Leading from Within!
For many organizations, the work a project team performs-or at least the environment in which that work is performed-is changing fairly significantly. There is increasing recognition that teams are able to be more effective when they are given more autonomy over the work they do. I don't necessarily mean the agile concept of self-organized teams (although that's part of it), but the same changes are occurring within more traditional project delivery models.
Team members are being given more freedom around how they perform their tasks with lower expectations for each individual to have a serial set of tasks that have to be performed within a defined timeframe. Part of that freedom is a necessity-projects are more likely to change and evolve from the original scope, schedule and budget as organizations ensure they remain aligned with delivering the benefits the organization needs.
Another part of that flexibility is aligned with the organization's empowerment of project teams to make decisions around that expected change. If teams are allowed to act on opportunities to improve or maintain the project's ability to deliver business results, there must be some flexibility in the work that is done and how it is delivered.
For this to occur effectively, we need to do more than ask our team members to behave differently-we must give them the skills to succeed. Much as we cannot take someone with no experience with project management and expect them to succeed leading a complex, multi-year project, we cannot take team members with no experience of business management and ask them to make the right decisions on how to achieve business benefits.
This is where the concept of leadership comes in. I believe that in order to be successful in the future, we need to provide our teams with much greater leadership autonomy than ever before. In other words, the team shouldn't be relying on the project manager or senior stakeholders to lead them, but rather they can lead themselves with the confidence to deliver the right outcomes. For that to happen, senior members of the team need to be provided with leadership skills, and they need to operate within an environment that allows them to demonstrate those skills effectively. Read More
By Andy Jordan