Sunday, October 14, 2012

Project Management - celebrate small achievements


Purpose of this Blog

To encourage professional workers to recognise their small achievements, celebrate the small achievements and share the small achievements across the work unit.

Project Management - the importance of celebrating small wins at work

Managing projects can be a complex process involving time, risk and priority management. Managing multiple projects that involves working with a multitude of clients and within a hierarchy of positions, over distance and involves "wicked problems" requires strong hard and soft management skills. The soft management is more difficult to identify and yet it has significant impact on the success of a project. This blog discusses  soft management skill. It focusses on enabling achievement recognition to benefit the individual and the work unit.

Recognising achievements and failures effect the personal attachment to the project and in general the potential successful outcomes. Most importantly it effects the disposition of the business unit. Failures have the biggest influence and recognising successes is harder to recognise. Interested 3rd parties within the unit can quickly identify failures even if they are hearsay. As the failure predisposition  is persuasive it is important to construct a disciplined process  that identifies achievement of tasks and celebrates achievements gained.

The Hard 
The hard is well documented and can be managed through sequential and complex project management processes. The hard is important as it is the common path to maintain relevance, effectiveness and efficiency.
  • A Project brief identifies the purpose, objectives, completion measurements, risks and timelines. 
  • A Project plan assist the manager in identifying each component (variable) and engages a method of attack. Project based applications need to be employed to assist in managing the complexities and enabling the project to be completed within predicted time and budget. (All things considered and planed for)
  • Project iterations realigns the project as unknowns are identified and key component alter. 
The Soft
The Hard doesn't account for the what Dr. Teresa Amabile calls Inner Work-life. Her thesis is that Inner Work-life influences the outcomes of professionals in their efforts to be successful.
  • Inner Work-life = Perceptions, Emotions, and Motivations.
The inner working life effects the outcomes of a project as it influences the  individual mindset and transmits influence onto the culture of the work unit . A work unit is largely a construct of people. Each person has a inner work-life is and each inner work-life influences  each other inner work-life. A work unit success is heavily influenced by the interaction of each inner work-life.  Dr. Amabile's research identifies companies who have failed due to the inner work-life of the workers.

The Soft - working units
Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions (Principles of connectivism WikiPedia). A working unit is as strong as the connections occurring within. To achieve a strong working team the following soft needs need to be committed to;
  • an understanding of the teams worth.
  • a sense of active contribution to the development and well-being of the team.
  • the sense of improved collective competence.
  • individual willingness to develop interpersonal support.
  • a willingness to collectively share and celebrate success.
The Progress Principal video
Is based on how workers make sense of their workday. If the person's inner work-life is positive they perform better. Dr Amabile states the making progress is the biggest influence on an inner work-life.
  • Progress influences Positive inner work-life influences better performance
  • Progress can be achieved through small wins
  • Small wins influences Positive inner work-life influences better performance
  • 28% of small things had a strong impact on peoples work-lives
    • Negative small things (setbacks): are stronger than positives (2 to 3 times stronger). Negative small things effects on the inner work-life can last up to 2 days
    • It is important that positive wins are celebrated to counter the significant effect setbacks inflict on the individual and ultimately the team.
Harness the Progress

Video


Key Points
To harness small wins individual workers need to;
    • focus (30min on what is meaningful to the workers self-worth and what is important for the organisation)
    • and keep track of small wins.
Managers can assist through;
    • providing catalysts - goals and importance of work to the unit.
    • supporting autonomy - how to meet the goals
    • enabling resources - to get the work done - help and access
    • and providing the human support - respect and value
Harness the Progress Strategy
  • Daily - weekly small success plan 
    • 5 minutes what Tasks  needs to be achieved 
      • start of the day
    • 30 minutes Focus 
      • tasks that promote self worth and is important for the unit
      • any time of day but requires no interruption
    • 10 minutes Diary 
      • end of day reflection
      • small successes 
    • 15 minutes Celebration and Communication
      • daily or weekly 
      • small successes that have been achieved
      • via the work unit's social media (G+ circles) communications system.