Project Management is considered to be the application of the methods, processes, skills knowledge and experiences in order to achieve the objectives of the project. This paper will develop a project management plan which will be based on a simulated environment and would further be presented to the stakeholders of the organization. There are three different aspects to this project management plan and they are- improving team work within the workforce, developing workforce culture that is positive and evaluation of the existing project. It would also describe the various methods that are necessary for improving team work and developing positive workplace culture.
Task 1: Ensuring Team Work in the Workplace
LO3: 1. The four strategies of an effective project team are as follows:
All the members of an effective project team must positive and constructive influence over their colleagues and peers. They must be potential enough to pursue the community members who could be advantageous and helpful to the project and their subordinates and superiors too (Serra & Kunc, 2015). The team members who are well influential would not only be able to persuade the key people for being involved and engaged but also to inspire and encourage other members to take action as well.
The members of an effective project team are motivated by nature. Although, it is crucial for the project manager to inspire the team for performing the necessary tasks, but it is just as indispensable that all the members of the project team are able to inspire as well as encourage each other and themselves as well. A motivated project team would have a clear goals of project in their sight and have the tolerance to take to completion (Aga, Noorderhaven & Vallejo, 2016).
All the members of an effective project team are accountable, responsible and reliable to each other as well as to themselves (Tyssem, Wald & Spieth, 2014). They foster a credible schedule which incorporates timeliness with the details and accuracy, leaving some space for the unexpected obstacles.
- Proper skills and adequate experience
The members of an effective project team have proper knowledge, familiarity and talent that are needed for accomplishing the undertakings that are assigned to them (Rezvani et al., 2016).
2. a : Positive synergy refers to a positive and constructive interaction in between the elements whereby they work together in a fashion for creating a combined outcome which is much greater and positive than a simple sum of effects in isolation or individually (Rogers, Corley & Ashforth, 2017). Sometimes, it is also referred to as 2 + 2 = 5 effect.
Two techniques for ensuring positive synergy in a project team includes:
- Recognising the differing opinions, perspectives and views of others as helpful while seeking solutions
- Developing and fostering a win-win mentality (Molderez & Ceulemans, 2018). Believe the fact that all the members who are involved in the project would gain more enthusiasm, insights, growing and learning through working together.
b: Negative synergy refers to an interaction that is non-linear (Lindsey, Villavicencio & Barnosky, 2015). It is where the combined results are less than the total sum of the participants’ effects that are taken in isolation or individually.
The two causes of negative synergy in a project team includes:
- Lack of safety in meeting. The members do not feel safe to say what they truly think and feel about the team (Jopke et al., 2015). Their want to be a part of the team push them for agreeing with the decision of the team. Hence, this results in false foundation
- Poor meeting fundamentals. The team members who are involved do not have an agenda and are not sure and certain enough why they are in the meeting and hence, they attempt to address and tackle the complex issues without any preparation (Neatby, Rioux & Aube, 2015).
3. The six steps for developing a rapport and ensuring cooperation in a project team includes:
- Building a culture of listening to each and every voice within the team through giving full attention to them, minimizing the distractions, checking your own understanding through asking questions and reflecting back the emotions (Bolden, 2016).
- Developing emotional intelligence and recognizing the emotions in other team members.
- Using praise, as praises are great motivator when they are constructive and authentic (Deutsch, 2016). This is because of the fact that praises foster positive emotions in the team and could boost the overall performance of each and every team members. The team leader must ensure that he is clearly identifying what the team members are doing and whether they are effective or not. As a leader, sharing this knowledge with the team members would boost positive emotions of the team members (Singh, 2016). It would increase the reputation and visibility of the team.
- Developing shared values. Devoting some time for establishing values for the team by not only building of great relationships between the team and the team leaders but also with everyone else goes a long way in ensuring cooperation in a project team (Bens, 2017). It is a one of the highly effective method for cementing a team when the team members agree upon the values through providing a common relation in between all the members of the project team.
