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How to Herd Crazy Cats in Your Projects

Cats, like people, are unique individuals with often independent personalities. Every cat is diverse and behaves differently. Project managers have the difficult task of understanding all of their little kittens’ needs and wants. In a post at The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall explores how a project manager can do this successfully.

Example Time

Ginger was an enthusiastic project manager who was ready to take on her new role and inspire her team. She organized her team and her stakeholders by creating a cross-functional team with a third-party vendor. She quickly had to face the reality that she created a team with varying interests, needs, and motives. The first meeting did not run smoothly and brought out very stubborn and opinionated people. Specifically she discovered that when the project charter was crafted a month ago, the Claims director was not included, and now he wanted to voice all of his opinions at once.

People are often looking to protect their interests; they are not necessarily driven by misguided motives. The project manager needs to take it upon him or herself to ensure that they fully understand the company’s culture and every aspect that goes into it. They need to understand the needs and interests of everyone involved. Additionally, people will have their individual concerns, and it is important that the project manager takes an effort to address them.

The best project managers have a risk management mindset and make use of their interpersonal skills to influence attitude. Project managers can take good first steps by:

  1. Promoting unity and team bonding
  2. Collaborating to find solutions
  3. Communicating clear goals and having open conversations
  4. Creating common ground

Risk management helps identify risks before they occur. Holding a stakeholder meeting prior to a project can help better asses these risks and promote a positive environment.

You can read the original post here: http://projectriskcoach.com/2016/01/22/how-to-herd-crazy-cats-in-your-projects/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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