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Project Manager : Project Manager Dec Jan 2012
Human group behaviour has long been considered an extension of primitive animal behaviour. Behaviourists claim human personality develops in line with learning of reward and punishment, and that individual behaviour will always be dependent on the situation. In the project environment we are often reactionary. We habitually respond without deliberation, as if driven by instinct. Even if we can’t fully comprehend our conduct, understanding response drivers can improve performance and enhance management of project teams. Understanding behaviours Why do our project teams behave the way they do? How we operate depends on how we see ourselves within the organisational environment and what manners we observe and imitate. Conduct deemed to be acceptable within the project environment may, however, generate obstacles for team achievements. So it is not just a matter of assimilation; it is a matter of identifying and agreeing to suitable behaviours. This exercise can improve success rates as a project manager is often delivering express-track, high-risk business opportunities that can’t tolerate poor communication, inadequate coordination or limited commitment. As a result, project managers are leading discussions on group behaviours and diagnosing situations. Their aim is to understand the motives and actions of team members and, by recognising human drivers, they are well equipped to manage varied conduct. behavioural contagion Individuals will both influence and be influenced by other people in a particular situation. If someone we admire launches a verbal attack on a colleague, we create a schema that recognises this as an acceptable action. Consequently, we are likely to imitate him or her. This ‘behavioural contagion’ is a phenomenon that social psychologists promote as a major factor in group dynamics. Project teams are perfect incubators for a downward spiral in 40 Project Manager Why primitive behaviours are hindering the potential of your project team. behaving like animals career centre By Phil Tighe, SKM SUGGESTIONS BEhAvIOURS vAlUES Listen to experienced people Promote positive reinforcement respect Deal with poor attitudes and behaviours encourage new suggestions and train people to support these through review Honesty Definition of roles and responsibilities Communicate candidly openness Behaviour is determined by project identification Target unity between drafters and engineers balance embrace the views and knowledge of others Accept opinions as valid Cooperative learning get more feedback Discuss (act) in a professional manner Professional Management make decisions at the start that are irreversible once in motion Respect understanding Challenging engage in open discussion Seek to be better openness Break down the differences between disciplines and roles Acknowledge that all team members are equal in value United Be proactive in sharing information and workflows Approach all issues in a positive manner Acceptance Improve detailed planning of work Balance quality work/fun sharing Streamline the reporting process Be courteous and respectful equity Create a culture focused on problem solving Be hard on problems but soft on people Loyalty Case study: Workshopping behaviours ‘ B B B ’ Project comprised a materials handling plant valued at over $250m. The design team had just completed a similar scope for the ‘ AA A’ Project and wanted to embrace the lessons learnt so as to carry forward a new improved strategy. A workshop was conducted with the entire design team of 32 engineers, drafters, controls personnel and leads, and recommended the following behavioural proposals:
Project Manager Oct Nov 2011
Project Manager Feb March 2012