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Project Leadership & Management John Constance MSc in Project Management, University of Liverpool Abstract This is the project

background or scenario. The project is critical and implemented by a projectized organization. It was scheduled to complete within 15 months but has gone on for more than 2 years. The project manager for the past year resigned three months ago; and six months to the end of the project nine very important team members resigned to set up their own company through funds from a competitor. Team morale is low. The project team must be motivated and morale boosted to continue the project and successfully complete while staying in par with competitors. This project needs a project management turn-around. The team needs to be solidified with qualified team members to replace the team members that have resigned. The project must become a coherent team coherent, and the issues surrounding team members demotivation must be addressed and resolved. Then the project plan can be reviewed and revised and project activities continued. This must then be sustained through organizational commitment to people management and project management. Introduction Using my past experience in project participation and management I will try to show that this project problem is people management. The project duration had to be extended from 15 months to 30 months; but the project, 6 months to completion, is going on well. However, resignation of the project team members was on the rise about 10 key team members in 6 months. This had to be resolved. The organizational structure and organizational effectiveness has to be evaluated. Morale was low; people were leaving to become our competitor. There had to be problems in our organization. As project manager and leader I have to understand why team members are resigning and determine an ideal reaction to eliminate the situation. I have to replace resigned team members and inform remaining team members that team morale was low, and had to be understood and resolved. The remaining team members need to know resigned team members were launching a company. I have to encourage and motivate the team by providing the appropriate support and benefits. I have to provide the best-fit leadership style and approach and project management skills for us to remain stay competitive, highly motivated and performing. I will reference views of other source and include my personal experience to stress the importance of projects in a company and the companys organisational form. I will show that a companys interaction with stakeholders and project team is key to assessing and improving organisational effectiveness which sole intention is to influence project stakeholders activities and priorities with project goals to achieve project success, high performing and motivational teams and organizational effectiveness.
Project Situation

The situation with our project is it is a critical project. It is very important to all stakeholders everyone has a stake in it. If it is delayed that can be considered a failure. It is critical. The project has also had its duration extended from 15 months to 30 months due to scope creeps and low team morale. The project manger resigned and 6 months to the end of the project nine key team members have also not only resigned but have gone on to plan to launch their own company through funds from one of our business competitor. However, the project has for the past three months been going on satisfactory. So the problem is really not a project management problem. Project activities are progressing accordingly. But team members are resigning. And six months to the end of the project 9 persons resign. There must be a problem with organizational and people behaviour instability going on. And right now, after the 9 resignations the process to recruit and bring up to speed nine new team members may require lost time on some other project commitments. If people keep resigning then people have a problem either with the project or the organization itself. Wong. B.T.Z. (2007) said, peoples needs change with time and if the organization do not do the same the two will soon depart. Team members of this project do not see the link between their goals and objectives with the organizational goals and objectives and this has now become a threat to the project schedule and probably budget.

How should I deal with this situation?


My experience tells me to always check organizations about us and get to know its goals, vision and mission, and structure and its project type and see if I conscientiously accept the organization goals and objectives can some way be in line or support mine. If, for example, the job requirements and challenges or other allowances and benefits do not come along with my work objectives or professional goals, I will make no effort to try becoming a part of the organization or company. Therefore I will deal with this situation as a people management problem that can lead to ineffective management of the project. The tools to convert project materials into products are available and working; the interrelationships among project tasks, and maybe regulatory bodies, are good. Yet all this and team members were resigning. There has to be a human factor issue in the project management. There are problems with the connection between team members behaviour and organizational goals. This behaviour was now on the verge of breaking up the team and threatening the project goals, the companys repetition and project individual team member morale. According to Meredith, J.R. & Mantel, Jr., S.J. (2009) the advancement in technology and socioeconomic changes and globalization makes it increasingly necessary for project managers and organizations to find ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the project teams. When I took over an INGO project team in eastern Sierra Leone there were coordinated recommendations to the client to terminate the contract. The team was disarrayed and with low spirit. In our first meeting we tracked project history and got to know the very first situation that lead to this disarray and low morale. The team was in dire need of ICT improvement. They had made the request several times but nobody listened. The team was

working with very few computers; they had no printer except that of a nearby caf; there was not enough cell phone recharge voucher, etc. This was provided along with training and recognition. Morale became high, motivation awakened and performance improved and increased. The best way to improve efficiency is to use the best-fit organizing structure and management and leadership style and approaches. I shall go heads-on and find out what bugging team members and whats their overall picture of the company. What do they suggest to have changed to improve individual and team effectiveness and align their activities and priorities with the project goals and organization objectives?

How would I feel about several team members resigning at almost the same time?
I feel the organization let the project manger down; and the project manager let the project team down; and the nine key staff let the rest of the project team down. But people have to advance; remaining psychologically alive that means enjoying your work and its challenges and awards; longing for your objectives and that of your organization or employer to union for advancement or achievements. So when one team member leaves this is understandable and accepted even if they leave to form their own company. What I need to do is to ensure the remaining tem members remain and become motivated. They will be given the opportunity to raise their concerns and considerations especially on individual and team performance. These views shall be addressed and all issues resolved. There will also be periodic review and revision shall be done accordingly.

As a project manager, how should I ideally react to such a situation?


My reaction will be to understand the organizational behaviour and management the people accordingly. I will review how the project team operates within the organisation and determine if it is structurally organized and effective. I will appraise the need for team members development and plans. I will provide tools and techniques including coaching, mentoring and training to help with improving leadership, development, and control within all team members including the project manager and senior management. With this in place I shall create and manage a conflict resolution plan and other project risk and uncertainty so that they have minimal impact on project progress. I shall try to keep up with psychology and human behaviour science to learn more new and improved tools and techniques to influence team work and optimize team performance. Conclusion This project needs a turn-around. The team needs to be re-motivated and become re-committed and work towards the successful closure of the project. Qualified team members need to be recruited ASAP to replace the team members that have resigned. The project plan must be reviewed and revised and project activities

continued. And the organization must change and become more committed to people management and project management. Projects are everyday business for all organizations and companies. The companys interaction with stakeholders and project team member is important to assess and improve organisational effectiveness and influence project stakeholders activities and priorities. Effective Leadership and management skills can make projects and team members and organizations successful. According to Williams, M. (2006) to reduce organisational risk and manage uncertainty, leaders need to manage change with a bit more dynamics than tradition. This means influencing the sentiment and intelligence of project stakeholders in alignment with project goals, including the goals for schedule, budget, scope, and quality. _____________________________________________________________________________________ References Wong, B.T.Z. (2007) Human factors in project management: concepts, tools, and techniques for inspiring teamwork and motivation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Meredith, J.R. & Mantel, Jr., S.J. (2009) Project management: a managerial approach. 7th ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. Williams, M. (2006) Mastering leadership. University of Liverpool Online Library [Online]. pp. 166 & pp.108130. Available from: http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.liv.ac.uk/lib/liverpool/docDetail.action? docID=10141072 (Accessed: 24 November 2009).