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Running head: COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Compare and Contrast Paper Ginger Drehmel-Leland MG340 Leadership and Management Globe University

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Compare and Contrast Paper In 2001, as a software engineer for a health care software vendor, I completed professional development courses in phases I & II of the Personal Software Process (PSP). Both PSP and its companion Team Software Process (TSP) are strongly grounded in the principals of project management. Whereas PSP is focused on the individual software engineer, TSP is a team oriented process built on a foundation of self-directed team management (Software Engineering Institute, 2010). It is through my training in these process frameworks that I was first introduced to many of the project management principles. Since then, I have focused on learning and implementing these principles in my career on a personal level. Recently, I was offered an opportunity to implement those principles at an organizational level which requires me to develop and implement not only strong management principles but leadership principles as well. My Goals I currently work as a Project Manager/Business Analyst, a position that Ive held for nearly a year. Prior to taking this position, I worked as a web developer for my organization and consistently expressed the need for project management principles in our workplace. After graduating in June 2010 with my associates degree in business administration, my employer created my position in order to help with resource management and project planning. Since that time Ive been involved in five high profile projects within the organization, two of which completed successfully and three of which are in various stages of development. After the first successful project completed, my employer saw the benefits of planning and controlling the project work to ensure that projects were not delayed and that scope creep didnt prevent us from successfully delivering solutions.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

My professional goal is to implement a Project Management Office at my place of employment and implement project management principles throughout the organization. Project management principles help to ensure that the appropriate planning takes place before the expense of adding resources to a project. Without appropriate planning, resources might be assigned to projects that do not bring value to the organization or do not align with the future vision of where we want to be as an organization. Without planning, there is a strong chance that two resources might be working to implement different solutions for the same problem. Strategic planning is vital to ensuring that resources are not spending valuable time on the wrong work. In addition to my professional goals, I also have a personal goal to obtain the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as verification of my skills and abilities. Before I can sit for the PMP exam, I will need to meet the minimum qualifications of earning a bachelors degree and 4,500 hours of project management experience. Working towards the minimum requirements of this certification, I would also qualify to sit for the PMI-SP exam which will require a bachelors degree and 3,500 hours of project scheduling experience. These certifications are well respected worldwide and not easily earned. Achieving these certifications will help prove to potential employers that I have not only experience but I also have a solid understanding of best practices within the industry. My Plan In order to be effective in project management and in the development of a Project Management Office, it is important to understand how businesses operate, develop leadership skills, develop strong planning skills, and learn from best practices in the project management field. It is also important that I gather experience in the field of project management, show the

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

benefits of project management principles to upper management, and gain the respect of my fellow colleagues. I will be graduating next quarter with my bachelors degree in Business Administration. My education in business administration helps me understand many of the business concepts that a project manager works with in the course of their job. In addition to my bachelors degree, I have also taken several professional development courses in project management including the PMP/CAPM Exam Preparation course at Benchmark Learning. I am also registered for the Real World Project Management course at Benchmark Learning in April 2011. Seeking out professional education opportunities to compliment my college degree will prove to employers my initiative to stay current with my education. My education combined with my problem solving skills developed during my fifteen year career as a software engineer contribute to my abilities to effectively evaluate processes and procedures that would benefit our organization. But the process of bringing the principles of project management to an entire organization is slow. I have taken the approach to start slowly within a single department. I need to lay the foundation for success before adding layers of complexity with other departments. I started by implementing Project Server 2010 and identifying ways to use the system efficiently within the Information Technology department. Using Project Server allows me to gather historical information on projects that can help with the planning process in future projects. Project Server also helps with the task of enterprise resource management and ensuring we have the resources available to complete projects. So far, this approach has not critically disrupted resources, allowing them to get used to a new process before adding more complexity.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

The approach that I have taken has been met with many positive comments. More and more individuals within the organization are beginning to see the value to planning, managing and adjusting using formal processes. Other departments are starting to show interest in our approach and looking to implement similar processes within their areas. As the number of departments using project management principles grow, I need to ensure that we, as an organization, are consistently using processes across the board. The consistency will help with cross-functional projects where different departments interact. A Project Management Office within the organization would be responsible for developing and enforcing those organizationwide processes and procedures, along with managing the portfolio of projects within the organization. The PMO would be a valuable tool in helping to determine if resources are working on the most important projects and that those projects are coordinated to ensure that only one solution to a problem is being pursued. I strongly believe that I am in a position to be able to reach my goal of implementing a Project Management Office and improving the planning and efficiency of our organization specifically in the area of strategic organizational planning. Currently, there is limited process for the selection of projects and application of resources. Strategic planning would help ensure that we are working on the right projects at the right time. Project Server introduces portfolio management technology which will help evaluate which proposed projects meet organizational goals. By evaluating projects based on strategic goals, we can ensure that our resources are working on projects that will benefit the organization and we can prioritize those projects based on organizational needs. It will also help us justify the needs for additional resources. Management Practices and Concepts

