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Project Management: Organizational and Team Issues OPER 576 April 22, 2004 Greg Magnan, Ph. D.
Agenda • Organizational Issues – Structure: Functional, Dedicated teams, Matrix – Culture: Affects project success • Team Issues – Phases: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing • Punctuated Equilibrium – – Meetings: Role of PM Rewards: Individual or team? Conflict: What to do? Pitfalls: Too much love • Homework Assignment – Organizational and Team factors
Organizational Issues • Projects: Interface w/ Organization – Org’ns: repeatable and ongoing activities – Projects: unique and temporary; multidisciplinary • “Because projects span across functional areas, identifying and legitimizing PM authority is often problematic. ” » Gray and Larson, Chapter 3.
Organizational Issues • Method of Organizing Projects – Within the Functional Organization • Delegating tasks to functional units • PRO: Leverage expertise; career paths maintained • CON: lack of focus; weak integration; longer – Dedicated Project Teams • PRO: Motivation; cohesiveness; focus; x-functional • CON: Expensive; “projectitis”; top talent; post? – Matrix • PRO: expertise, career, motivated, focused • CON: tension b/t P and F; scarce resources; 2 bosses
Organizational Issues • Method of Organizing Projects – Virtual Projects • Managing projects that span across organizational boundaries • Increasingly common • PRO: Costs; expertise; more proejcts • CON: coordination (timing, culture, sensitive information, etc. ); loss of control; conflicts
Organizational Issues • Factors to inform PM STRUCTURE – Size of project – Strategic importance – Organization’s need for innovation – Organization’s need for integration – Environmental complexity – Budget and Time constraints – Stability of system resources • “Higher” means more autonomy to Project team
Organizational Issues - Culture • System of shared norms, beliefs, values and assumptions which bind people together, thereby creating shared meanings – Reflects the personality of the organization – Can impact a firm’s ability to motivate people and span cross-functional boundaries – Provides a sense of identity – Helps legitimize the management system – Clarifies and reinforces standards of behavior – Helps create social order – “Culture is the river and the project is the boat. ” • Gray and Larson
“Discipline of Teams” • Teams call for BOTH individual and “mutual accountability, ” which can lead to results beyond the reach of individuals. Members must: – Listen; Respond constructively; Provide support…and have: • “Essential Discipline” – Meaningful, common purpose the team has shaped – Specific performance goals that stem from purpose (e. g. , getting new product developed in half the time) – Mix of complementary skills (technical-functional expertise, problem solving / decision-making, interpersonal) – Strong commitment to how work gets done and that all do their share – Mutual accountability: process of creating shared goals creates bond among team members Source: Katzenbach & Smith, 1993
Teams vs. Working Groups • Working groups: performance is a function of what the individuals do – Come together to share information, perspectives and insights; make decisions that help one another; reinforce individual performance standards, BUT – Members only take responsibility for their own work • Teams: involve collective work products, items in which 2 or more members collaborate (e. g. , survey) • “A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. ” Source: Katzenbach & Smith, 1993
Building Team Performance • Establish urgency, demanding performance standards, and direction – Teams work best in a compelling context • Select members for skill and skill potential, not personality • Pay particular attention to first meetings and actions, especially actions of leaders • Set come clear rules of behavior – Attendance, confidentiality, analytic approach, endproduct orientation, constructive confrontation and contributions to project/work. Source: Katzenbach & Smith, 1993
Team Dev’t: Nine Situational Factors for High-Performing Teams 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10 or fewer members on team Members volunteered Serve on project from beginning to end Assigned to project full time Part of org. culture that is collaborative/trusting Members report solely to PM All relevant functional areas are on team Project involves a compelling objective Members are located in conversational proximity Source: Gray & Larson, 2003
Traits of High-Performing teams • No sacred cows; members should feel free to raise any relevant issues • Confidentially is maintained unless team agrees • It is acceptable to be in trouble, but not acceptable to surprise others • Zero tolerance for bulling through a problem or issue • Agree to disagree, but when a decision has been made, regardless of personal feelings, move forward • Respect outsiders, and do not flaunt one’s position on the team • Hard work does not get in the way of having fun Sources: Katzenbach & Smith, 1993; Bolman and Deal, 1992; Katz, 1997.
Project Team Pitfalls • Working toward other goals at the expense of team goals • Groupthink: members in a group may lose their evaluative capabilities • Bureaucratic Bypass Syndrome – May get sabotaged from outside! • Entrepreneur’s Disease – Project goals at expense of overall company • Going Native
Teams: Stages of Development • Forming – – • Getting acquainted/polite but untrusting; formalities are preserved and members are treated as strangers; Begin to establish ground rules Stage is completed when members begin to think of themselves as part of a group Storming – – • High degree of internal conflict / testing others; Members resist the constraints placed on their individuality; Conflict over who will lead, how decisions made, etc. Stage ends as the conflicts are resolved Norming – – • Group begins to develop cohesiveness; Feeling of camaraderie / shared responsibility Stage ends when group established a common set of expectations about how members should work together Performing (“High Performance Work Teams”) – – Whole is truly greater that sum of the parts High levels of productivity
Punctuated Equilibrium • Rather than the 4 -stage model of Tuckman, Gersick says: – Teams do not “get going” until half of project calendar is gone (start to deadline) – Teams drop old norms and adopt new behaviors and working relationships – Up to PM to work through • Can create multiple/phased milestones to introduce deadlines to drive behavior
Facilitating Group Decision Making • Problem Identification – Not solutions…they could limit others’ creativity • Generating Alternatives – Brainstorming. . . mindmaps again! • Reaching a Decision – Recommendation criteria? – CSSQ – Consensus testing…what issues remain within team? • Follow-up
Encouraging “Functional Conflict” • Disagreements are natural to teams/projects – Priorities, resources, work quality, solutions, etc. – Line between functional and dysfunctional conflict is not clear • Distinguished by how affects project performance • Healthy dissent is desired…may even assign someone role of devil’s advocate in meetings • PM can model by asking tough questions and challenging rationale behind recommendations – PM should model appropriate response when their views are challenged/disagreed with • Avoid defensive posture; encourage debate; listen and summarize before talking; check to see extent of viewpoint • Facts and data
Managing Dysfunctional Conflict • More challenging that encouraging functional conflict – Hard to identify – Solutions can be hard to come by – Human interactions • Range of options from mediation to arbitration to controlling/defusing to accepting to eliminating – Choice depends on nature/severity of the problem and individuals involved • Best is to create environment that motivates collaboration through developing shared vision, using group rewards, and watching for signs that conflict is turning towards dysfunctional
Questions Recall a recent team project in which you were involved • Which best describes the team’s development: the 4 -stage model or Punctuated Equilibrium? • Analyze the team using the 9 situational factors. . . which were positive contributors? Negative? How did team try to overcome the negative? Done differently? • How did the team manage meetings? What worked and didn’t work? Changes?