The point is not that project managers must diagram the relationships of their projects. In fact, few project managers do. What is important is that project managers learn to visualize the major elements and relationships of their projects. This ability to do so will enable them to better understand the appropriate decisions and actions and manage the consequences. Few project managers do that, too. This inability to take a systemic view often results in a host of problems, especially people problems, which can negatively affect overall performance.
Project managers must therefore keep the following thoughts in mind when leading their projects.
Too often, project managers focus on individuals. This focus on objects, in this case people, is important but often misdirected. If performance is suffering, this focus lends itself to pointing to an individual as the cause and can result in what I refer to as the "blame syndrome." This, in turn , wreaks havoc on teaming because the focus shifts to one individual who is not likely to change unless he or she can truly realize the impact of his or her thinking and behavior on others. This recognition is often impractical to expect. So project managers exercise a quick fix by removing someone who cannot work well with certain people. Since many project managers lack command and control over many team members , this attempt often fails and leaves a negative residue. Instead, effective project managers try to improve working relationships to further the goals of the project. The emphasis then switches from the individual to the relationships, thus depersonalizing circumstances.
Hence, an important aspect of leading projects is to work on improving relationships among stakeholders. There are two aspects for doing that.
The first one is that focusing on relationships requires you to look at situations from the perspective of different mental models that reflect differences in beliefs, values, approaches, etc. With that knowledge, you will have a better understanding about why people think and feel the way that they do.
The second aspect is that project managers must take a serious look at the structure of their projects. Determining the structure and altering it will inevitably alter relationships among people. Some ways to alter the structure of projects include changing the reporting relationships, altering who works jointly on certain tasks, and assigning people to tasks conducive to their talents and personality.