Building positive project culture for navigating complexity: A case study
Excerpt from the paper originally published by PMI, by Simona Bonghez, Ph.D, PMP BRISK Business Inc.
Predicting behaviors would be a great advantage; however, one rarely knows stakeholders well enough to anticipate or predict their behavior in a given situation. This is clearly recognized as an area where only a blend of knowledge, experience and soft skills can help—and even then success cannot be guaranteed.
Project managers and their teams need to be properly prepared in order to raise the chances of success and to properly deal with the complexity induced by the chemistry of people involved in the project, by their web of interactions, and their demeanors and attitudes.
Strong project values that provide orientation to the project organization; project artifacts (project plans) that provide a clear understanding of the project objectives; and project name, logo, and language (jargon) that provide a sense of identification with the project are all essential tools in times of uncertainty. Even though the solution to be pursued is not clear, values such as open mindset, trust in the team potential and commitment will help the team to cope with the situation.
Being deeply immersed in the project details might at times impede the project manager’s recognition of elements of complexity. Ignoring complexity before the project start and trying to solve the situation only after difficulties have arisen could cause a manageable situation to become a troubled project. The case study presented in this paper confirmed the necessity of building a project culture that enables the mitigation of issues related to ambiguity and human behavior. However, establishing a project culture that supports and rewards the project team members is a journey that never ends; its sustainability requires a continuous organizational effort. And no matter how costly this effort might be, it solves only partially the complexity aspects in programs and projects.
Click here to access the complete paper “Building positive project culture for navigating complexity: A case study” published by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and written by Simona Bonghez, Ph.D, PMP, BRISK Business Inc.
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