Leader success factors
Imagine for a moment, a team of aligned people freely contributing ideas and hard work, assisting each other and collectively delivering quality, outstanding results – on time and on budget. Imagine lively conversations, effective meetings or workshops, that yield detailed action plans which are relevant, focused, owned by all and achievable.
Now imagine how their manager feels!
This vision can be achieved by focussing on the following Leader Success Factors:
For a project to be successful, seven fundamentals exist and have to be applied.
In short, these fundamentals describe the characteristics required to become an effective leader, leading to the end state of project success. It is this end state that must be recognised by technical managers as being worth the effort to apply the principles of leadership, or transition to them.
At its core, a manager must ‘be self-aware and know it’s all about people’. If a manager cannot embrace this concept wholeheartedly, it will be impossible to apply the other fundamentals required to build an effective team, engage and align stakeholders, inspire and motivate, execute and drive project acceptance, manage risks and cultivate a healthy work place.
Review each fundamental and start to imagine what your team could achieve, if you, their manager
performed these well.
When working on projects, the first Leader Success Factor is:
There is a need to work in three areas:
Facilitation (F) – the work to:
- Ease the process, organise, evaluate, enable and troubleshoot.
- Be self-aware, altruistic, respectful and genuinely care about your team.
- Lead by example, listen, be devil’s advocate and bring the best out of people.
- Build, retain and develop an effective team.
Technical (T) – the work to:
- Execute the project scope, cost, time, quality and performance.
- Establish benefits and objectives, organise work, identify risks and monitor progress.
- Meet compliance and legislative requirements, address external stakeholder expectations.
- Deliver the tangible project outputs, documents, equipment, systems or new technology.
Acceptance (A) – the work to:
- Ensure acceptance of the technical work in people’s hearts and minds.
- Connect, communicate, engage, influence, manage politics and keep people informed.
- Create an environment built on trust and lead your team for extraordinary performance.
- Outline a vision, create urgency, mobilise commitment and build early momentum.
Harness the power of facilitation
The care and diligence a manager applies to facilitating directly influences the acceptance of the technical word.
Notice how balanced the chart is, three types of work are necessary to perform the fundamentals.
The facilitation work is at the core of the Project Fundamentals and directly influences all the fundamentals.
Performing the facilitation work well will influence and amplify the effectiveness of the technical and acceptance work.
Having technical work accepted in peoples hearts and minds will ensure project success.
In the Concept and Prefeasibility stage, the project focus is on conceptual thinking and innovation,
new ideas and creative thinking, developing and evaluating different ideas.
In the Feasibility stage, the project focus shifts to project discipline, detailed focus on the most suitable
idea, detailed plans and costs are developed ready for the execution stage.
In the Execution stage, the project focus is on building and construction, making and doing things, this
requires high levels of experience and technical expertise, and adherence to the project plan.
Finally, in the Operations stage the project focus shifts to commissioning and operating the new
plant or equipment, maintaining the new plant and equipment. This also requires acceptance of the
A key function of the manager is to consistently facilitate the project and regulate the degree of emphasis directed to the technical and acceptance work according to the stage of the project.
On start up we need the acceptance of our project, to get people engaged, establish what’s in and out and set objectives. Facilitation eases the process and balances our technical and acceptance work (organising, evaluating troubleshooting, bringing the best out of people). As people become involved and the scope is clear, we can focus on the technical work.
Mid stream we have a strong focus on technical work to build the outcomes.
Coming to completion we need to ramp up our acceptance work to make sure its accepted in peoples hearts and minds, they own it and accept the outcomes. Often we don’t ramp down the technical work looking for a perfect solution and assume acceptance.
The shift of focus will be ongoing through the different project lifecycle stages.
Engage your team using best practice facilitation scenarios along the project lifecycle.
The best practice scenarios describe this important facilitation work and consider various aspects of major, minor and business improvement projects.
They are ordered around the project lifecycle stages and address specific needs such as alignment, planning, scoping , risk assessments and stage gate reviews.
Our book, ‘Facilitating for success – A manager’s guide – 2nd Edition’, lists 41 common scenarios that are now part of most organisations’ project lifecycle.
These common scenarios can be selected and delivered, some can be bolted together or mix and matched to create and address a specific scenario on your projects.
As you work, listen, watch and troubleshoot issues with your team, direct reports or other stakeholders.
On a day-to-day basis you need to immediately start focusing on these issues by using proven tools and techniques. There are common tools available to help you carry out facilitation work, to improve the technical work and to increase the level of ownership and acceptance.
Have the displayed ‘Project Success Tools at a glance’ index close at hand and when confronted by an issue simply select a tool which can help.
We can assist your company to implement these success factors on your projects.