You Need a Kiss From a Frog
Unfortunately for some of you real meanies, you may have to get back to project management basics and plan, communicate, monitor and control—not meaning you’re in control of the universe, but you have a thumb on the project. It is possible to be a nicer project leader if you can change based on the project management element or model.
Project Initiation – You need to include all your stakeholders both external and internal and learn to accept ideas or changes to the project scope. Everyone should be allowed to offer their two cents without fear and these initial project meetings should be a determined discussion with outcomes everyone agrees on—not just you.
Communication – Having an effective communication plan doesn’t mean acting like a boss I once had. He never left his chair or office, but screamed, “Jean, Ernesto, Rondetta—Get in Here Now!" Once we arrived, he pretty much communicated alright, where he talked, and we listened and left feeling emotionally drained.
Use a great communication plan that is accessible and interactive to all team members and stakeholders. By interactive, I mean let team leaders—or the lowest of the low as you may call them—have access to communications, defects, ideas, changes to processes, etc.
Follow-Up – You need to follow through on the communication plan ideas whether it is through project status meetings or actually playing on the same team and inserting your ideas or, God forbid, complimenting someone on a grand idea. I know it hurts, but it gets better with time.
Monitoring and Control – This doesn’t mean you sit in your office with a two-way camera where you watch and scream at the project’s progress. The project charter or scope should have laid out the project flow and if something’s not going the right way, it’s time to find out why—in a gentle, fair manner. Talk to team facilitators, calmly discuss what’s going wrong and find ways to jointly fix the problems. If things are going well, there’s no law saying you can’t give some kudos when due. This may hurt too, but you’ll get over it.
Project Completion – If you scored as a zero in the boss personality test, you probably deliver the project and don’t mention your team or anyone else. You did it all, you are King of the project delivery process. Get real here. Your team mostly did the work and if you were fair throughout, you did a good job too by controlling and monitoring the flow as well as choosing the right resources for the right task.
Commend your team and recognize them to the client or upper management. Reward your teams with various types of incentives—yep, let them know you care.