Leading a Project

In this chapter

  • Understand why project leadership is important
  • Understand the difference between managing and leading a project
  • Understand why "old school" management approaches don't usually work on projects
  • Review the common behaviors of effective project leaders
  • Understand where leadership is needed on a project
  • Learn the 12 secrets to better project leadership
  • Understand why a "servant leadership" approach gives you the best chance of doing the right work, the right way, for the right people

Why do we include a chapter on "leading" a project when most introductory project management books won't go near it? Quite simply, a person "manages" processes, but "leads" people…and people accomplish projects.

While the skill set for effective project management consists of the project management fundamentals we have discussed so far in this book (along with general business management, communication, and technical skills mentioned in Chapter 2, "The Project Manager"), they are all interlaced with leadership skills as depicted in Figure 16.1.

Figure 16.1. Integration of leadership skills.

In today's world, there is an overwhelming need for individuals who can serve both as project manager and project leader, yet it is a challenge to find individuals who can perform both roles effectively. Why is this? In general, it's the difference between the art and the science of project management. The difference between the soft skills and the hard skills and knowing how much of which one to apply. And in many unfortunate projects, the lack of leadership or the use of an ineffective leadership approach actually creates problems that did not otherwise exist.

In this chapter, we will review the aspects of a project that need leadership and how leading a project is different from managing a project. In addition, we will explore the key components of project leadership, the power of the servant leadership approach, and the common traits of effective project leaders. With this awareness and understanding, you will be much more prepared to serve as both project manager and project leader, even on your first assignment.

Part i. Project Management Jumpstart

Project Management Overview

The Project Manager

Essential Elements for any Successful Project

Part ii. Project Planning

Defining a Project

Planning a Project

Developing the Work Breakdown Structure

Estimating the Work

Developing the Project Schedule

Determining the Project Budget

Part iii. Project Control

Controlling a Project

Managing Project Changes

Managing Project Deliverables

Managing Project Issues

Managing Project Risks

Managing Project Quality

Part iv. Project Execution

Leading a Project

Managing Project Communications

Managing Expectations

Keys to Better Project Team Performance

Managing Differences

Managing Vendors

Ending a Project

Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
Absolute Beginner[ap]s Guide to Project Management
ISBN: 078973821X
Year: 2006
Pages: 169

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