Figure D16. The Axis of Project Management
The Project Manager will need to have certain interpersonal and organisational skills to effectively run the team. In those companies, which are organised around project teams, the selection and training of such people will be of high priority. For those organisations where project teams are formed only as required, the R&D Manager will have to identify and foster such skills as part of the performance management process. Some of the key interpersonal skills required by the Project Manager are listed below.
It has been suggested that projects, in the category leading to a new business or new directions for the company, that are lead in the early stages by specific individuals who exhibit breakthrough creativity, as measured by the Myers-Briggs creativity index (see Section C, 1.5.1), show a much higher success rate [D-16]. However, this only applies if they also work within the framework of an excellent new product development system.
The individual team members will be selected for the technical and organisational contribution they can make to the project through its various stages. The nominations will come from the managers of the functions involved. The individuals should be good team workers; recognising the individual responsibilities within the team, contributing and behaving in a manner which supports the team and carrying out individual actions on behalf of the team. A list of the attributes demonstrated by a successful project team is as follows [D-17]:
• Commitment to the project
• Results-oriented attitude
• Creative thinking
• Willingness to change
• Concern for quality
• Ability to predict trends
• High involvement, interest and energy
• Capacity to resolve conflict quickly
• Good communications and feedback
• Mutual trust and confidence
• Interest in self-development
• Effective organisational interfacing
It is the responsibility of the R&D Manager to ensure that the people who are nominated to work on project teams fulfil these criteria and, if there is any doubt, deliver coaching or training on these aspects.
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Assigning a person to a project team is in effect a secondment to that team. The individual's priorities and loyalties now lie with the project. For the period of the project, management of this resource is in the hands of the Project Manager. For individuals to feel happy in this situation they have to be reassured by the R&D Manager that the performance management and appraisal systems will take this twin management aspect and loyalty into account.
If the company is using a specific project management package, all members of the team must receive training in the principles and methodology of that particular package, before commencing any teamwork. This may seem to be obvious but it is easily forgotten, especially if for some reason a team member needs to be replaced at short notice.
The Project Manager will also have to demonstrate a facility with the hard skills required in project management; planning, estimating, budgeting, scheduling, tracking, controlling, measuring and re-engineering. In technical projects, it is advisable for the Project Manager to have a level of expertise that is recognised by the other members of the team.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.