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Introduction - Organisational Behaviour and People Management
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The two significant aspects of every successful business comprise leadership and effective project management. These can be termed as the brain and others can be the backbone for a successful organisation. In this assessment, these two quintessential aspects are covered in the context of a case study of an organisation Ecological Wastewater Solutions Pty Ltd (EWS). The leadership style of the company is discussed. In addition to this, tools and techniques used by the PM in influencing the team. In addition to this, tools used for communication outside the project group are also outlined and various ways to motivate a team member are also elucidated. Lastly, the assessment also talks about the steps to alleviate the challenges faced by the project team.
Choosing a Leadership style
Referring to the case study of EWS, one can see the type of leadership style opted by the leaders of the organisation is strategic leadership. As the company is expanding and growing in different countries, there is a need for analytic decision making that can only be done by the strategic leadership team. Strategic leaders keep the right balance between the main operations of the firm and its growth opportunities. Since it is mentioned that the project teams of EWS are located in different countries, such as Japan, China, Australia, etc., strategic leaders can only be able to handle and support them (Ho, et.al, 2016). Also, it is cleared from the leadership team that what the required objectives of the company are. In addition to this, they have already recognised that for managing such a diverse organisation, a project management plan and human resource management plan are required. Hence, the approach taken up by the leadership team is pro-active and they are emphasising on developing the company as a whole along with the personal growth of the individual (Holten& Brenner, 2015).
Also, by virtue of this leadership, the company could be able to articulate its strategic vision of expanding globally and allocate resources for the same. The strategic and analytic thinking of the leaders helped them to carry out pre-project research and determine the risks associated with the updating IT resource.
Tools and Techniques Used for Influencing Team
Since the team comprises people from different background and ethnicity, the tools and techniques that would be used should be universally effective (McChrystal, et.al, 2015). The following are some illustrations for the same:
- Project Management Tools [Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)]:the PM is required to restructure both internal and external operations of the company. With tools like ERP, it can have the capacity to carry out the mass expansion. The information regarding organizational policies, processes, and policies can be stored in a common system and can be accessed by team members at different locations (McChrystal, et.al, 2015).
- Performance Assessment Plan:This plan would be useful for the PM for evaluating the performance of the team members in different locations and reward them. This would have dual benefits for understanding the capabilities of a team member and help them in contributing personal as well an organisation's growth (Holten& Brenner, 2015).
- Staff Management Plan:This comprises a wide range of tools and techniques, such as conflict management, delegation, performance appraisal, effective communication plan, etc. As the teams are located in locations such as Australia, Asian Pacific regions, West African nations, etc. Hence, conflicts are very common and hence, staff management is quintessential (Holten& Brenner, 2015).
- Team Building Plan: The objectives are already defined and the teams are required to work together. Hence, it is desirable to have a team-building plan for EWS. The plan would comprise a structured communication plan, goal setting, clearly defined deadlines & milestone, and most importantly, a team must have a well-defined hierarchy (McChrystal, et.al, 2015).
Appropriate Tools for Communicating Outside the Project Group
EWS is an emerging organisation in the global platform and is having teams in a different location. Its most of the stakeholders are remote. This increases the urge of having a comprehensive communication plan characterise with some effective tools and techniques. These comprise:-
Discussion Board: This tool is useful for the dispersed team which is the case of EWS. Teams can share information and archive conversations related to the projects. This is way better than Email as any member can participate and the new joiner can have access to the project information shared in the past.
Chat Tool: This can be a platform that can have both informal and formal use. Clients can get updates of their projects and keep directing the teams to achieve their requirement criteria. Members of the same team can share information among themselves without disclosing it to the client.
Weekly Status Report: This is the most formal form of communication and weekly status report help in getting the updates of the work on a weekly basis. The best part is all the information is well documented.
5 Powers to Motivate the Team
There are fourteen powers described by Shiv Shenoy in his article. Here, five of the most relevant power associated with the case study of EWS has been described (Shenoy, 2017):-
- Legitimate Power:the PM must be empowered with legitimate powers to direct team and provide instruction. Having a large number of operations running simultaneously in different locations increases the need for this type of power in the hand of PM (Shenoy, 2017).
