of effectively navigating the corporate world as a project leader. A successful project manager must be able to notice and comprehend cultural differences and incorporate them into the project plan.

Cultural differences can impact decision-making and the pace with which work is performed. It can also lead to members acting without sufficient forethought. Recognizing cultural differences can lead to conflict and stress within the project, further delaying it.

Furthermore, it is critical to understand the politics at work in the project environment. The use of political skills can greatly aid a project manager’s success. More significantly, failing to recognize the politics involved can lead to substantial challenges and impediments that can cause a project to be delayed or even destroyed.

  1. Negotiation

The nature of a project manager’s work necessitates being skilled negotiators. Typically, several stakeholders are involved in the project, and most projects include team members from many departments. This aspect frequently leads to a variety of points of view, which can make it challenging to keep the project on track and within the intended scope.

Negotiation skills can assist a project manager in obtaining an agreement or making a compromise on an issue that may be causing difficulty or delay.

There are several negotiation skills that the project leader should be able to employ. These include assessing each scenario, being an engaged listener, and communicating coherently throughout the dialogue. It can be important to distinguish between the wants and requirements of the people concerned. Another critical focus is recognizing the distinction between people’s perspectives and their interests and concerns directly relevant to the project.

  1. Trust Building

When collaborating on a project, trust is really valuable. A trusting environment promotes effective relationships and communication among team members and stakeholders. Therefore, a project leader wants to foster an atmosphere of mutual trust. This trust helps to maintain morale, keep conflict at a minimum, and keep everyone working effectively together.

If you were working on a project, you would want everyone participating and working hard to see it through to completion. When you work hard, you expect that others are also working hard to achieve the project objectives. The team leader wants to trust a team member who suggests they can execute a task properly and on time. If someone in the team wants assistance, they want a team that will support and collaborate to achieve the work. So don’t waste time second-guessing someone who isn’t telling the truth or has bad motives.

There are several approaches for a project manager to establish trust. First, a project leader must be a great and open communicator to reduce misunderstandings and build confidence among team members. Often, one may have to put their self-interests aside for the team’s sake and must model and display the behavior they demand from others.

  1. Conflict Management

On a project, conflict is almost unavoidable. Members of the project team and stakeholders may have differing perspectives, areas of expertise, interests, personalities, work styles, and so on. When one adds additional factors to the mix, such as tight deadlines, resource limits, and communication challenges, it’s easy to understand how conflict might arise.

Conflict often leads to a better solution to a problem. For example, if a team member would prefer to agree or accept the status quo, then risk causing conflict by pointing out a problem, asking a question, or suggesting an improvement. In that case, it is simpler to accept a suboptimal solution. However, disagreement frequently stops the team from working successfully together and diverts attention away from the duties at hand.

The goal is to prevent conflict or its escalation or to know how to regulate or lessen it when it arises if they cannot avoid it. For example, a project manager may use several tactics or methods when dealing with a dispute. They can be aggressive, accommodating, avoiding, or compromising. Some approaches work better in particular situations than others.

The project manager and team members involved in the conflict influence the team’s efficacy. A project manager can also utilize many approaches; if one fails, they may have to try another to see if it is more successful.

Why are people skills important?

People skills are crucial because it is much more difficult for people in an organization to work together to achieve common goals if they fail to express themselves or understand how their co-workers feel about a certain project, task, or difficulty.

As a result, the organization’s production and profitability suffer while creativity and innovation endure. People skills, in particular, may assist us in the following:

Why Are People Skills Important?

Why Are People Skills Important?

  • Avoid misunderstandings: People are less likely to misinterpret what you’re saying if you communicate ideas and instructions.
  • Win support: If you can communicate effectively and understand what your team wants to hear, it will be much simpler to persuade them and get them “on board.”
  • Improve customer support: You’ll be better positioned to fix their difficulties if you can get inside their minds and comprehend their key problems.
  • Solve conflicts: Conflict isn’t always unpleasant, but if it goes unresolved, it can harm morale and productivity. Strong people skills allow us to see things from a new perspective and identify similarities, which reduces the likelihood of significant conflicts.

How to develop people skills?

