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Habits of Highly Effective People - Essay Example

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Summary
The book outlines the various traits that people require to be effective in meeting individual and organisational goals. It provides points to be followed when solving problems hindering…
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Habits of Highly Effective People
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Seven habits of highly effective people and project management Introduction The seven habits of highly effectivepeople is a book written by Stephen Covey in 1989. The book outlines the various traits that people require to be effective in meeting individual and organisational goals. It provides points to be followed when solving problems hindering execution of duties in meeting set objectives. It gives a guideline to help readers employ fairness, honesty and accountability when performing tasks to present a good company and individual image which is necessary in building reputation. Lastly, the book makes readers aware of the changes that happen in the environment, and adopt a transformation mechanism to help the individual adapt well in the new conditions (Covey, 1999).
Application to project management
Covey’s ideas can be applied to this field because they are very simple and practical guidelines which can easily be applied when tuned to specific organisational work culture. Organisations have their staff which they manage to ensure their output is maximized; this is done by inculcating Covey’s concepts among the employees. This helps in their personal and professional development (Kerzner, 2001). The following are the three of his seven habits that can be applied to project management:
Begin with the end in mind: this is the most important habit since it sets the overall goals that one wants to attain in any venture. When one sets out to start a project, the long term goal is set at the conceptualization stage. Setting a vision for any proposed project or business venture shows clarity of purpose and is always enshrined in company constitution. When a company sets out to introduce a product in the market, a thorough market analysis is conducted to check if it is indeed feasible. Customer feelings and needs form part of company vision as they are the ones that ensure its success by purchasing its products (Ross, 1995).
Project management provides the timelines for executing tasks and ensure schedules are followed to the latter. A company notes the requirements it needs to start a project, it then notes the available resources at this concept and development stage. After this is done, then it will be easy to follow through the plan rather than skipping some vital yet ignored stages for instance, setting organizational goals.
Put first things first: this entails breaking down the tasks and assigning each component execution time in the order of priority. The management has to sit down and decide which responsibilities require a quick implementation time frame; they then schedule their tasks based on this. This also helps in allocating more time to essential duties and vice versa, to reduce time wasted on matters of little significance. Tasks of high importance include those issued under contracts whose success will determine the remuneration paid to the contractor and successful implementation improves company image (Ross, 1995). The project manager is thus able, by applying these concepts, to assign responsibilities to employees based on their capacity. Having overall company vision helps in creation of shared values among employees.
Be proactive: this is the ability to forecast and determine the expected outcome of specific set of actions. This is necessary in reducing risk factors associated with project management. An organization only focuses on the projects they can control to avoid losses attributed with high overhead costs. According to Ross (1995), this forecasting helps in decision making as they are able to allocate resources to the vital projects which guarantee high results, thus reducing wastage. This habit also enables the manager form project teams which are given specific tasks. When these team members are proactive, their level of ownership is increased since they all contribute to the final outcome.
References
Ross, D. (1996, April 15). 960401; PMnetwork; 960401; p26; Applying Coveys 7 Habits to PM Career. Welch; Communication Metrics. Retrieved April 12, 2012, from http://www.welchco.com/02/14/01/60/96/04/0105.HTM
Covey, S. (1999). The 7 habits of highly effective people. London: Simon & Schuster.
Kerzner, H. (2001). Project management a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (7th ed.). New York: John Wiley. Read More
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