Exploring the difference that leadership can make on projects and programmes.
Many of us have been trained and had lots of experience in project management. In our view what makes the biggest difference is not the project processes that you use, or the documents that you produce, but your ability to step up and lead when the team needs you most.
In our experience project management at its best, is all about leadership.
This month we launched our ‘Project Leadership Programme’. In it we focus on understanding the key differences between project management and project leadership, including the key skills and attributes of the truly successful Project Leader.
We think that the elements of project leadership come from that delicate balance of keeping just enough control while giving everyone just enough headroom – in this way the project delivers, the project managers develop and the team stays happy, motivated and the project maintains momentum.
But if we were to distill project leadership down to one mindset that would allow your project teams to be led rather than managed? It comes down to the Decision Making. We see many projects stall while waiting for key stakeholders, sponsors and peers to make decisions.
The great leader knows that momentum is key to delivering project results. There is never a good time to make a great decision – tomorrow would always be better when we have more data, more information, greater confidence in our stakeholders. But tomorrow is a long time away. So when you notice that the pace is slowing then look at the uncertainties and make a decision to allow you to move forward. It may not be perfect but any decision is better than no decision. So pick a decision, communicate it, and watch the project to move. It might be a risk, but typically we make our decisions work, and the momentum that decision making generates (in our experience) greatly outweighs the issues generated by slow progress.
Our programme looks at the other key elements of project leadership – and if you are interested then please get in touch and explore leadership for your projects and change.