Even while people skills are critical, they are frequently undervalued by employers when it comes to job advancement. Internal training sessions are frequently centered on teaching hard skills, such as completing a given activity or utilizing a specific piece of software. These methods make it more difficult for professionals to build their interpersonal skills.

How To Develop People Skills?

How To Develop People Skills?

But just because something is more difficult does not make it impossible. Here are four suggestions for improving people skills and becoming a more attractive prospect are:

  • Learn to listen properly
  • Applaud other people’s work
  • Expand the network
  • Study (and respect) cultural differences

Final Thoughts

Effective project management is challenging but having people skills may help project leaders run projects more efficiently and with less stress. Furthermore, it enables building a team that can handle the most challenging tasks and is more successful and resilient during difficult times.

People skills, on their own, will not keep a project team motivated and engaged. However, arming oneself with the necessary technical skills and intelligent tools may dramatically enhance the workflow and contribute to the project’s success.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting http://talktodharam.com/

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd

The Paradox of Project Sponsors to Stakeholders

The Paradox of Project Sponsors to Stakeholders

A project is deemed successful when it meets or exceeds the expectations of its stakeholders. Every project has a unique set of stakeholders—sometimes far too many. Trying to meet all of their requirements is more often an impossible task. Nonetheless, the project manager must deal with all stakeholder situations smoothly because the stakeholders and the people they represent often evaluate the project’s success.

Project Stakeholders

Project Stakeholders

But who are the stakeholders? According to PMI, “Project stakeholders are individuals and organizations who are actively involved in the project, or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected as a result of project execution or successful project completion.”

Stakeholders can be internal or external to the organization that is carrying out the project.

“Project Sponsor” is also a stakeholder, typically an organization executive with authority to assign resources and enforce project decisions. Project sponsors are called internal stakeholders in the project. Stakeholders include the project manager, project team members, and managers from other departments within the organization. Identifying all project stakeholders as early as possible in a project is critical. Leaving out key stakeholders or the department’s function and not discovering the fault until the project is well underway could be disastrous.

Types of Stakeholders

Types of Stakeholders

Types of Stakeholders

There are two types of project stakeholders:

  • Internal Stakeholders
  • External Stakeholders

Internal stakeholders are individuals or businesses whose relationship with a company is determined by their position within its structure. As the name implies, these individuals are involved in a project from the inside. They are as follows:

  • A project sponsor
  • An internal customer or client
  • A project team
  • A program or portfolio manager
  • Management
  • Another team’s manager of the company

External stakeholders are those interested in a company’s operations. Still, they do not necessarily have a role in the decisions of the business. However, they can influence success or failure based on their vested interests. They can be just as powerful as internal stakeholders. These stakeholders are not directly involved in the project but are affected by its outcome.

  • An external customer or client
  • An end-user
  • Subcontractors
  • A supplier
  • The government
  • Local communities
  • Media

Characteristics of Stakeholders in a Project 

  • When contributing to a project, stakeholders have varying levels of responsibility and authority. This level may change as the project progresses. It can range from one-time contributions to complete project sponsorship.
  • Some stakeholders may also actively or passively undermine the project’s success. These stakeholders require the project manager’s attention throughout the project’s life cycle.
  • Stakeholder identification is a continuous process throughout the project’s life cycle. Identifying them, understanding their level of impact on a project, and meeting their demands, needs, and expectations are critical to the project’s success.
  • Just as they can positively or negatively impact a project’s objectives, stakeholders can perceive a project to have positive or negative outcomes.
  • A project manager’s most important role is managing stakeholder expectations, which can be challenging because stakeholders often have different or conflicting goals.

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is the process of organizing, monitoring, and improving relationships with stakeholders. It entails systematically identifying stakeholders, analyzing their needs and expectations, and planning and carrying out various tasks to engage them. In addition, a good stakeholder management process will allow them to coordinate their interactions and evaluate the status and quality of their relationships with various stakeholders.

A critical component of running a successful project is developing and maintaining positive relationships with the affected communities and other stakeholders.

Investing time in identifying and prioritizing stakeholders, as well as assessing their interests, provides a solid foundation on which to build the stakeholder engagement strategy. In addition, good stakeholder management includes ‘business intelligence.

