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Chapter 2

CGMS450- Chapter 2- The Manager, the Organization, and the Team .docx

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Ryerson University
Global Management Studies
GMS 450
Stan Katz

CGMS450 – Chapter 2 - The Manager, the Organization, and the Team  Once a project has been selected, the next step is for a senior management to choose a project manager (PM)  PM’s job to make sure that the project is properly planned, implemented, and completed  It is senior management responsibility to find the PM of the project – after discussing the details of the project i.e. budgets, due date, and scope a launch meeting is set up to call upon those who have the requisites of the talent and knowledge to lead the project (Chapter 3) 2.1 The PM’s Role Facilitator  The head of function such as manufacturing or marketing directs the activities of a well- established unit or department of the firm – presumably trained or raised from the ranks  Because projects are multidisciplinary, the PM rarely has technical competence in more than one or two of the several technologies involved in the project – as a result, the PM is not a competent overseer and thus has a different role. The PM is a facilitator  Facilitator vs. Supervisor  The PM must ensure that those who work on the project have the appropriate knowledge and resources, including that most precious resource, time, to accomplish their assigned responsibilities  The general manager has become more and more like the project manager i.e. giving tasks to individual groups  The transition from traditional authoritarian management to facilitation continues to be more effective as a management style  A second distinction between the PM and the traditional manager is that the former uses the systems approach and the latter adopts the analytical approach to understanding and solving problems  The analytical approach centers on the understanding the bits and pieces in a system - the systems approach includes the study of the bits and pieces but also the understanding of how they fit together, how they interact and how they affect and are affect by their environment Systems Approach  Consider that the project is a system composed of subsystems which in turn composed of subtasks, and so on. – think about designing an airplane – must knows its subsystems i.e. electronics, instrumentation, fuel system  PM’s job is straight forward 1. Find out what tasks must be accomplished to produce the deliverable 2. Find out what resources are required and how those resources are required 3. Find out what personnel are needed to carry out production and where they may be obtained 4. Find out when the deliverable must be completed  Therefore the PM is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, budget, directing and controlling the project Micromanagement  At times, the PM may work for a program manager who closely supervises and second-guesses every decision the PM makes. Such bosses are willing to help instruct the PM ―unfortunately‖ – this is called micromanaging, one of the deadly managerial sins  Most successful teams adopt a collegial style. Inrateam conflict is minimized or used to enhance team creativity, cooperation is the norm and the likelihood of success is high Communicator  Must be able to handle responsibility – to the project team, to senior management, to the client, and to anyone else who may have a stake in the project’s performance or outcomes 1 CGMS450 – Chapter 2 - The Manager, the Organization, and the Team Virtual Project Manager  Projects are becoming internationally dispersed, and international. For example Engine design and engine construction  These geographically dispersed projects are often referred to as ―virtual projects‖, possibly because so much of the intra-project communication is conducted via e-mail, through websites, by telephone or video conferencing, and other high-technology methods.  Less expensive  Elimination of facial expression and body language  For virtual communication to succeed, communication between PM and project team must be frequent, open and two-way  The PM’s responsibility for communication with the senior management poses special problems for any PM without fairly high levels of self-confidence --- particularly important for the PM to keep management informed of any problems  Golden Rule: ―Never let the boss be surprised!” Violations of this rule will cost the PM credibility, trust, and possibly his or her job.  The PM who is trusted by the project champion can count on assistance when organizational clout is needed is twice blessed  Clients are motivated to stay close touch with a project they have commissioned – right to suggest, demand, alter, and request  The PM is responsible to the project team members are responsible to the PM Meetings, Convener and Chair  The two areas in which the PM communicates most frequently are reports to senior management and instructions to the project team  Communication with the project usually takes forms in team meetings  Most of the causes of meeting –dread are associated with failure to adopt common sense about when to call meetings and how to run them  PM is responsible for taking minutes and keeping meetings on track. 