Project management

CJA/585 September XX, Project Management While there is no doubt that every project needs a leader for its successful completion, the question that arises is what defines that leader, and what thereafter determines his or her success. The answer to that lies in the fact that each project has its own unique requirements, and depending on those requirements, one needs its own way of management. There are various methods of management and control, and each member of a team has their own role to play.

According to Kendrick, the members of a team can be divided into four particular roles – leader, manager, facilitator and mentor. A leader is one who directs the team, prescribing purpose and direction to the team. Once these directions are prescribed, it is the role of a manager to take control of how to divide and assign these tasks, and to ensure they are all being achieved as required. A facilitator works towards the fulfillment of these tasks, whether it is resource management or practical application and finally, a mentor whose basic job is to provide assistance and guidance to the team.

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Once a team is established, project controls are used to direct a project towards successful completion. Kendrick specifies that there are three specific styles of control – control by process, influence or metrics – and while each relies on leadership of a certain sort, there are differences in the way that leadership is delivered.

The most basic form of project control is control by process (Kendrick, 2006). In this means of control, the project is directed forward through a certain set of predefined outlined processes. In this sort of management, the role of a manager is likely to be of pivotal importance. Because all the tasks are already outlined, the focus is mainly directed on smooth movement through those steps and ensuring they are delivered satisfactorily. In addition to the manager, the mentor is also of key importance, because it’s likely that the processes would be repeatable and thereby of familiar experience.

Control by influence relies on an influential body of governance, directing team members towards project completion and as a result, the key figure is likely to be a leader. Depending on the impact and influence of the leader, the team’s response then determines the success of a project. In addition to the leader, the facilitator would also be of importance because it is on this role that the leader would have greatest influence (Kendrick, 2006).

Finally, control by metrics means dividing your project into smaller metric measurements, based mostly on time-based achievements and matching your project along those lines (Kendrick, 2006). A key role in this regard would likely be that of a manager and facilitator – the former to ensure all key landmarks are being achieved and the latter to accomplish achieving them.

Of course while ultimately all four roles work together towards the same target, there is no doubt that in each process control, each member has their own key responsibilities. Possessing the right skills to manage those responsibilities is vital, and one of those skills is communication. A manager would need good communication to manage obstacles and road blocks, a mentor to deliver experience and knowledge, and a facilitator to explain any difficulties that may arise. Most importantly however, a leader would need good communication to effectively unite a team and ensure that the team’s focus and direction is unified.

Reference List

Kendrick, T. (2006) Results without authority: Controlling a project when the team doesnt report to you.

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