The paper “ A Task-Oriented Project Manager with Strong Reliance on Participative Management Style" is an inspiring example of an essay on managementю In this essay, I will reflect upon my project management style based on my understanding of the major soft skills viz. , problem-solving, process management and people management. It is pertinent to briefly touch upon a few facets of the main task and the soft skills before I elaborate on my specific approach to the task. A ‘ project’ by definition is ‘ a carefully defined set of activities that use resources such as men, materials, money, etc.
to achieve project goals and objectives’ (Wikipedia, 2008). Project goals are always in terms of time, cost, and quality compliance, and, management is the art and science of utilizing the knowledge about the resources, especially the human resources so that the set project goals are realized. ‘ Problem-solving’ and ‘ people management’ abilities are reflected in leadership qualities. Leadership is the ability to influence others. As Pearl Young states, “ … leading effectively involves understanding what motivates each person, identifying characteristics that help/hinder the team, and determining what I can do, as the team leader, to promote a positive and productive workgroup” (Young, 2001).
The three major types of leadership styles viz. , authoritarian or autocratic, participative or democratic, and delegative or Laissez-Fair as identified by the psychologist Kurt Lewin and his team in 1939 are well-known (Wagner, 2008). While understanding the motivations of each person helps in providing leadership, it is also important to know the personality characteristics. The Myers-Briggs grid identifies the major personality styles as extroverts, introverts, sensing and intuitive (Wideman, 2008). While selecting a person for a project team and later, to obtain the desired results, it helps in understanding the person’ s personality characteristics. My approach to project management at the broadest level is to set the preliminary goals and communicate the same to the team in the clearest possible terms.
I divide the task into logical sub-sets, largely based upon functional lines, and assign these sub-tasks to the respective team members. I rely substantially on the two-way communication process whereby I ensure that the goals are discussed and accepted as achievable. Where a particular team member anticipates any difficulty in doing so, his views are carefully heard and either he is provided with additional resources or the particular goal modified, without compromising the ultimate objectives.
This activity also called the planning part, is crucial to any successful management effort. My approach, as can be seen, is to obtain ‘ consent’ for completion of individual tasks and to steer the planning process to meet the ultimate objective even as the individual team members get the satisfaction that their point of view is heard and taken into account.
In order to ensure that the actual performance is in line with the promises, I as the project manager will ensure control by setting milestones and regular monitoring, with corrective steps as and when necessary. Thus, I believe in providing freedom for individual performance without easing control over the course of the project and its objectives. This is a participative leadership style that motivates my team members to own responsibility for their work. Unexpected deviations are always a part of project management, and in such cases, I will opt for the authoritative approach to discipline erring team members even as I support them to the extent required to fall in line. In the process described above, I have sometimes problems relating to introverts and intuitive because I am of the opposite character by nature i. e., extrovert and sensing, as described by the Myers-Briggs grid.
Recognizing the introverts and intuitive in my team would help me to soften my leadership style to a more encouraging and supporting mode towards them, and to assign them the tasks that best suit their personality. This is an area where I believe that I need to concentrate more, learn more and practice it in the coming years. Coming to decision making, I believe in a very fast decision-making process.
This is not to mean that I do not make sufficient analysis of a situation or the factors involved – rather that I do take into account all the factors and options, and quickly come to a decision and implement it. While doing so, the overwhelming need is to stick to the project goals in the order of priority if required - sometimes timely completion may be more advantageous than cost over-runs or at other times, quality may be more critical than timely completion.
Project goals always take precedence over personalities, in my style of project management. To conclude, I am a task-oriented project manager with strong reliance on participative management style, understanding the needs of the task as well as the personal characteristics of my team and blend them harmoniously to achieve my goals which are the same as the project goals.