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Project management Essay

Jackson Ltd is a medium sized project management consultancy in the UK. The majority of their income comes from client project sponsors. Because of a failure to provide a quality service and fierce competition, Jackson Ltd has had its funding cut to two consecutive years. The funding cuts are putting pressure on people throughout Jackson Ltd. Departments and individuals have been set more demanding targets, and large-scale redundancies have recently been announced. This has resulted in considerable conflict. The human resource (HR) professionals are convinced that the marketing, sales and administration staff do not share this view.

The effect of those differences between departments is one of declining co-operation between HR and the personnel in marketing, sales and administration. Of more immediate concern to senior management, however, is the threat of industrial action by the trade unions determined to protect their member jobs. Poor communication between different department i. e. accounting, marking production and also the more demanding targets, the large scale of redundancies and the general recession in the UK are all creating immense problem for Jackson ltd.

A few months ago senior management decided that they would expand their operation by entering the market of a nearby country. The head

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of human’s resource decided that they would employ an entirely new team to run the operation of the new country. He sees himself as a practical organiser and decided to employ people whom in his own words were “happy to get things sorted quickly and efficiently” You have been appointed as a project manager to undertake a review of the performance of Jackson limited. Requirements: Question 1:

Discuss the potential consequences arising from the conflicts between various departments and groups within the Jackson Ltd. As a project manager how might you suggest improving or resolving these issues? Poor communication or miscommunication help spread rumours which can lead to job insecurity and frustration in all employees adding to the stress they are already going through as a result of recession, large scale of redundancies, demanding targets and funding cuts. All these factors could contribute to delay in project execution which can lead to missing deadlines as well.

Monitoring and controlling projects in such an environment becomes difficult as well. This could lead to dissatisfied clients, penalties on delayed projects (as applicable), lost clients and lost business which would further aggravate the situation. It would help if the HR Manager could directly communicate with the employees, letting them know about the current situation and future plans, seeking out their support and resolving their queries to satisfaction. This would help alleviate some of the insecurity and stress that the employees are going through.

Encouraging communication between departments and keeping everyone in the loop will help avoid miscommunications. Employee programs that help people relax, enjoy and rejuvenate could be implemented. Team spirit could be encouraged via these employee programs as well. Question 2: What are the skills required to be a successful project manager? 1. Leadership skills – ability to inspire and motivate others to achieve the goals. 2. Excellent communication skills so as to be able to communicate with the stakeholders and present appropriate reports. 3.

Negotiation skills – to help negotiate with the team, management, as well as client in order to get best out of the situation and the betterment of the project. 4. Conflict resolution skills – to ensure that conflicts within the team do not come in the way of the project. 5. Team spirit and team building – to be able to work with the team as well as to keep the team together while making them feel a part of the project. 6. Expectation management – managing the expectations of all stakeholders in the project including the management, client as well as team members.

7. Good organization skills 8. Technical knowledge regarding the project at hand 9. Persuasion skills – ability to influence without having authority while obtaining a win-win situation. 10. Flexibility – capable of changing to fit the circumstances that are for the good of the project. What are the different roles required for an effective management team (belbin)? Discuss the decisions and actions taken by the head of Human Resources in the scenario above, relating your discussion to Belbin’s suggested roles.

Belbin defines a team role as “a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way. ” He has identified nine team roles categorized into Action Oriented, People Oriented, and Thought Oriented team roles. Each team role is characterized by typical strengths as well as allowable weaknesses that one needs to be aware of and improve. The nine team-roles are: 1. Action Oriented Roles: a. Shapers (SH): Shapers not only look at problems as challenges but also help the team by challenging them to improve.

They are the ones to push themselves up when others would be ready to quit. However, this attitude can lead to arguments and a shaper often ends up offending people’s feelings. b. Implementer (IMP): Implementers get things done. They are the ones to turn the ideas into actions. Organized, conservative, disciplined and reliable – that’s how these people are known as. Implementers tend to be rigid when it comes to changes. c. Completer – Finisher (CF): Completer-Finishers ensure that projects are completed thoroughly.

Their main characteristics are attention to minute details, deadline conscious, and can be termed perfectionists when it comes to getting the work completed. Being perfectionists when it comes to work, they may worry unnecessarily and are usually unable to delegate work. 2. People Oriented Roles: a. Coordinator (CO): Coordinators act as a team lead guiding the team to meet the objectives. Calm, good listening skills, effective delegation, and ability to appreciate each team member are some of the characteristics of a coordinator.

They may tend to offload personal work and may also tend to be manipulative. b. Team Worker (TW): Team Worker is the support system of the team who ensure that the team is working together. Flexible, diplomatic, and popular are some of the characteristics of a team worker. They may however tend to be indecisive. c. Resource Investigator (RI): Extrovert and enthusiastic, a resource investigator develops good contacts, negotiates for resources on behalf of the team, tend to explore available options, and are great with external stakeholders.

They tend to be overly optimistic and usually end up losing their interest quickly. 3. Thought Oriented Roles: a. Plant (PL): Plant is a creative innovator who comes up with new ideas and is capable of solving difficult problems. They thrive on praise but are unable to deal with criticism. Being an introvert, they are poor communicators and can tend to ignore incidentals. b. Monitor – Evaluator (ME): Monitor-Evaluators are sober, strategic and discerning, able to analyze and evaluate ideas and see all options before coming to a decision.

Perceived as unemotional, they tend to be poor motivators. c. Specialist (SP): Specialists have specialized knowledge that is needed to get the job done. Focused, self-motivated and dedicated, they may limit their contribution, and tend to dwell on technicalities. The team role of the head of the Human Resources in this context is that of Shapers. He has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles. He is ready to start off from scratch even under these dire circumstances. The project is challenging and he seems to thrive on pressure.

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