You sit and wait around for a decision to be made, for you to get on with a task, but it drags on. How hard can it be? The ability and willingness to make a qualified decision is vital for competitive organisations. Anette Zobbe dissects the anatomy of decision-making.
How to get management back in project management!
If you have the title of either the project owner or project manager, it is your responsibility that the project and its participants are motivated and perform optimally. Learn how the Half Double methodology can help you get management back into project management.
If you are (formally or informally) able to influence a group in a particular direction, you are exercising leadership. There are typically two types of management in a project: the project manager, whose responsibility is to manage and lead the project team towards a successful task solution. And then there is the project owner, whose duty is to ensure that the project achieves the intended strategic impact. Whether you are a project manager or project owner, you need to exercise leadership in the project. That requires you to support the project by motivating, prioritizing, and being physically present.
In most projects, employees collaborate across the organization, and the project manager or project owner is rarely the day-to-day human resources manager to all the project participants. Your job as a project manager or owner is therefore informal management and motivation of busy employees, who must prioritize their many tasks daily. With Half Double, you get some hands-on tools that help you better manage projects. The keyword here is presence – it is simple, but it works.
Support leadership with these three tools
Half Double’s structure identifies three core elements: Flow, Impact, and Leadership, each with their own group of tools and methods. The core element, leadership, uses the following three mechanisms:
See the Webinar on Leadership here
In this article, we review two of the three tools: “Active and Visible Project Owner” and “Promotion of collaboration”, so you can implement these in your project management. All three tools are also discussed on our Leadership Webinar, which you can also find on this page.
Project owner be active in your project!
An active and visible project owner is a vital aspect of Half Double. Therefore, as a project owner, you should be present in the project at least 2 hours per week. Here, one hour is typically spent at a formal meeting, while the other hour is for ad hoc dialogues with your project manager and the core team. Maybe you think that this is completely unrealistic with your calendar.
But the fact is that when we talk to our customers, they agree that it gives their project a significant boost when the project owner actively participates in the project.
When you as a project owner are present, the project participants find that the project is viewed as essential for the organisation’s management, which motivates them.
And as a bonus, you get a much better insight into your project’s challenges, than if the status is conveyed in a progress report from the project manager, you can support the project and act as a problem solver.
Problem-solving and prioritisation can be done immediately, and you will find that you get a completely different hands-on feel and insight into where the project is.
In other words, it is an excellent investment to devote 2 hours a week to the project. In the 2 hours you can both:
On our webinar, almost half of the participants thought it was not realistic that the project owner could set aside at least 2 hours a week on the project. Only 17% thought it was realistic.
Promote collaboration as the facilitating project manager.
If you are a project manager, you can forget about being a “desk project manager”. The project participants sit physically together several days a week, and as a project manager, you sit with them. And it is your job to create the committed collaboration and motivate each project participant to do their best in working towards a common goal. And that requires you to support the project team by having an active collaborative leadership approach.
This means that you spend less time on project management (e.g., writing status reports to the project owner because she has just passed by and received status directly from the project group). You should instead use that time to focus on (project) leadership. Project management, where there is a pressure on ‘leadership’, requires you to put the team at the centre, take the lead in helping others solve the task, and create motivation through involvement, and a shared vision.
Specifically, as a project manager, you must seek the good cooperation by taking the lead in prioritising what promotes performance and by taking on the facilitator role rather than managing meetings and workshops dictatorially. Finally, prioritise using tools that encourage dialogue and interaction, such as visual planning. On the interpersonal level, the project manager is the one who motivates the team members. You can do this by creating meaning and purpose for everyone in the team, by delegating responsibility and providing constructive feedback, praise, and recognition. Fortunately, Half Double’s principles allow you as a project manager to focus on your management focus here – precisely because it produces better results for the project in general!
Want to know more?
In December, we have focused on some of the practical tools within Half Double. We have previously explored the areas of impact and flow. Read or reread the articles and get concrete hands-on knowledge that you can use in your everyday life.
Read our cases
CASE Acquisition of armoured patrol vehicles for the Danish soldiers The Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistic Organisation is