How did you gauge your last project in terms of success? Usually, projects are considered successful when they fall within particular boundaries; namely, cost, quality, scope and time. When project management is poor, it becomes more difficult to stay within the above boundaries, resulting in a failed project.
But what if there was another way to ensure project success that shifted the focus to people instead of boundaries? Not only that, but what if you could eliminate the communication issues that can arise and compound during the execution of a project?
People-Centric Project Management (PCPM)
This type of project management includes the traditional scope, time, quality and cost, but in a circle around a central element: people. Learning about and understanding how people function in a project, both as a team and on their own can communicate volumes about how they will handle communication during both positive and difficult times.
Unlike traditional project management, people-centric project management realises the value in traditional project management principles, but also tailors those principles to need.
Elements of PCPM
PCPM essentially encompasses 5 elements:
- Emotions and motivation;
- People vs. processes;
- Identifying behavioural risks;
- Team member engagement;
Emotions and Motivation
Managing the elements while ignoring the feelings of those involved can quickly lead to project failure. In fact, it is emotional factors that are the key reason for the failure of projects. PCPM is about keeping the team motivated so that the positive emotions that drive project success can flow freely.
People vs. Processes
Project managers should be careful to ensure that they always support – and not belittle – those on their team. The way to look at the team is for what they are: the absolutely crucial arteries and veins in the body of the project.
A project manager must be able to tell when behaviour may change among the individuals involved with a project. If behaviour changes are suspected, the project manager must reach out to those individuals, observe what may happen should the behaviour be allowed to continue, and then prevent that scenario from occurring.
Keep Team Members Engaged
The engagement levels of not only the team, but the project’s stakeholders need to be at their maximums. It’s the project manager’s job to monitor engagement levels, and then devise strategies to keep engagement levels where they are.
The daily contact with team members and stakeholders is at the heart of every project’s success. Channels of communication being used by those involved with the project require constant monitoring and evaluation to ensure they are yielding positive and valuable fruit.
Additional Steps to Project Success
Indeed, the project manager’s job has many facets; they must not only follow the traditional elements of project management, but incorporate the importance of people as well as be able to tell when emotional and behavioural tides are changing so they can prevent bottlenecks and misunderstandings.
Risk management most certainly takes a central role where the success of a project is the goal. In fact, it should be a part of each project undertaken. Project managers should identify risks and opportunities early in the game by focusing on possible future scenarios. Then, those risks and opportunities should be communicated to the team on a regular basis, perhaps as a regular part of team meetings. Each risk or opportunity identified should be assigned an owner so that they can optimise that risk or opportunity for the project.
Following the identification of risks and opportunities is their prioritisation and analysis. Finally, the development of a response to each risk can see the entire team prepared in the event that a risk or opportunity arises.