"This project is too risky!"
"We've got big issues on this project!"
"We'll never finish this on time if these issues don't get resolved!"
Statements like these are commonly heard from many project managers. Sure, risks and issues are a mainstay of projects. I would love to buy the PM dinner who has run a project to successful completion and never had one risk to manage or one issue to resolve.
Several years back I gave a presentation on effective management of project risks and issues. Now I have written a book that addresses this problem in depth. Get it here
Without challenges, your business would cease to exist. After all, you began your business in response to a need and you continue it for the same reason. However, just as your customers’ needs change over time, so do your business’s. Your competition improves, technology changes, and your employees come and go. In order to stay in the game for the long haul, you need to find new ways to satisfy your customers, improve the efficiency of your processes, and maintain a healthy profit margin.
Sam is a very experienced manager who just accepted a new position running a customer support call center for a medical supplies manufacturer. Sam has managed organizations ranging in size from several people to several hundred people. His style of leadership has always been one of command and control: he tended to dole out tasks to his team and micro-manage the execution of the tasks until the work was complete. Monica, the manager that Sam replaced, was recently promoted to vice president and is now Sam’s boss. Monica’s style of leadership was more about inspiring the team through direction setting, joint planning with the team, empowering the team to deliver, and coaching through the execution.
Sam had been on the job about four weeks when the defections started. Those team members who were used to Monica’s inspirational style of leadership were now subject to Sam’s command and control style. While some of the team just sucked it up and stayed in the organization, the drop in productivity was dramatic. Several of the team members approached Monica about Sam’s leadership style. Monica decided to take action.
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