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Another potential risk the Project Manager needs to examine is the political environment(internal or external) of the project. An example of such an environmental risk being actualizedtook place on a project that my company was commissioned to implement for a multi-nationalorganization. Just as we commenced the project with their regional office, the ownership of theproject was taken over by a more senior staff member from our
-quarters inEurope. There were clearly political issues at play which were totally outside of our control.Our original client, the regional stakeholder, explained to us that there was nothing that couldbe done about the situation as the budget approval for the project came from the head-quarters.From an original estimate of 6 months, we are now more than a year into the project execution.The original vision of the project is vastly changed, with the project timeline and scope of deliverables greatly impacted. While such events are out of a control of a Project Manager, theycan certainly be identified as a project risk if the political environment is known in advance.There are accepted methodologies and guidelines for carrying out formal risk assessment andcontrol. The time that is spent on this undertaking needs to be in proportion to the value orimpact of the project.
Ensuring Accountability comes with Authority
A Project Manager might work with a team of people, each of whom who might hold varyingdegrees of seniority in an organization. However, in many organizations, it is usually theProject Manager who carries overall accountability for the project results. Hence is importantthat the Project Manager is adequately empowered for the job. For example, if a ProjectManager is not provided with the pre-requisite authority over the various resources needed tocarry out the project, the matter has to be taken up with senior management.
Knowing your Team
A good Project Manager will seek to know what drives and motivates each individual teammember. Sometimes, a certain amount of flexibility works better than a rigid application of therules or processes - and helps to circumvent situations where team members might feel they arebeing unfairly treated or assessed.When working with a team for the first time, a Project Manager can evaluate the use of toolslike the Myers-Briggs personality test to obtain insights into how various team members mightreact under different situations.
A recent article in the CIO magazine reported that team members who are ‘techies’ are
leastlikely to respond to an authoritative style of management
especially if the manager issomeone they view as not possessing the skill-set to fully understand the work that they do.
Watching the Tangible and Intangible Success Metrics
As every Project Manager knows, the constraints of time, cost, scope and quality need to beclosely watched. Each organization will have different systems and processes in place tomanage specific aspects of the project
including areas like Cost, Procurement etc. The Project