Benefits of Stakeholder Management

Benefits of Stakeholder Management

Benefits of Stakeholder Management

  • Build Reputation
  • Competitive advantage
  • Corporate governance
  • Risk management
  • Social license to operate
7 Principles of Stakeholder Management

7 Principles of Stakeholder Management

7 Principles of Stakeholder Management

Clarkson Centre created the seven principles of Stakeholder Management for Business Ethics under the leadership of Max Clarkson. The Clarkson Principles are, in many ways, “meta-principles” that encourage management to embrace specific stakeholder principles and implement them according to the norms.

  1. Managers must acknowledge and actively monitor all legitimate stakeholders’ concerns and consider their interests in decision-making and operations.
  2. Managers must listen to and communicate openly with stakeholders about their respective concerns and contributions and the risks they face from their involvement with the corporation.
  3. Managers must implement processes and behaviors sensitive to each stakeholder constituency’s concerns and capabilities.
  4. Managers should be aware of the interdependence of stakeholder efforts and rewards and make an effort to fairly distribute the costs and benefits of corporate activity among them while taking into account their risks and vulnerabilities.
  5. Managers should work with other public and private entities to ensure that risks and harms resulting from corporate activities are minimized and compensated appropriately where they cannot be avoided.
  6. Managers should avoid activities that could jeopardize inalienable human rights or create risks that, if clearly understood, would be patently unacceptable to relevant stakeholders.
  7. Managers should be aware of potential conflicts between their role as corporate stakeholders and their legal and moral obligations to all stakeholders and address such conflicts through open communication, appropriate reporting and incentive systems, and, if necessary, third-party review.

Understanding the Stakeholders

A good understanding of the stakeholders is the key to successful stakeholder engagement. In addition, understanding stakeholder concerns and interests can lead to product or service ideas that address stakeholder needs while allowing the company to cut costs and maximize value.

1. What else can you learn about stakeholders to better understand their needs, priorities, preferences, and concerns? Consider:

  • Demographic data- Ensure to engage with a diverse community and stakeholder groups.
  • Social networks- Focus on the important, often undocumented, social connections between stakeholders.

2. Stakeholder Mapping – Stakeholder mapping is the visual process of depicting all stakeholders of a product, project, or idea on a single map. The main advantage of a stakeholder map is that it provides a visual representation of all the people who can have an impact on your project and how they are connected.

3. Salience model – investigate the power, urgency (need for immediate action), and legitimacy (appropriate stakeholders), as well as the interaction or groups of stakeholders that result.

4. Determine stakeholder expectations and compare them to the scope and expectations of the project or organization for which the engagement program is being run. Is there a mismatch in expectations, and how will this be addressed? Consider the following:

  • What information do they need from you, how often, and in what format/channel do they want it?
  • What is their financial/social/emotional stake in the outcome of the work? Is it favorable or unfavorable?
  • What primary motivations will shape their perceptions of your project or organization and their interactions with you?
  • What are their current feelings about the organization and project? Is it founded on reliable data?
  • Who influences their thoughts, and who are they influenced by?

Ways to deal with common stakeholder problems and challenges

  • Stakeholder conflict occurs when different stakeholders have incompatible goals. It causes a “problem” for the company because it can impact its performance and success.
  • Conflict necessitates that businesses effectively manage stakeholder interests. Not all stakeholders are strategically important to the company. As a result, businesses must determine which ones should be prioritized.
  • Potential problems can be avoided by conducting an upfront analysis of who the stakeholders are and how and when to involve them in the project.
Analysis of common stakeholder issues

Analysis of common stakeholder issues

Analysis of common stakeholder issues 

As no two stakeholders are the same, the issues they may introduce into a project will be vastly different. This factor means there could be many reasons why a project encounters stakeholder resistance or the project team struggles to gain traction. Identifying stakeholder issues during the project can help with planning ahead of time and preparing an appropriate response.

  1. Trying to align different stakeholders.

It is generally a good thing to have a variety of interests in the project and its outcome, but having a lot of different stakeholders can also pull the project team in too many different directions. In addition, it can be challenging for project managers to coordinate too many different stakeholders, which could add new difficulties to the project.

  1. Competing priorities between stakeholders

Stakeholders bring their objectives and expectations to the project. However, at least a few of these priorities frequently conflict with or compete with one another. In addition, priorities may vary depending on the department, the role, or the professional backgrounds of the individuals.