- Informational Power:Every information should come to the PM and every project related information should pass through him only. An effective communication channel is a must in order to have better informational power (Shenoy, 2017).
- Reward Power:As a PM working in EWS, it is required to have strong control over budget and other financial aspects. If the member can be motivated to work for a reward, then PM by virtue of reward power can be able to make it possible. However, certain criteria should be there (Shenoy, 2017).
- Situational Power:Situational power empowers the PM to act effectively and manages in different situations, such as crisis. It comes from rescuing organisations, mentoring teams, and leading projects in crises.
- Pressure-based Power:Projects can be hit by any adversities due to any circumstances. This increases the pressure on the team as well as on the project manager. The PM exercises such powers while giving only two alternatives i.e., either carry out the work or face bad consequences (Shenoy, 2017).
Techniques for Developing Self-Managed Teams for Agile Projects
The self-managed teams are autonomous, self-organised, and members are capable enough to manage their day-to-day activities (Bunderson& Boumgarden, 2010). Building self-managed teams require the following techniques:-
- Hiring the self-driven people:If the team members can manage themselves, then they can manage the team as well. The member knows his roles in the team and can carry out the work without the guidance of the leaders.
- Establishing trust, transparency, and honesty:For the success of the self-managed team, it is important that every member trust other members. This would help in establishingtransparency and humility in the team. Members will contribute to each other's success and support each other. The PM should make sure that trust gets established in the team (Bunderson& Boumgarden, 2010).
- A strong leadership:Having a manager may not hamper the self-managed team but there should be at least a leader that can fulfil both responsibilities. There has to be some leadership within and outside of the team
- Organisation or PM must support Employee-driven decisions: Organisations should respect and trust the decisions taken by the self-managed teams. If this happens, then the team will have confidence in gaining control day by day of the operations.
Steps for Alleviating Challenges Faced by Project Team
Following are the steps can be taken up by the PM to alleviate the challenges:-
- Avoid Scope Creep:The PM should make a proper plan and define the scope of the project in order to avoid any creep in the work (Sánchez,2015).
- Implementing PMIS:Use of project management information system like ERP can help the PM in increasing the efficiency of the members and project speed. Everyone would be clear about their roles and duties.
- Defined and well-documented Project Goals:Sometimes organisational or project goals are not clear to the members. This causes too much chaos in the project. Hence, the PM should first define the goals and document them properly (Ho, et.al, 2016).
- Training and Skill development:Many a time, team members are not updated with the new technology that would be used in the project. Providing training and honing the team members’ skills can have a positive impact on the project (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016).
- Effective Communication Plan:Team can have misunderstanding due to poor communication channel or any disturbances in the flow of the information. The PM can have a well-structured communication planto solve the issues.
Through this assessment, it can be concluded that managing a project is not a cakewalk. It requires deep knowledge of project management and its various aspects. It was suggested that EWS should go for strategic management approach or leadership style. It was also recommended that the company should make use of various tools and technique to manage the team members. Also, they should promote the self-managed teams in order to manage their overseas operations. The PM should also go for using software for managing the project and document the goals of the project so as to alleviate any challenge related to the project execution.
- Bunderson, J. S., & Boumgarden, P. (2010). Structure and learning in self-managed teams: Why “bureaucratic” teams can be better learners. Organization Science, 21(3), 609-624.
- Ho, W., Xu, X. and Dey, P.K., (2016). Multi-criteria decision making approaches for supplier evaluation and selection: A literature review.European Journal of Operational Research, 202(1), pp.16-24.
- Hoda, R., & Murugesan, L. K. (2016). Multi-level agile project management challenges: A self-organizing team perspective. Journal of Systems and Software, 117, 245-257.
- Holten, A. L., & Brenner, S. O. (2015). Leadership style and the process of organizational change. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(1), 2-16.
- McChrystal, G. S., Collins, T., Silverman, D., & Fussell, C. (2015). A team of teams: New rules of engagement for a complex world. Penguin. pp. 16-45
- Sánchez, M. A. (2015). Integrating sustainability issues into project management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 96, 319-330.
- Shenoy, S. (2017). 14 Types of Power You Can Use as a Project Manager!. Retrieved 2 August 2019, from https://www.pmexamsmartnotes.com/5-types-of-power-to-a-project-manager/?cn-reloaded=1