- Asking questions. It is one of the most effective way of fostering communication and cooperation in the project team. It determines the interest in the team, both professionally and personally (Boles, Fiset & Gill, 2015). It would also allow the team members to be more solution focused and this turn empowers the individuals. Also, the questions could encourage a culture of innovation and exploration among the team members.
- Setting higher expectations from the team. It is the most important as in terms of results and of culture and behavior. It allows the roles to be clarified, the individuals to be empowered for making most of their knowledge and talents and the success to be visualized (Dong et al., 2017). It also demonstrates the leader’s belief in his team.
Task 2: Fostering a Positive Workplace Culture
LO4: 1. Discuss any two major theories of workplace culture.
The two major theories of work place culture are the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory and the Deal and Kennedy’s cultural model
- Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory- As according to Geert Hofstede, there are no such thing like management theory or universal management method in the world (Mazanec et al., 2015). He has designed a framework that described a total of five sorts of value perspectives in between the national cultures and they are of power distance, masculinity versus femininity, individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance and short-term versus long-term orientation. Firstly, Power distance refers to the degree of inequality among the individuals which the population considers to be normal. Secondly, the masculinity versus femininity refers to the extent to which a culture is conducive to dominance, acquisition and assertiveness of things versus a culture that is more conducive to the people, their quality of life and their feelings (Beugelsdijk, Maseland & Hoorn, 2015). Thirdly, the individualism versus collectivism refers to the extent to which the individuals feel that they are supposed to be responsible for themselves as well as the entire team. All the team members are supposed to help each other along with an unspoken clause of loyalty. The organizations which are rigidly divided into different departments and where there is absolutely no or very less interaction in between those different departments follows the individualistic approach. On the other hand, the organizations that have no specific departments and where the people are expected to participate in all the works regardless of their role are said to follows the approach of collectivism. Fourthly, the uncertainty avoidance index refers to the potential of handling the unpredictability and uncertainty of the results. In some of the contexts, it could also be a measure of the conservatism, that is, a high index would show high resistance and conservatism for accepts new ideas, while the low index would show a high acceptance and little resistance. In the organizational context, both the approaches of the index could be applied. For example, the willingness and the ability of the employees for handling the unpredictability of the projects in their tasks and jobs could be evaluated through means of uncertainty index, while the conservative approach of an organization in dealing with the projects, employees and the clients could also be defined clearly by this index. Lastly, the short-term versus long-term orientation dimension analyses the ability of the team or the employees to adapt to the organizational changes and their willingness to change as according to the given situations (Beugelsdijk, Kostova & Roth, 2017). The organizational culture that is with long term pragmatic approach are more open to accepting and welcoming changes in their ways of operating and keeps in mind the long-term circumstances and welfare, while the short-term normative indirect the unwillingness to let go of the former practices and accept the new and innovative ones.
- Deal and Kennedy’s cultural model- Deal and Kennedy have defined the organizational culture as the way in which the things are get done. They have created a culture on the basis of four different types of organizations and they are process culture, work-hard, play-hard culture, tough-guy macho culture and Bet-the-company culture (Bortolotti, Boscari & Danese, 2015). Firstly, the process culture has very slow feedback and low risk that results in plodding work, low stress, security and comfort. The stress that comes from the stupidity and internal politics of the system. Secondly, the work-hard, play-hard culture has a rapid reward and has low risk resulting in the stress coming from the quantity of the work, instead of uncertainty. The high speed actions leads to high speed recreation. Thirdly, the tough-guy macho culture has rapid reward and has high risk that results in the stress coming from the potential loss or gain of the reward and high risk. Lastly, the Bet-the-company culture has slow reward and very high risk that results in the stress coming from the high risk and delay right before knowing if the actions are paid off.
2. The two positive impacts of workplace culture on the performance of a project team are:
- Good culture within a project team could help in keeping the work of the project management in synchronized manner with the objectives of the project team and aligned with the already established practices (Hornstein, 2015).
- Good and a well-developed culture brings a significant increase in the openness to the change and the desire of the members of the project team to make the changes to work.
The two negative impacts of workplace culture on the performance of a project team are:
- The members who are unmotivated usually breed a negative culture with the ones around them and that work could quickly disintegrate and drive all the other members of the project team.