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Fayol identified managements primary functions as planning, organizing, staffing and controlling (Northhouse, 2010, p. 9). Management activities seek to provide order and consistency to organizations (Northhouse, p. 10). As part of the planning functions of management, one would establish agendas, set timetables, and allocate resources (Northhouse, p. 10). Organizing and staffing functions include providing structure, making job placements, and establishing rules and procedures (Northhouse, p. 10). Management also involves the controlling functions of developing incentives, generating creative solutions, and taking corrective actions (Northhouse, p. 10). Working as a project manager, I spend a good portion of my job performing management functions, specifically in the planning realm. I establish agendas for meetings; I set schedules for projects; and, I am responsible for negotiating with resource managers to allocate resources to projects. A project manager is also responsible for organizing projects and the project teams. This involves providing the policies and procedures that will be followed by the project team as they carry out their assigned responsibilities. In any project, it is important to identify and assign roles and responsibilities to the team members. Each team member needs to know what is expected of them in order for them to be successful. Following the same type of procedure from project to project helps provide consistency making it easier for a resource to know what to expect Without proper planning prior to starting a project, we would not have the project schedules in which to perform controlling functions against. A project manager is often comparing the actual results to the planned estimates in order to try to keep the project work on schedule and within budget. When projects fall behind schedule, it is the project managers job to address the issue and find ways to get the project back on track. It is also the project

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

managers job to communicate the project status to stakeholders, including other project teams that might be affected by changes in the schedule. Much of the work of a project manager involves communication, including documentation of upcoming tasks, meeting minutes and important decisions. Tracking action items from meetings and following through to make sure they are completed reduces the likelihood that something might get missed or be left undone. It also involves adjusting to changes due to unforeseen circumstances. Leadership Practices and Concepts Many of the tasks of a project manager are managerial in nature, but there is a strong need for leadership skills in any successful project manager. Determining the need for leadership skills in a project manager might be difficult without first defining what leadership truly means. There are many different definitions of what leadership means to many different people, so for the purpose of this paper, I define leadership as motivating and guiding people to realize their potential and achieve tougher and challenging organizational goals (Anantatmula, 2010). When I read this definition, I realize that this truly is the heart of what a project manager tries to do. We are handed a set of business objectives and are tasked with finding and implementing solutions to meet those objectives through the use of project teams. The leadership aspect is not just about the actual deliverable of a business objective, though; it is also about building the confidence and abilities of the team members through the life of the project. Why is leadership so important? The Hay Group conducted considerable research on leadership in project management teams, and their findings show that a team with good leadership can perform at double the effectiveness of teams with poor leadership despite double the resources (Anderson, 2010) provided they have positive team climates. Id say that getting

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

twice the output out of the same amount of resources would convince just about anyone that it is important, but it is not just efficiency that results from effective leadership. Project managers using effective leadership skills also motivate and guide people to simultaneously grow as professionals (Anantatmula, 2010) while completing their project tasks. Successful leadership for project managers is a win-win situation the business achieves its objectives and the team member is provided with a rewarding work environment. So what exactly is the difference between the leadership skills necessary to be a project manager as compared to those required of a functional manager? The answer involves the organizational structure in which a project manager functions. While a functional manager often works within the confines of a department that may be overseen by a specific individual, project managers often work on cross-functional project teams which bring together groups of individuals from various departments within an organization. This creates additional challenges for a project manager including providing leadership without documented, formal authority (Anantatmula, 2010) and competing for resources. A project manager doesnt only need to inspire the team members with the vision and importance of a project; they also need to sell the project to many different departments within the organization. Just as they sell the project solution to the project team, in order to mitigate potential issues with resource competition, they also need to ensure that functional managers believe in the importance of the project. Anantatmula, Director of Graduate Programs in Project Management at Western Carolina University, describes the drivers of project management success as establishing an environment of trust, creating transparency of decision making, creating consistent processes, ensuring understanding of expectations, and delivering results (Anantatmula, 2010). At first glance, this might not seem too difficult, but in the realm of project management, other environmental factors

