Most managers have it easy. They have the authority to ask, and expect compliance. Unlike them, project managers have little or no formal authority over our team-members. So you have to get things done by persuasion and influence.
This doesn’t come naturally to many people. And we aren’t taught it at school, either. In fact, since your toddler days of tantrums and intransigence, how many new strategies have you developed?
What I hear from Project Managers is that it is these sort of soft skills that concern them most. Planning, monitoring, and risk management are easy to learn. It’s the soft stuff that’s really hard. Things like confidence and assertiveness, or persuasion and influence, are vital skills. Yet project management training rarely covers them.
So this article will introduce you to some key ideas around influence and persuasion. It can only be an introduction. This is a huge topic that is the subject of many books of different styles. They include my own best-selling Brilliant Influence. Its 2nd edition is How to Influence in Any Situation (US, UK).
Projects make change happen. And they create things and add value to our organizations. In a very real sense, the outcome of your project dictates the future of your organization. So maybe running a good project is not enough. I want to focus on some of the things that will make a merely good project into a brilliant project experience.
When you look up Project Collaboration, you will find a bewildering array of software tools available. There are tens – maybe towards a hundred – of credible software solutions for helping your project team to collaborate effectively. But as a Project Manager, all you want is to get the best collaborative behaviour from your team.
You may have a software tool available to you on your project. You may even be in a position to make a selection: good luck. Or maybe you have to make do with tools that are not designed for project collaboration, and make them work to help you.
It’s the start of your Project. A great way to set the tone – and to get work done – is to host a Kick-off Meeting.
A Project Kick-off Meeting is one of those things that is easy to do… and hard to do well. On the face of it, all you need to do is gather your team, and conduct a meeting. Simple.
But what are you going to talk about? And how will you facilitate it? These questions are important, and they are what this article will address.Continue reading