- The project team where the culture is low, the team members are likely to have low communication and less cooperation with each other (Gurung & Prater, 2017). This results in the project team to end up having the members working in silos and towards determining the thing detrimental for the overall health of the project team.
3 : The impact of four techniques for developing positive workplace culture to ensuring successful completion of a project are as follows:
- Fostering mutual respect- It is very important that the project team members respect their peers’ and colleague’s ideas and inputs (Carmeli, Dutton & Hardin, 2015). When one lose respect for the any member of the team, he or she will be less likely to go to them for their assistance, even though if they excels in that particular area. With the same, the same member would also be less likely to come to the other when he or she would be getting benefit from his expertise. However, such condition results in less collaboration within the team and would ultimately result in an ineffective completion of the project. Hence, if the team members feels that their leaders and the peers are supportive and respectful, their efforts would not be undermined by the fragile egos or jealousy of the others. Also, mutual respects tend to be positive and creating a more productive and virtuous result.
- Establishing trust- The sense of trust is very important to all the professional and personal relationships. Active listening and open communication in the project team is the best way of building trust (Boies, Fiset & Gill, 2015). If the team members are trust worthy and they trust one another, the project is likely to be successful.
- Showing appreciation- Showing appreciation would foster better work attendance and higher degree of attention to the details by the team members. It also creates a greater sense of “ownership: of a project or a task. It also foster more investment in the overall completion and success of the project. Furthermore, showing appreciation to the project team members would also develop better camaraderie with the peers along with higher opinion of the team shared with others.
- Maintaining a positive attitude- Positive attitude brings in the winner attitude within the team members (Vasilescu et al., 2015). It is a fact that attitude determines productivity. An individual with positive attitude would always think of the several ways through which he could accomplish his task in a well-defined manner rather than finding excuses and complaining for not performing well. Also, positive attitude help the team members in taking more interest in what they do and deliver to the team project. With the same, they also produce better and more effective quality of work with minimum errors. It improves the overall outcome and the productivity of the team members. It is also to note that positive attitudes help the team members to appreciate and motivate the competencies of each other and to work as a team for achieving successful completion of the project.
4: The four strategies for ensure effective team engagement during the process of project management are as follows:
- Matching the projects, proficiency and passion- In a project, there are many members involved. Each and every members are with different combination of personal values, goals and talents. If the project leader assist them to build a bridge between what is important to them and what is important to the team and organization, he could increase their levels of engagement and could make a positive and constructive impact on their commitment, contribution as well as job satisfaction.
- Talking and listening more and more- Conversation always drives clarity. It is the most effective and crucial vehicle for providing accurate and constructive feedback as well as increasing the engagement levels of the team (Lynch & Wong, 2016). With the same, it is also to note that this technique is the only way to effectively generate innovative ideas and thinking for increasing the project results. Conversation also helps in prevent misunderstandings within the team and helps in building trust.
- Stressing on team member ownership- One cannot create a well engaged team if the team members do not have a clear vision of their personal success. Hence, it is very important to ensure that each of the team members who are involved in the project are available with a guide or leader who would provide them guidance, help in removing the barriers and would assist them in completing the project successfully. After all, they are the only ones who are responsible for their own success.
- Investing on the development process of the team members- When the team leaders of the project is committed to the professional as well as personal growth of the members, the likelihood of successful completion of the project increases automatically as because of the fact that when the members could rest assure that the more they work the more would be the level of their growth within the organization (Parke, Campbell & Bartol, 2014). Hence, providing the members with personal development books, courses or conducting some sort of seminars for the same, would go a long way.
Task 3: Evaluating a project
1. In order to get the most out of the project, it is very important to employ a post project review process. The post project review is one of the most valuable ways for the project teams for improving their skills and performance (Davis, 2014). It offers the team members a mechanism for helping fuel a continuous improvement within the members as well as it also improves the morale of the team.
