“Given a choice, most people will opt to succeed. They will surprise you with their resourcefulness and determination. All they need is some help with their technique and a little encouragement from a mentor.” James A. Hatherley
As a project manager, out of everything you manage, either directly or indirectly, the most delicate and important part is the human capital management. Depending on your organization structure and culture, you may or may not have direct positional power over your team members. Your professional maturity, effective communication, influencing and negotiation skills are very crucial, particularly with stakeholders you do not have direct control over.
The key here is effective communication. It requires maturity, understanding, professionalism and good judgement. A project manager should be sensitive, bold and decisive; tolerant of diverse opinions, but not tolerant of non-performance, which could negatively affect team effort and project outcome. What you need is a committed, not conforming, team to achieve success. Deal cautiously and fairly with the project team members. Wrongful use of power makes people to be mediocre or conformant. Table 3 – Time/Priority Management Matrix (page 68) is applicable to human capital management.
As a project manager, you may experience strange and unprofessional behaviours from some stakeholders, within and outside the core project team. These are part of the challenges that confront a project manager. Ensure that you do not allow such behaviours to derail the success of the project. Focus your attention on results and deal appropriately with the behaviours that impact them. You may ignore, respond maturely or defer your response and avoid noises to ensure that you accomplish the desired outcome. It is not strange, but the situation could be tempting to fall for it, so beware and do not allow others’ behaviours to derail the success of your project. You will not regret acting wisely.
Team building is a key aspect of effective human capital management. Take note of the following, as part your team building effort.
- Promote, among your team, shared vision, shared responsibility or work sharing. Avoid the blame game, and encourage team members to take leadership role on assigned work package, activities or tasks.
- Leadership: Encourage and promote leadership behaviours in your team. Each person responsible for the delivery of an assigned work package, activity or task is a leader in his/her own capacity and responsible for seeking others support to successfully complete the assigned work. Leadership cut across different levels and effective leadership effort coordination produces top result, by engaging everyone and creating a sense of belonging.
- Sometimes people could be the problem. However, you may not be able to solve all people’s problems. Those that are interpersonal among team members should be your focus. A long time personal issue which has become endemic in a person attitude and behaviours are difficult and usually takes time to resolve. What is your best way out? Encourage professionalism by ensuring each team member understand his/her role as an actor in the current ‘episode’ (project) as transient and accept the contractual obligation to act in accordance to the contract terms, as their roles may vary from project to project.