Complex project management is currently an essential requirement for the achievement of stronger project performance. For projects to be effective, project managers should manage them correctly to save on the budget and time while delivering all the expected features and functions. However, since projects today are increasing in complexity, the conventional techniques and tools are insufficient to manage the extremely complex ones. The assigned readings discussed in this essay have topics that provide various ways of managing specific components of project complexity, including diagnosis of project complexity and selection of an approach.
Analysis of the Readings
The reading “Veterans’ Day” discusses a project by the city of Phoenix, Arizona, to provide housing to homeless military veterans and ensure they stay there. The article explains how new methods can overcome the complexities experienced by various projects that aim to help the homeless. Instead of making housing a final reward, the project managers began as the first step (Schur, 2014). The project’s goal was to ensure the successful elimination of continuing homelessness among military veterans in the city. The project manager, Shane Groen, aimed to complete the project without using a lot of money.
On the other hand, the reading titled “Say no” elucidates some ways of refusing unreasonable requests by project sponsors. The first strategy is being clear from the beginning and ensuring stakeholders participate in discussions involving resourcing, deliverables, and risks (Brox, 2012).
Also, explaining the consequences to promoters may assist in dealing with unrealistic demands. Another technique involves having a contingency plan that helps deal with adjustments that may come up during project execution. Still, a project manager should avoid surprises such as finding out they cannot complete the project midway by aligning expectations and employing experienced personnel. Finally, the author advises project managers to voice their opinions and stand when dealing with stubborn sponsors.
The reading “Negating Negativity” discusses the impact of negative stakeholders on project management and how to overcome them. Stakeholder negativity may be due to a lack of understanding of the project, fear of job loss, or competition (Whitemyer, 2012).
The project manager can deal with negativity by seeing the project from the perspective of affected parties and identifying the best approach to address the cause of the negativity. If talking to affected individuals cannot eliminate negativity, the project manager should then report the particular individual to the formal authorities in charge of the individual. If reporting the person seems difficult, the project manager should reduce the individual’s contact with the other team members.
The article “Most Valuable Players” by Peter Fretty outlines techniques project managers can use to create worthwhile projects. Firstly, the project leader should be aware of the requirement and risks. This investigation involves finding out the affected people and reviewing the organizational processes to accommodate changes (Fretty, 2012). Secondly, project managers should identify areas for improvement to assist in value addition and elimination of threats and weaknesses. Thirdly, they should define possible solutions to help team members establish effective strategies for achieving the objective. Finally, the project manager should prioritize opportunities to ensure the creation of worthwhile projects.
The article “Getting the Green Light” discusses how to convince the executives of an organization to allow a project manager to proceed with a project. The author advises against focusing more on the last project details but on developing a clear business case. The project managers should calculate and present to the executives the number of returns they are likely to receive from their investment (Bowles, 2011). They should also show the initiative’s value in customer satisfaction, savings, and market share.
Relationship of Each Reading to Personal Experiences
I can relate these readings to my personal experience as a project leader since the articles discuss issues that occur in practical reality. I can relate to the reading on veteran’s day since I also faced similar challenges when managing a project which involved establishing homes for the disabled in my community. Many prerequisites made the completion of the project highly challenging. The approach of reducing the required funds largely contributed to the successful accomplishment of the project.
Moreover, I can relate to the reading about unreasonable sponsors because I have interacted with sponsors and other promoters who make unreasonable requests. While I was managing a project to introduce an IT department in a company, the sponsor requested that I reduce the projected timeline, which was difficult since it involved working for more hours than initially planned. I had to explain the consequences to convince them to let the project proceed as originally planned.
Moreover, I can relate my experiences to the article on negative stakeholders. I have managed various projects where employees display negative attitudes towards the project because they fear that the changes introduced by the project will affect their normal working environment. Discussing the importance of the change with affected parties has always convinced most employees to embrace the change and assist in its implementation.
Furthermore, I can relate to the reading, which discusses the techniques of developing practical projects. The approaches used, which include identification of requirements and risks, the definition of possible solutions, areas of improvement, and prioritization of opportunities, have largely contributed to the success of my projects. Finally, the reading on how to convince executives of an organization to invest in a project relates to my experience in project management since I believe developing a clear business case is the best method of convincing managers to allow projects to be carried out.
Interesting Project Management Approaches
Project management approaches incorporate various practices and principles that guide project managers throughout the project. How a project is managed defines its efficiency and success as a whole. The techniques of overcoming the negativity of stakeholders discussed in the readings interested me since the tactics are realistic and applicable to any organization. Correspondingly, the approach to improving the value of the project interested me because they are well clarified and easy to implement.
Moreover, the methods of declining unreasonable sponsor requests described in the readings also interested me. The author discussed approaches that project managers can implement to ensure initiatives with few risks in other real-life situations. To increase my capability regarding these project management approaches, I will properly overcome negative stakeholders, implement a wide range of techniques to manage valuable projects, and ensure projects are completed according to expected standards.
Personal Lessons Learned
The readings are a source of knowledge, and there are many lessons about project management that I have learned from them. Firstly, I have learned that choosing a good management approach is important for efficient and successful projects. The readings have also equipped me to deal with negative stakeholders who aim to derail the project. Still, I have learned the tactics of convincing executives of an organization to permit a project to be carried out. There are many things that I would do differently now that I have more understanding of project management. I would change how I interact with project stakeholders and the sponsors to complete the project with few risks.
Bowles, M. (2011). Getting the green light. Developing a business case for your project could be the fast track to executive buy-in. PM Network-Project Management, 25(7), 42. Web.
Brox, D. (2012). Say No!. Your sponsor insists upon an unreasonable request. Do you know how to tell him or her it can’t be done? PM Network-Project Management, 26(5), 46. Web.
Fretty, P. (2012). Most Valuable Players-Project managers and their teams who constantly create value in their initiatives can increase ROI and exceed stakeholder expectations. PM Network-Project Management, 26(5), 58. Web.
Schur, M. (2014). Veterans day. PM Network, 28(6), 62–67. Web.
Whitemyer, D. (2012). Negating Negativity. Team members, stakeholders, or sponsors behaving badly? Here’s how to squash negativity before it gets out of control. PM Network-Project Management, 26(9), 40. Web.