Project work is the order of the day everywhere. A wide variety of projects are managed in start-ups and large corporations using a hundred different tools and a thousand different methods. The term project manager is more versatile today than it has probably ever been, and just as diverse as the managers are the projects that now exist in almost every industry. In an article on IT Daily, Petra Menzel, managing director of Gordion Projects GmbH, reflects on what all these projects have in common, regardless of their size. From the two-man business to the stock exchange group, certain success factors in project management can be identified.
Petra Menzel got to the bottom of these. Petra Menzel draws on her own experience when it comes to projects that have celebrated great success thanks to various factors. However, she also knows projects that she likes to compare to a Gordian knot and on which many have cut their teeth. Thanks to New Work approaches and the spirit of innovation, most companies keep their day-to-day business running in parallel with the development of new products and services. Petra Menzel has investigated the success factors of this interplay. Below we summarize her article
Even the term "project work" sounds exhausting. For many, it is synonymous with time pressure, deadlines, and overtime. Some managers despair just hearing this term. Others approach projects full of motivation, but stumble at some point along the way. As difficulties accumulate, motivation declines. With decreasing motivation, the pace slows down. As the pace slows, there is little evidence of success, which in turn lowers motivation. Frustration builds up and no one really knows why. Petra Menzel blames a lack of balance between freedom and structure as well as a lack of appreciation in the team, respect for each other and transparency in many cases for failure. Every now and then there is a less than good idea or goals that are simply unattainable. But in Petra Menzel's experience, it is usually the approach that is the reason for failure. Pigeonhole-oriented procedures are common and can be very obstructive. Agile management is currently in vogue. It promises creativity, innovation and speed - but it is still not suitable for all projects. If you have a clear deadline, you can't always afford to work too agilely. This often increases the pressure immeasurably. Here, classic PM with clear structures and clear, fixed schedules can be the better solution, even if it doesn't seem modern. The lack of flexibility speaks against it. So why not look for a combination, a compromise that gets the best out of both worlds and creates something that is just perfect for this one particular project? Petra Menzel advocates learning where classic and where agile structures are more effective and letting the boundaries blur.
If you want to complete a project successfully, you need a clearly defined motivation, a goal and a reason for achieving this goal. Many people in charge formulate a goal at the beginning and then think that everything is simply clear. Most of the time this is not true. Even a clear goal does not mean that it is achievable and certainly not that it can be easily structured. Petra Menzel has experienced that the best projects were always those that were approached in a particularly unbiased manner in the development of ideas. In the beginning, everything is allowed. It is not until the development phase that implementation begins. For the distribution of tasks and for cooperation, however, ideas may also be introduced quite freely. Many conflicts in teams arise because expectations, task distribution and wishes were simply not discussed from the beginning. Someone feels left out, overburdened, patronized, although there was merely a misunderstanding that could have been resolved in a simple conversation. In addition, things are often not addressed in the subsequent phases for fear of a conflict. Anyone who sees a need for improvement should always be encouraged to bring it up. Without fear of unpleasant reactions. The primary goal of those responsible must be that all team members enjoy working on the project and do so with enthusiasm, without reservations, without fear, without false timidity.
In every team, a wide variety of personalities come together. This is exactly what makes a team strong, but it can also be a challenge. In order for everyone to make ideal use of their best qualities, appreciation is the top priority. Contrasting characters often approach a task in completely different ways. However, with both elements and both approaches, a skilled project manager can find the ideal middle ground and use both characters in such a way that they contribute to the success of the project with their special skills and also complement each other. As a good project manager, you will certainly find a way to assess your team members according to their strengths and to deploy them exactly where you need them and where they usually feel most comfortable.