2.2 The PM’s Responsibilities to the Project Acquiring Resources  Acquiring the necessary quality and quantity of resources and personnel is difficult  The further one proceeds up the managerial ladder, the easier, faster, and cheaper a job appears to be compared to the opinion of the person who has to do the work  It is PM’s responsibility to ensure that the project has the appropriate level of resources – when the project needs specific resources to succeed, there is no acceptable excuse for not getting them – though there may be temporary setbacks. Fighting Fires and Obstacles  All projects has their crisis -- fires that must be quenched  Early in the project’s life cycle, fires are often linked to the need for resources  Most experienced PMs are good fighters, if they do not develop this skill they do not last as PMs Leadership and Making Trade-offs  The PM is also responsible for making the trade-offs necessary to lead the project to a successful conclusion.  The PM is the key figure in making trade-offs between project cost, schedule and scope. Which of these is higher priority than the others is dependent on many factors having to do with the project, the client and the parent organization  Of the three project goals scope is most important. Then schedule and cost is usually subordinate to the other two  Another type of trade-off occurs between projects; if a single PM has two projects in the same part of the project lifecycle and makes such a trade-off, it does not matter which project wins the PM will lose. To avoid this, the PM must make sure that the projects are in different phases of their life cycle. Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Persuasion 2 CGMS450 – Chapter 2 - The Manager, the Organization, and the Team  Acquisition of resources requires negotiation. Dealing with problems, conflicts, and fires requires negotiation and conflict resolution – these skills are needed in order for the PM to make a successful conclusion  For new PMs, training in win-win negotiation is just as important in PERT/CPM, budgeting, project management software, and project reporting  Success at any of these stages (changes in scope, trade-offs, how it is made..etc) depends on the PM’s skill at persuading (i.e. for funding) others to accept the project changes in its method and scope once it has been accepted. --- Must persuade change is for the better  Jay Conger (1998) describe the skill of persuasion as have 4 essential parts: 1. Effective persuaders must be credible to those being persuaded 2. They must find goals held in common with those being persuaded 3. They must use ―vivid‖ language and compelling evidence 4. They must connect with the emotions of those they are trying to persuade 2.3 Selection of Project Manager  The most important criterion, by far, is that the prospective PM, in the language of sales people, is a ―closer.‖ Find individuals who are driven to finish the job.  Given a set of people, select those who meet the following criteria at reasonably high levels Credibility  Credibility is critical. There are two areas in which the PM must be believable; technical credibility and administrative credibility  Must have expertise in one or more areas of knowledge relevant to the project; therefore the PM must know how to explain the current state of the project, its progress, and its technical problems to senior management who may lack technical training  For management and the client to have faith in the viability of the project reports, appraisals, audits, and evaluations must be timely and accurate – must be available when needed Sensitivity  The PM needs a finely tuned set f political antennae as well as an equally sensitive sensor of interpersonal conflict between team members, or between members (including him/herself) and other parties-a-interest to the project Leadership, Style, and Ethics  PM responsibility to keep team members motivated to complete the project therefore PM must be energized, enthusiastic, well organized, and well informed  Management style: the more technically uncertain a project, the more flexible the style of management should be. The more complex a project, the more formal the style should be  Due to increasing number of multi-cultural projects, it is easy to make ethical missteps when managing a project in an unfamiliar country  Organizations should ensure that their employees are trained to recognize potential ethical issues and to communicate anything that seems amiss with their superiors 2.4 Project Management as a Profession 2.5 Fitting Projects into the Parent Organization 3 CGMS450 – Chapter 2 - The Manager, the Organization, and the Team Why More on Projects?  Before examining the alternative ways in which a project can interface with the organization, it is useful to ass to our understanding of just why organizations choose to conduct so much of their work as projects 1. Devising product development programs by integrating product design, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing functions in one team not only improved the product, its also allowed significant cuts in time-to-market for the product – example on 57 2. The product development/design process requires input from different areas of specialized knowledge 3. The explosive expansion of technical
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