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For successful project management, communication has to be a core skill of a project manager (Kerzner, 2009). Effective communications mean the receiver gets the message intended by the sender. This is important as the manager has to pass to his team the objectives and processes of the project. It conveys the ideas and expectations of the manager, the team, and the client. Otherwise, if there is a communication breakdown, there is an impasse as the manager is unable to coordinate the team. The barriers to communication need to be analyzed in terms of the source of the barrier, channels used feedback, the sender, or receiver. The removal of barriers is crucial for effective communication. A body language as well as verbal method determines largely the effectiveness of the communication (Kerzner, 2009).
Effective project management is indistinguishable from effective time management. Time management refers to knowing what to do at the appropriate time, and allocating the time accordingly (Kerzner, 2009). Time management determines how effective you are at tasks you want to accomplish. The difference between a successful project and failure hinges on how the team uses the time at its disposal as productivity is measured in terms of time. The project manager and the team have to know how to prioritize their tasks and other activities. Proper planning and scheduling contribute to effective time management. The challenges that affect time management have to be dealt with as time might be used on activities that do not further the project’s objective. Thus, the team loses its focus as it concentrates on side issues. Effective time management helps in goal setting or determining objective of the project. As the team meets these goals, there develops self-motivation within the team (Lock, 2007).
Leadership is not only positions (Lock, 2007). Leadership is motivation of the team to tackle challenges. Transformational leadership inspires the team, with visions of the future, completion of objectives and growth and development of the team’s technical skills. This is aided by personal attributes such as self-confidence as you cannot motivate anyone if you lack motivation yourself. Positive outlook and attitude is imperative in a leader as negative attitude dampens the spirit of the workers. A leader has to have emotional intelligence or in other words, empathy to be able to understand his team (Lock, 2007). For you to accomplish an objective you have to persuade your team to believe in the same goal. Being a role model is part of leadership. Management of the performance of the team and provision of support and development or growth of the team’s technical skills is all part of leadership. The type of leadership also matters, whether it is laissez faire, micromanagement, hands on, hands off, or a mixture.
Analysis of Tim Aston Exercise of His Skills and his Effectiveness
Tim Aston’s skills in dealing with his project staff and functional manager leave a lot to be desired. His functional managers are not accountable due to his laissez faire leadership. Thus, they are sabotaging his projects. He has not take charge or control of the team therefore; there is no cohesive team to work on project’s objectives. With no leadership, the project management is non-existent and the team is drifting like a rudderless ship. No direction of the team meant the morale and motivation of the team members is extremely low. Being a new addition to the team, the other team members are crowding out thus he has no chance to provide them with any expertise he might have. He lacks emotional intelligence in thinking he can just come in among his subordinates who are older than him and gain their trust and confidence. He has no self-confidence in himself hence he runs to higher authority instead of facing the challenges head on . This further erodes the team confidence in him as he cannot act as role model for the team.
Tim Aston has not taught his team the importance of time management. By leaving them to manage their official time the way they want, he undermines the achievement of the project’s goals or objectives. Time management, being vital successful completion of a project, has to be inculcated into the team at all cost. A person who is not willing to respect time allocated to the project should not be part of the team. The issue of employees going on vacation or doing other activities instead of accomplishing important projects should not arise. Once time is set aside for projects it should become non-negotiable, thus workers will come to respect the projects goals. As the goals set are met, self-motivation within the team will rise.
Lack of communication by Tim Aston has contributed to the lackluster performance of the team. Being a new employee, he should have communicated his vision and ideas effectively to the team. The team might be at a loss as to his intensions for the projects. Creating a feedback mechanism could have enabled him to know the feelings of the team. Through open communication and discussions, they could have ironed out their differences and he would have got a chance to persuade them on his new way of thinking. By running to the upper echelons, he is further alienating himself from the staff below him and making communication more difficult.
Analysis of the Management Support Given to Tim Aston
The management of the company gave Tim Aston minimal support. By seeming to support the functional managers, they have denied Tm Aston the support and advantage he needed to whip his team in line. As a new project manager, Tim Aston needed strong and unequivocal support of management to be able to take charge of the subordinates who considered him an interloper, not to mention his young age. With no support, he is at sea, as the functional managers get the message that it is in order to sabotage the new project manager. By suggesting that Tim Aston takes a study in human relations, it illustrates the management thinking that the problem is with Tim Aston and not the subordinates. This can only further diminish the authority and confidence of the project manager, very different from the support he expected from the management.
Recommendation to Company and Tim Aston
The recommendation that can be given to the company is that a supportive environment is of the utmost importance to the application of the project manager’s critical skills. Without it, application of these skills in achieving personnel motivation, resource allocation and other objectives would be an exercise in futility. The exercise of leadership skills and style by the project manager and company will influence the morale and motivation of workers affecting productivity.
Team building is important to project manager, as without a cohesive team, the pooling of resources and talents that is vital in any company’s operations is not possible. A team that is not united in purpose cannot meet targets. Time management determines productivity. Effective time management diminishes waste both of resources and personnel motivation as without it concentration, focus and interests wanes. In any environment, personality and ideas conflicts are inevitable thus; conflict resolution or management maintains a cordial environment for workers and allocation of resources. Finally, for all these to be possible, effective communication has to be utilized by the project manager to pass his ideas to his team and from the company’s management to guide everybody on the expectations of the company.