A seasoned Project Manager, you quickly learn that there’s no escaping project politics.
It’s a fact of life.
‘When you play a game of projects you deliver or you fail.’
But you may find yourself tempted to say something like: ‘Hang on, I’m a project manager: not a politician.’
That would be nice, wouldn’t it? You could spend your days focusing on the basic management principles.
Well, pretty near the top is… Stakeholder Engagement. And what’s that all about? Politics.
So, you’ll always came back to the political dimension.
Because it’s always there in real life. No matter how much you may want to; you cannot escape project politics. So you do need to understand the basics.
As a Project Manager, you will be having a lot of conversations – with team members, stakeholders, and your bosses. Some will be hard and some easy. And you’ll need to understand the dynamics of those that don’t go as smoothly as you’d like. A powerful resource for this is Transactional Analysis, or TA. It’s sometimes known as the Parent-Adult-Child model.
Dr Mike Clayton is founder of OnlinePMCourses.com.
Here, he answers this question, in under 5 minutes.
When relationships start to go wrong, it is often your job to fix them. Conflict management is not always a welcome part of a Project Manage’s role. But it is an important part.
Because conflict is an inevitable part of projects. Stakeholders will resist change, sponsors will want different things, and team members will care passionately about how to implement your project. Indeed, I could argue that conflict is a good thing.
Without creative challenge, you won’t get the best solutions to the problems your project is set-up to address. If stakeholders don’t don’t care enough to argue about what you are doing, they may not care enough when you deliver it. Conflict is not just inevitable: it’s desirable.
A Project Manager needs many skills. And one of the hardest to come to terms with is managing conflict. You won’t use it every day (I hope). But you will need it from time to time. Whether you are called upon to handle a small spat or defuse a mighty row, conflict management needs a place in your project management toolkit.
No matter how well you manage your projects, nor how skilled you are at dealing with people, conflict will arise. It is inevitable when people care about things that are new, important, and complex. And it is sometimes a good thing to air different perspectives in a robust way.
In an earlier article, we gave you eight approaches for how to engage your project sponsor. But the commonest challenge is ‘what if I have a difficult project sponsor?’ So in this article, we’ll look at seven flavours of difficult project sponsor, and tactics for handling them.
In this article, Donnie MacNicol introduces us to interpersonal skills for Project Managers. Donnie is one of the UK’s leading experts in developing project leadership capability. He uses the latest cultural, organizational, and behavioral thinking in his work.
Interpersonal skills are important in any line of work. And the delivery of projects is no different. Project leaders, whatever your role or level, are often at the sharp end. People expect you to deliver, even with multiple technical challenges and strained relationships. I am sure you have experienced situations like this. If you haven’t: you will.
Project leaders must find ways to:
…and you must do it fast.