Identifying The Key Influences On Project Success

John Smith

Project Success Is A Team Journey

Project success starts with identifying the skills and strengths of the individual members of the project team, and their roles and responsibilities. There are people who have have natural skills as transformer agents. Some skill areas can be learned. That is where a profiling tool like Facet5 is helpful: It helps identify the natural skills of the team and therefore helps define the gaps.

Know The Roles That People Play

Facet5 identifies 4 key categories of people influencing project success:

  • Change Agents who create the organisation tension without which there could be no project
  • Transformers who create a vision and engage with the hearts and minds of people in the team and the organisation
  • Non-aligned, the resisters and potential blockers.
  • Accommodaters, who adapt to the desired change

These names are just labels, different profiling tools use different labels. What is important is to identify the individual natural skills and how they can be leveraged and managed. Other stakeholders, such as the transactional managers, who will be affected by the change, will need to see the need for the desired change. And they will need to get on board one by one for the project to be a real success.

Self-Awareness Is Critical

People are in a project team for all sorts of reasons of expertise, experience, compliance... These individuals need to find the way to work collectively as a team and collaboratively to achieve a win-win. If they are motivated, the team can understand the project and the gaps within the group. And they can communicate, understand each other and be aware of themselves and of others. A natural transformer has self-awareness and also awareness of the styles of the team members plus the communication skills to deal with those different styles.

It Is All About Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership combines 3 things:

  • Creating a vision
  • Stimulating an environment where people are motivated
  • Treating people as individuals

Even if you have all the transactional processes in place, a project will fall in the 75% of projects that fail if the motivation is not there, if the need for the project is not understood. So communication is essential. A project manager can identify that someone else may have better communication skills and may choose to outsource those skills from somewhere else in the organisation. That is OK too. Success starts with awareness.

When Is A Project Successful?

You know you are on the right track to success when you see

  • the hands-on people, the transactional managers looking excited
  • the transfer of enthusiasm form the team to the broader organisation
  • they are on board, motivated, interested

Tips For New Project Managers

Get the balance right between driving the task and bringing people on board.To be a Natural Transformer you need to be aligned to the corporate culture. There may be transformers in the business who are not on the project team. So, identify them, tap them on the shoulder and bring them in.Self awareness is the key to success. Find the skills gap(s) in the team. Learn, be coached, and/or import from elsewhere in the business or from outside.

John Smith

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