Leadership in project management - Essay Example

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Project management has been an area where critical managerial inputs are required. