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Project Leadership

Project Leadership

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Published by: Daisy on Nov 17, 2008
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A project leader is that individual who leads a project during its life cycleand accomplishes the project’s technical objectives on time and withinbudget. To lead any organizational effort, both a
and a
are required.
5.1.1 Key Characteristics of Proven Project Leaders:
They have their act together.
They are visible to the team members they lead, and are on top of everything.
They are available to their team members to listen, debate, and gatherinformation for decision making and execution.
They are able to say, ‘‘Let’s do it,’’ when the time is right.
They are decisive, and have a track record of making and executing theright decisions.
They see the best in the competencies of the team members.
They work at making things simple, and avoid making things complex.
They are fair and patient.
They work hard in their leadership role.
5.1.2 Project Leadership vis-a`-vis Managership
Warren Bennis in ‘‘Good Managers and Good Leaders,’’
 Across the Board 
,October 1984, pp. 7–11, proposes a distinction between these two roles
Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com)Copyright © 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.
as paraphrased thusly: ‘‘ A leader does the right things (effectiveness) anda manager does things right (efficiency).Taking Bennis’s distinctionand fleshing it out provides the following characteristics of leadershipand managership: Leadership
Develops and sells a vision for the project
Copes with operational and strategic change on the project
Builds reciprocal networks with relevant stakeholders
Develops a cultural ambience for the project team that facilitates com-mitment and motivation
Sets the general direction of the project through collaboration with proj-ect stakeholders
Perceives broad issues that are likely to impact the project, and thenworks with the team members in accommodating these broad issues
Becomes a symbol of the project and its purposes
Becomes the principal project advocate in working with stakeholders
Does the right things Managership
Copes with the complexity of developing and implementing a manage-ment system for the project
Maintains oversight of the efficient and effective use of project resources
Designs and develops the management functions of planning, organiz-ing, motivating, directing, and controlling within the context of a projectmanagement system (PMS), for the project
Reprograms resources as needed to maintain a balance for supportingthe project
Monitors the competence of project team members to include guidanceto these individuals for the improvement of their knowledge, skills, andattitudes
Ensures that the communication processes involving the project work effectively
Maintains oversight to ensure that project monitoring evaluation, andcontrol are carried out
Does things rightProject managers must both
. In carrying out thesetwo roles, competency in the following is required:
Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com)Copyright © 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.
Having a general understanding of the technology that is involved in theproject
Having those interpersonal skills that facilitate building a cultural am-bience for the project team and its stakeholders that reflect trust, loyalty,commitment, and respect
Understanding the management processes and its application to the proj-ect
Being able to see the ‘‘systems’’ context of the project
Being able to make and implement decisions involving the project
Being able to produce the desired results on the projectThe competency to serve as both a project leader and a project manageris dependent on the individual’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
5.1.3 An Experienced Viewpoint
At a meeting of experienced senior project managers, the participants wereasked to write down a phrase, word, or sentence that described a ‘‘goodproject leader’and a ‘poor project leader.The results are shown in Table5.1. The contrast between good and poor project leaders is evident. Mem-bers of the project team should ask themselves how they would describetheir leadership style, and whether they would fall under the good or poorleadership column.
Good and Poor Project LeadersGood project leader Poor project leaderPositive attitude; recognition;knowledgeable supervisorInterested in personal aspects of employees (family situations,etc.), anticipates concerns(problems) before they becomeevident. Excellent role model;decisive.Clearly communicates a vision of what is to be accomplished,challenges and motivates. Key isthat manager gives measurableparameters by which to chartprograms. A ‘‘results-oriented’’manager.Uses authority position title to directpeople–does not understand or solve.Does not listen effectively, ignores orrejects input not politicallyacceptable. Changes scope ordirection at will while blamingothers for doing the wrong things.Does not ask for help; does not set anexample for the followers; does notknow the technical aspects of theprocess.Lets the managers run the business inan undisciplined manner. Does notstay on top of the problems whenthey arises. Cares only about thebottom line. Does not commend,only criticizes
Downloaded from Digital Engineering Library @ McGraw-Hill (www.digitalengineeringlibrary.com)Copyright © 2004 The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.Any use is subject to the Terms of Use as given at the website.

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