  1. Resource constraints 

It’s possible that the team lacks some of the resources they require or that the project is utilizing resources that other stakeholders consider crucial to their projects. Resource competition is common in organizations and can lead to conflict.

  1. Breakdowns in communication

Effective communication between stakeholders and the project team is crucial for everyone to achieve their objectives and for the project to be successful. When there are communication breakdowns, the project may be delayed, or the team may not receive the necessary information. Without deliberate communication, stakeholders might unintentionally hinder the project’s success.

  1. Stakeholders are resistant to sharing information. 

At times, important project sponsors are more focused on their success and fail to promptly or completely provide the stakeholders with the required information. As a result, stakeholders may attempt to disrupt a project unintentionally or on purpose.

  1. Potential implications of conflict with a sponsor

Conflict with project sponsors may have many consequences on the project management, such as these typical ones:

  • The project’s progress is being slowed
  • Reducing the effectiveness and timeliness of decision-making
  • Putting team cohesion in jeopardy
  • Undermining a project manager’s authority
  • Fostering hostility and encouraging uncooperative behavior
  • Creating a fearful environment for other stakeholders
  • Obscuring the project’s vision
Methods for dealing with common stakeholder conflicts

Methods for dealing with common stakeholder conflicts

Methods for dealing with common stakeholder conflicts

  1. Stakeholder analysis 

Stakeholder analysis can offer insightful information and guidance, just as project managers must carefully examine resources and specifics. It can be helpful to respond appropriately by taking the time to consider how stakeholders affect the project’s progress.

By conducting a stakeholder analysis, one can learn how to control expectations, channel stakeholder influence toward project objectives, and deliver the information and updates that stakeholders expect from their team.

  1. Identify stakeholders

One must first identify the stakeholders to analyze them effectively. List every stakeholder that comes to mind, then include more individuals and organizations as necessary. As stakeholders, all parties involved in the project, those with authority over it or an interest in its success, should be listed.

  1. Prioritize stakeholders

The list of stakeholders can then be ranked according to impact, interest, and power. For instance:

  • Key stakeholders: This first group heavily influences and controls the project. This group is frequently accurate for executive leadership at the company.
  • Primary stakeholders: The project immediately affects the key stakeholders. This pack may include team members, departments, and internal or external clients who stand to gain from the project’s outcomes.
  • Secondary stakeholders: The secondary stakeholders are those who play a supporting role, are indirectly impacted or have a less significant stake in the project.

Understand the key stakeholders

A few stakeholders are usually critical to the project. Key stakeholders invoke more power and may have a more significant stake in the project’s success than primary or secondary stakeholders. For example, key stakeholders could include their boss, company executives, or team leaders.

Finding the key stakeholders and understanding what they need can help keep the project on track because they may control important resources, have a significant impact on the project, or grant the necessary approval.

Create a communication plan 

With a communication plan, project leaders will be better prepared to manage their stakeholders on the fly and keep the project moving forward.

  • Create your communication strategy based on what the project leader knows about their stakeholders.
  • Keeping track of what the stakeholders require from themselves allows project leaders to stay organized and focused on managing the project.
  • Gaining the stakeholders’ trust is essential once the developed strategy has been implemented. Rather than dictating the project to them, make each stakeholder a priority – as appropriate – and give them space to contribute.

Final Thoughts

Different stakeholders in the project have different expectations. Project managers should look for potentially hazardous situations when those expectations might clash. Then, they must address and resolve the conflict or risk endangering the project and themselves.

Resolving stakeholder expectations conflicts is always linked to project success. Furthermore, using various forms of communication among the project team, such as senior management and stakeholders, increases the likelihood of mutual understanding. These techniques help project managers align stakeholder expectations and reduce the possibility of project distress.

Feel free to check out my discussion on this topic with Thomas Walenta in YouTube

For any questions related to your Project Management career, training, and certifications, you can book an obligation free 15 minutes session with me by visiting http://talktodharam.com/

You can subscribe to the vCare Project Management YouTube Channel to catch future videos of our Q&A series and certification success stories: https://bit.ly/2YF0wJl

You can subscribe to and follow my podcasts and interviews with Project Management Experts on YouTube at https://bit.ly/2NDY8wd