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Project Team Motivation

Dick Billows, PMP

Dick Billows, PMP
CEO 4pm.com

Project team motivation is every bit as important as developing a creative project plan, creating a tight schedule and spotting problems early. Too many project managers assume that their team members will be unaffected by their behavior in assigning work, solving problems and making estimates. That is very far from the truth because those three activities are what we call a project managers moments of truth with the project team. How the project manager treats the team members and how he values their input go a long way to determining the teams overall motivation. Let’s talk about these three moments of truth. Project Management Skills Main Page

Are you leading your team from in front or marching behind them carrying a snow shovel like that poor guy marching behind elephants at the circus? There are three moments of truth for project team motivation when leading your project team that go a long way to determining their motivation and if your project will succeed or fail. Those critical moments are; gaining commitment to estimates, handling “bad news” and reporting status. The first moment of truth happens while you’re estimating with a project team member. If you have an open discussion and the team member feels that they were able to participate in setting the work estimate for their tasks, you will get a much higher level of commitment to the estimate than if you arbitrarily set the number. The second moment of truth occurs when you deal with variances on a project. Your behavior in the face of this “bad news” largely determines whether your team members tell you about problems early or hide them from you because they don’t want to be blamed. The last moment of truth occurs when the sponsor is disappointed in the project progress. How you handle this is critical for your credibility.

You learn all of those skills in our project management basics courses. Take a look at the basics course in your specialty.

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