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Matrix Management Wiki

8C. Managing Projects Without Authority

  • 8C1. In almost all cases, project leaders have to lead without authority.
  • 8C2. A shift to leading without authority is key to achieving Level 1 of the MM 2.0 Maturity Model.
  • 8C3. There are many things project leaders can do to be successful at leading without authority.
    • 8C3i. Negotiate deliverables that are achievable.
      • 8C3ia. Make sure the project’s deliverable is well defined.
      • 8C3ib. Make sure that resources will be committed to get the job done.
    • 8C3ii. Create a project plan with the team.
      • 8C3iia. The accountability within the project is done by creating a project plan, which outlines what the deliverables of the project will be, what the risks are and what the team intends to do about them, how long the project will take, and how much it will cost.
      • 8C3iib. The plan is the contract between the project leader and the team, because it outlines what each person on the team is accountable for. Any material changes to the plan must be made through a change management process.
    • 8C3iii. Use a collaborative planning process to develop team ownership of the plan.
    • 8C3iv. Guide the team so they maintain ownership of the project throughout the Planning, Creation, and Adoption phases.
      • 8C3iva. Ownership is maintained when the team participates in solving the problems that arise during Creation and Adoption, because the solutions they develop become solutions they own.
    • 8C3v. Identify political risks and countermeasures.
      • 8C3va. In addition to technical risks, the project leader should work with the team to identify political risks and create countermeasures to overcome those risks. This is particularly needed if the organization is still using VM 1.0 or MM 1.0, as the team will usually bump up against the conflicting goals of functional groups.
      • 8C3vb. Until an organization switches to MM 2.0 and aligns the horizontal dimension, the project leader is going to experience obstacles from the vertical dimension that must be mitigated if the project is to be successful.
    • 8C3vi. Manage up and out.
      • 8C3via. The project leader should focus on managing relationships with the sponsor, the customer, resource leaders, and other stakeholders.
    • 8C3vii. Constantly solicit feedback.
      • 8C3viia. Soliciting feedback is a proactive approach that helps to avoid potential problems in the future. An individual can only fix something if he knows it’s broken.
      • 8C3viib. To be successful, project leaders need to know how they are doing from the perspective of their team members, the sponsor, the customer, and other stakeholders.
    • 8C3viii. Recognize and celebrate.
      • 8C3viiia. The project leader should create opportunities for team recognition.
      • 8C3viiib. Reward those actions that prevent problems as well as the actions that address a crisis.