It is also to mention that project review after the completion of the project helps the participants in taking right decisions and plans in order to make sure that the next project is running better. It helps in clearing out the misunderstanding and the other related issues that would work as a barrier in the future projects. In other words, it can be said that post project reviews help in avoiding making same kind of mistakes with the future projects as well as learning how to run the next projects in better way.
2: The four critical learning outcomes which may potentially be obtained through project reviews are as follows:
- Whether the project objectives are achieved- Reviewing the project after its completion would help the project members to rest assure that all the objectives that were set before the beginning of the project are met (Habler, Major & Hennessy, 2016). It helps them to identify if there is any issue still prevailing in the project, which they could rectify there itself or would take into consideration in their next future projects.
- Determine how effectively the project was run- Post project reviews helps in determining how effectively the project was run all long. Who have done well and who have not. Who to promote and who to guide even more. If there are any items that could have been improved, the post project reviews identify them. For example, if the system documentation was not ready on time, or the developers had any kind of disputes with the analysts. These are two of the items that need improvement and they could be realistically achieved as well if some more efforts are made.
- The organization and the team gets the greatest possible benefits from the project- It helps in determining whether the project has the potential to benefit the organization and the team goals and objectives (Todorovic et al., 2015). It helps in assessing the factors that could result as a beneficial factor.
- To learn the lessons for the future projects- A successful or even an unsuccessful completion of a project teaches a lot. There might be many contents available like the abnormal events, recommended future modification, future enhancements and improvements, performance of the tools and the methods that are involved, all are noteworthy.
3 : The four critical stakeholders involved in the project review are the project manager, the project team, the project board and the management.
The project manager- A project manager defines what the project would achieve and then he also ensure that the project team meets those goals. Hence, his feedback on the completion of the project is very important as it is him who knows and understands the real objective of the entire project.
The project team- the project team is the most crucial element of a project. This is because without their contribution and assistance, it is impossible to complete the project (Svejvig & Andersen, 2015). They work both independently and collectively to achieve the objectives of the project. Hence, it is also necessary to value their feedbacks. It is necessary for their own growth and development as well. In the future task, they would be then more attentive in providing similar or even better input to gain same or more effective outputs.
The project board- It is also important to assess the effects to the project on the project board members and to identify whether they are satisfied with the project or not. There feedback is necessary as because of the fact that they can improve the performance of the project team as well as could uncover the useful insights at the same time.
Senior Management- They are the highest level of management in an organization and they have the regular tasks of managing the organization. There feedbacks on the completion of a project are also necessary because of the fact that they hold a specific executive powers by the board of directors. Hence, before finally delivering the project to the client, taking their feedback and approval is very important. If in case there are any lacking, the project team and the project manager could then consider it and make the necessary changes.
4.a) Scope Review- the main objectives of the project were to execute the project in a productive and constructive manner so that it could satisfy all the stakeholders involved in the project. The main goal of the project is that it must meet the time, quality and the budget set for its completion. There were many sub phases in the project including initiation, planning, execution and team coordination and finally finalization. The resources provided were people, proper capital and material goods. The time scheduled for the completion of the project was 10 days.
b) Cost Review- The professional classification of the people working on the project and the hourly rate that was charged for each member was classified. The estimated number of hours worked by the personnel were also set and were maintained throughout the project execution.
c) Execution Review- Values are been created in the discussion with the project team members. There was a four days of analyzing process and site visits that have helped to develop the members included. With the same, apart from construction and engineering, much attention was laid on the operational readiness, change management control, risk management process, contractor management etc.
d) Risk Management Review- The team has used team brainstorming to trigger the ideas. Both the internal as well as the external risks were analyzed. The project team had a mutual understanding of the risk events that were likely to take place.
e) Deliverables Review- The activities that are carried out in the process of making the project were renovation, project portal, inception report consisting of cost statements, the kick off meetings and global quality management plan.
Hence from the above discussion it can be stated that this paper has addressed the vital aspects of project management and they are of positive and negative synergy, their importance as well as their consequences; along with the importance of the task of project review; different theories on workplace culture and the reviews on scope, cost, execution, risk management and deliverables that are been carried out the in Assessment 1. The paper has also described the various different strategies that are to be used in making an effective project team.
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