Major Difficulties


There are some major difficulties in obtaining a good contextual understanding. Project managers can never divorce themselves from the environment and obtain a true, objective understanding. In On Leadership , John Gardner notes the difficulty quite well, recognizing that leaders cannot divorce themselves from the context in which they find themselves, as they are an instrumental element of the system that they must lead. [1]

This situation, of course, makes it very difficult for project managers to capture and process information to help them strive to obtain a fair, not necessarily unbiased , contextual understanding. Basically, that means having and maintaining a good awareness of what is going on in the general business and project environments. Such awareness is achievable by avoiding jumping to conclusions and becoming more of an observer to understand what is necessary.

Fortunately, recognition is growing about the importance that project managers have a keen contextual understanding to apply the most appropriate leadership style; there appears to be a direct tie. [2] Daniel Goleman says it well in an interview in PM Network when he said that project managers must be sensitive to people and the environment. [3]

Contemporary research seems to support him. Martin and Wysocki note three elements that contribute to project success, one being the environmental elements that affect the project team. [4] Opfer, Kloppenborg, and Shriberg also seem to agree and note that individual teams and organizational considerations must be accounted for. [5]

[1] John W. Gardner, On Leadership , The Free Press, New York, 1990, pp. 38 “47.

[2] Warren A. Opfer, Timothy J. Kloppenborg, and Arthur Shriberg, Project leadership: setting the stage, in Proceedings of PMI Research Conference 2002 , Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA, p. 417.

[3] Jeannette Cabanis-Brevin, The human task of a project leader, PM Network , p. 39, November 1999.

[4] Warren A. Opfer, Timothy J. Kloppenborg, and Arthur Shriberg, Project leadership: setting the stage, in Proceedings of PMI Research Conference 2002 , Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA, p. 417.

[5] Warren A. Opfer, Timothy J. Kloppenborg, and Arthur Shriberg, Project leadership: setting the stage, in Proceedings of PMI Research Conference 2002 , Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA, p. 417.




Leading High Performance Projects
The Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic: Automating Photoshop to Get Twice the Work Done in Half the Time
ISBN: 193215910X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 169

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