Can a person be a good manager without being a leader? Project Leadership
1. The author states that there are various definitions of a “project”. List at least 5 characteristics common to the various definitions. (The “characteristics” may have different synonymous names.)
- Temporary – Every project has a beginning and and end which is why it is temporary.
- Unique – Every project is different in outcome, also has to be tackled differently.
- Objectives – Objectives need to be met in order for the project to be a success.
- Limitations – There are limitations placed on time, cost, and resources.
- Activities – A project is a cluster of activities that are relatively separate and clearcut.
2. Can a person be a good manager without being a leader? Can a person be a good leader without some management abilities?
Leaders focus on “doing the right things” (effectiveness) while managers focus on “doing the things right” (efficiency) (Verma, pg. 37). A person can be a good manager without being a leader. A manager focuses mostly on controlling while a leader wants to get everyone into a new path and to change. Leaders for example take risks while managers avoid risk. Some great leaders can be terrible managers because they constantly want to change things. Leaders have a vision while managers objectives.
3. Project managers typically have increased responsibility with limited authority. Given this fact, what skills, and abilities are necessary to overcome this limitation?
A project manager will need good conceptual skills, which is to see the big picture. Project managers with good conceptual skills are well aware of how varioius functions of the organization complement one another (Verma, pg. 26). Conceptual skills are necessary to appropriately deal with project politics and to acquire adequate support from top management (Verma, pg. 26). A project manager with good conceptual skills will be able to understand office politics and how to get things done with certain managers for certain projects. The project manager will know who to go to at a time of need, will also know when something will not be approved and how to communicate that with everyone. Also, a project manager need to be able to negotiate for resources, with upper management and stakeholders.
4. A leader needs to have vision. We need a good definition of vision as a quality of a project leader. What is the best definition you have heard or can find?
A vision in my opinion is a change towards a better future that is possible to implement. Leaders have great visions and they are also able to communicate their vision to everyone else. When a great vision is communicated then the leader is able to get support to implement the vision.
5. What are some leadership skills?
Leadership skills include: understanding the attitudes of individual team members; and clearly defining the expectations of each team member.
6. What are three important components of communication for an effective team project? Describe in one sentence each
The three components are effective listening, avoiding negative and absolute statements and removing communication barriers.
7. Describe what the author means by “Cultural Ambience”. What cultural elements may be important on an international project? What cultural elements may affect the success of a domestic project depending upon the geographic and demographic location in the US?
What the author means by “Cultural Ambience” is that in working on today’s project we may be working with team members in different countries and because of that we need to understand and learn from different cultures to get ahead. Project managers working with employees of a different culture must be able to adjust their style and strategy.
The cultural elements that may be important on an international project are material culture, language, aesthetics, religion, beliefs, attitudes, and political life.
The cultural elements that are important in a domestic project are education, social organization, and political life.
8. Review the project life cycle chart in Figure 1.3 (page 39). Why is leadership more important in phases 1 and 2 while “managership” is more important in phases 3 and 4? Justify your answer and provide examples.
Leadership is important in phases 1 and 2 because these are beginning phases where someone is needed to motivate the team and set a clear direction in the project. Managership is important in phases 3 and 4 because in these phases stability is already in place, everyone knows where the project is going and what will be the result. Phase 3 and 4 needs more management for the project to complete was what set in Phases 1 and 2.