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

come into play to make it more challenging. Anantatmula goes on to state it is not if the plans will change, it is when, what will change, and by how much. Managing changes in a project requires not only knowing when to address change, but also knowing how and even if change should be addressed. Leadership has its efforts directed toward convincing people about the need to change, aligning them to a new direction, and motivating people to work together to achieve project objectives under difficult and demanding work environment. (Anantatmula, 2010) Compare and Contrast of Leadership and Management Setting out to compare and contrast two items can often be a difficult process, specifically when comparing management and leadership. Usually when one compares and contrasts, they are identifying one item as superior to another; such as buying one vehicle instead of another. And although one might come to the result of leadership being superior to management in some ways, a look at project management finds both to be worthy and necessary to success. Although you might find success using management principles in project management, being successful using just leadership principles is less likely. You are more likely to be successful employing both management and leadership principles with a project team. Looking at leadership and management, they are two distinct ideals to me. Management involves the processes necessary to help bring about successful completion of goals; whereas leadership involves motivating, fulfilling and appropriately addressing many of the interpersonal needs of a group. Can these two ideas of thought really be compared and contrasted? I dont believe so. The only comparison that I can make is showing each separately and then in combination with the other.

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For example, a project manager developing a project schedule creates the schedule without including the project team on the estimates for the work (management). Its unlikely that these estimates would be accepted by the team without some friction. If we look at developing a project schedule from only the position of leadership, then there would be a vision of where we wanted to go, but not necessarily how we would specifically go about getting there. That is still not quite a pattern for success. Now, if the project manager developed the project schedule while consulting the actual project team on task estimates after identifying the vision on where we want to go and how we might be successful in getting there (leadership), the project manager would be more likely to achieve buy-in from the project team on meeting the necessary deadlines for a successful project completion. Therefore, leadership to me is an additional level of skills placed on top of management skills that a project manager can employ to improve chances of success in project completion. One without the other might be a step in the right direction, but having both is truly the key to success. There are many different ways to motivate and encourage a project team, and the approach can change based on the type of team you are leading or the stage of the project that you are in, but without the added value of leadership, a project team can often become demotivated and discouraged. When a team member experiences transformational leadership while working as part of a project team, they can sometimes be changed for life, such as I was. I have worked for many managers, but I have worked for one truly motivational leader. Once you have experienced that style and level of leadership, your definition and expectations of leadership change. My previous manager was a selfless individual who understood the sacrifice that it took to build a team. It wasnt all easy for those of us on the team either. We spent many department meetings

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discussing soft-skill topics to improve the interaction between team members. We did many different exercises in managing conflict and learning to move past our own motivations to those that benefitted the team. In the end, he taught us how to think creatively, look past the blackand-white answers and to stand up for our values. It was an experience unlike any other than I have had in my twenty years in the workforce, and it is a dream that I get to work in such a rewarding environment again someday. Conclusion As you have seen, the role of a project manager combines not only managerial skills but leadership skills as well. For a project manager to be successful, they must not only have technical skills, but also be able to address the interpersonal issues that come along with any project. A project manager often needs to take a group of individuals who may not have worked together and develop a cohesive unit that works towards a single objective. Developing such a team is not always easy, and leadership skills play a large part in creating the vision and inspiring individuals to work together. Without the vision and cooperation, a project team is just a group of individuals working towards their own objectives hoping to achieve the expected deliverable at the end of a project. Providing the vision up front and achieving the buy-in of the project team helps improve the chances of there being one objective that is shared amongst team members, increasing the likelihood of delivering the expected at the end of a project. Leadership skills have the potential to improve the level of trust on the team and create an environment where difficult issues can be discussed and solutions to problems can be identified. Project teams which lack leadership can actually self-destruct. If the team is not working towards a common goal with one another, they are likely working towards their own personal objectives which may not be those which align with a successful project completion.

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Implementing a successful Project Management Office will not just take managerial skills to put the structure in place. In order to successfully implement a PMO, the whole organization will need to be on board and realize the benefits that a PMO could bring. This will require a vision and the ability to motivate people to embrace the changes knowing that those changes could bring real value. This is leadership, and this is my goal.

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References Anantatmula, V. (2010). Project Manager Leadership Role in Improving Project Performance. Engineering Management Journal, 22(1), 13-22. Anderson, B. (2010). Project Leadership and the Art of Managing Relationship. T+D, 64(3), 5863. Northhouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. Software Engineering Institute. (2010, September 13). TSP Overview. Retrieved February 14, 2011, from Software Engineering Institute: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/library/upload/TSPoverview.pdf