Managing Successful Projects: How Collaboration is Crucial

In a previous posting I described how four groups are involved in every successful project.  These groups are: top management, project manage­ment, the project team, and the client. Today we’ll talk about the last two groups: the project team and the client and how collaboration is crucial.

The Project Team

In successful projects, the project team is committed to the goals of the project and the project manage­ment process. The project team is involved in estimating, setting schedules and budgets, as well as helping to solve problems and make decisions. The team has the requisite skills and knowledge and is given the technology necessary to complete the project.  They are empowered.

 In successful projects, there is close teamwork and everyone knows the functions of others. Team building is used to define roles, delegate authority, and designate responsibil­ity. Confidence and trust are developed. Team members are encouraged to mix professionally and socially. This process develops positive attitudes about the project, builds commitment to project goals, and motivates the team. People work harder for the team than they do for themselves. It is important to realize that project team members are well-educated professionals. Why else would they be on the team? As profes­sionals, they thrive on these moti­vators:

  • Pride in their work
  • Freedom to participate in decision-making
  • New and more difficult challenges
  • Opportunities to increase expertise and responsibilities

Restricting or limiting these incentives creates an “insular management” that frustrates its most important asset . . . people.

 The Client

In successful projects, there is no doubt about who the client is. The client is strongly committed to the project goals, involved in the project management process, given authority and influence in making decisions, personally involved in the implementation process, and the one to give approval of the installed systems.

In successful projects, things get done with people and through people. People’s behaviors are the most important element in the project’s success.

James L. Haner

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