Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:03

The 3 C's to Leadership Success

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Leadership is always a priority as results follow effective leaders and project managers. In today’s marketplace, service expectations have radically increased due to the effect of customers like Amazon. Customers are demanding more for less on a quicker turnaround than ever before. Organizations continue to run lean as they want to ensure margin improvement since sales growth is more of a challenge than prior to the recession. Thus, those organizations with solid leaders will leapfrog those who don’t as it is one of the critical differentiators to success.

There are three C’s required for an exceptional leader who not only consistently delivers project results but who also engages employees, customers and suppliers: 1) Clear Vision. 2) Communication. 3) Culture

Clear vision

I’m not referring to those leaders who spend significant dollars drafting and posting vision statements yet who do not live the vision statement. You might as well stay home. Instead, I’m referring to those leaders who have a clear vision of where the company is headed and why it matters. Throw out the fancy PowerPoint slides – even if the vision is written on a napkin, it will be effective if the leaders are clear on the direction.

In order to develop an effective vision, the leader must know the market, customers, suppliers, employees, etc. And the leader must be able to translate the vision into something all the constituents can understand. Being “the best” means nothing. Your vision must be tangible and actionable. Projects should “make sense” with the vision.

Communicate

Communicate, communicate and communicate. It might seem never-ending, yet it is vital to continue to articulate the vision, the path forward, how the projects tie together etc. Communicate in various ways and through different mediums until it becomes a part of the everyday culture and understood by not only employees, but also customers, suppliers, bankers, investors etc.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:18

Decision Making Models in Project Management

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joshi apr23mainIntroduction

Project Management has emerged as a discipline of high level decision making with the help of analogue and digital tools which would help augment the intuition of a Project Manager and his team for taking decisions in favour of the future of the project.

These decision making tools are general, they are based on common sense and are used in all the trades for backing up the decisions taken by the decision making authorities.

Time, cost and scope are the triple constraints of any project. Any variation in the stipulated value of these three constraints is bound to affect the project’s outcome. So, what a project manager should do in order to keep these three constraints in check? Should he be doing work around after the risks have happened or should he be planning for the risks through these decision making models?

Through decision making models we do not essentially plan for the risks, but we perform a reality check with what should be the step which shall be taken in response to a particular situation. This situation may account for positive or negative risks and for the risks we can deduce a risk response plan accordingly.

The Decision Making Process

The whole purpose of indulging in the decision making process is to make a rational decision. Rational decision making means a tendency that is suitable to the already existing goals within the given conditions and constraints. Project

As the European and American economies start to emerge from the doldrums, there are new challenges for businesses that have made significant cutbacks during the period of recession since 2007. Many companies ceased investing in new facilities or researching new products; they shed staff or ceased to fill vacant posts. They may now have strong cash reserves but can they respond rapidly enough to cope with the demands of a rising economy?

If orders increase substantially can businesses that have ridden out the recession with minimal staff and a lack of investment in new products find the capacity to meet the rising demand. They may have survived the recession but they now need to do more than simply survive the good times. They need to invest in new products, employ and train new staff, evolve and adapt if they are to take advantage of the new opportunities that a growing market will present.

Astute companies will recognise that there are opportunities for those that can expand rapidly after an extended recession but are naturally concerned that initial market confidence may not lead to sustained growth. Managing growth can be just as risky as managing cutbacks, perhaps even more so since growth involves significant financial investment. It is often the financial commitment required for growth that prevents companies, with the necessary cash reserves, from embarking on that course of action. Knowing how to balance investment with potential returns is the key to creating a successful, growing business.

So what does this have to do with project management?

Project management has always provided a rigorous framework to manage change to achieve a business objective; whether that is the development of a new product in a fast-moving industry or implementation of new business processes. It has always been required to balance costs against benefits whilst recognising and mitigating the associated risks of the change.

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