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It is crucial for new team members to understand the dynamic of work and practices that are applied in the projects they will work on in the future. The responsibility of a project manager is to ensure that each individual participating in a particular task can complete tasks successfully. This guide provides an overview of the decision-making process, approaches to conflict resolution, methods of stress management, motivation practices, and project management styles.
The goal of a project manager’s work is to ensure that each decision contributes to the enhancement of work productivity of the employees and improves the outcomes. This approach requires careful consideration and evaluation of facts prior to choosing a strategy. Additionally, according to the Project Management Institute (2013), it is crucial to make a timely decision, which means that a project manager should have an efficient approach to solving issues.
The author recommends defining a problem by writing it down using the viewpoint of individuals who would have to answer it. The next step involves analyzing the question, considering the facts and value of the issue. At this stage, techniques such as SWOT can be applied to evaluate possible solutions.
An appropriate structure of the processes and techniques enables accurate decision-making. According to the Project Management Institute (2013), “project governance framework provides the project manager and team with structure, processes, decision-making models and tools for managing the project while supporting and controlling the project for successful delivery” (p. 34). One approach to this is the group decision-making technique, which implies an assessment of information and the development of several action-oriented alternatives. Project Management Institute (2013) states that in this model, it is crucial to reach a unanimous answer that can be facilitated through the Delphi technique.
However, a decision can be made when a majority of team members agree on a particular course of action as well. It should be noted that in this case, an uneven number of participants is critical. Another method is plurality, where the largest block of a team is responsible for the final solution. Finally, in some cases, it is appropriate to have one person who makes all the crucial decisions without additional input from others.
In some cases, the techniques applicable to the decision-making process that was discussed above do not result in an adequate solution. Burke and Barron (2014) state that a project manager should always ensure that preventative measures are taken or address negative behavior. According to this author, one should understand that disagreements usually involve emotions, which makes it more challenging to interact appropriately. It should be noted that unresolved conflicts cause additional stress, which affects productivity and will be discussed in the next paragraph of this guide.
The first step to conflict resolution is the identification of the source that caused these issues. It is essential to understand that several levels of conflict impact exist; they are – behavioral, physiological, and cognitive (Burke & Barron, 2014). Moreover, Karpman argues that in such situations, individuals play one of the following roles – a persecutor, rescuer, or victim (as cited in Burke & Barron, 2014). Thus, one way of addressing the issue is understanding the personal role and abandoning it.
Next, the transaction model that describes parent, adult, a child states can be applied to resolve conflicts. Burke and Barron (2014) state that “dysfunctional communication is typically caused by a crossed transaction where one person addresses an ego state that is different to the one their partner is in” (p. 313). By addressing this issue and ensuring that all team interactions are facilitated correctly, a team leader can provide a win-win conflict resolution.
Stress Management Techniques
Stress can impair one’s ability to make proper decisions and perform work activities, resulting in the inefficiency of teamwork. Therefore, a project manager should apply a framework that helps reduce stress among individuals involved in a project. Teak (n.d.) states that based on the Yerkes-Dodson Curve, moderate levels of stress can be beneficial for productivity. The author argues that the first step to reducing the negative impact is acknowledging the issues that exist. For instance, an unrealistic deadline or lack of crucial team members that affect the final project can cause stress, and admitting these elements can help locate a solution for minimizing the impact.
Next, it is necessary to prioritize tasks and apply techniques that help avoid conflict, which was discussed above, which will help prevent additional stress. Teak (n.d.) argues that the development of interpersonal skills helps because, in this way, people can detach themselves from the situation that causes issues. Additionally, it is helpful to keep in mind the practice of thinking about what could have happened and ensure that only the factual data impacts decision-making. Focusing on improving the condition instead of engaging in destructive behaviors is helpful in this case.
Motivation is a crucial component of teamwork because it determines the outcomes of performance. Ebert (2017) states that displaying commitment to work is the amount most effective technique that a team leader can use. Additionally, he or she should measure performance outcomes, which can help reward individuals for their work and track progress. Next, one can communicate the purpose of a particular task to ensure that everyone involved understands the importance of it.
Finally, a project manager should focus on ensuring that the goals and timeframe set for a particular task are realistic. The danger of overloading people with work due to poor planning is in the increase in stress levels and a decrease in motivation. This information provides an understanding of the fact that proper planning and thorough examination of each team member’s work can help project managers enhance performance.
Adapting Project Management Styles
It is crucial to understand that the behavior of a leader in a team can affect others. Thus, one should adopt different approaches to management depending on individuals that are part of a project to ensure its successful completion. Burke and Barron (2014) argue that an ability to adapt to changes in both the external environments and internal circumstances is crucial. Therefore, a project manager should choose one of the leadership styles that correspond to the nature of tasks that will be performed and the behaviors of team members. For instance, a participative model is helpful when working with people who are likely to have many conflicts.
Additionally, Adams (2018) states that one of the following frameworks should be chosen before beginning work – waterfall, agile, strategic, or scrum. This is necessary because each has a different approach to planning and execution.
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Overall, this project management guide provides a comprehensive overview of practices that new team members can adapt to complete tasks successfully. It is evident that a project manager should focus on developing his or her skills as well as an understanding of team cooperation to enable adequate decision-making, conflict resolution, and stress reduction. The information in this guide proposes several frameworks as well as theoretical discussion of issues that affect project management.
Burke, R., & Barron, S. (2014). Project management leadership: Building creative teams (2nd ed.). West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley.
Ebert, C. (2017). Five project management tips on how to motivate your team. Web.
Project Management Institute. (2013). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (5th ed.). Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
Teak, O. J. (n.d.). Managing stress in project management. Web.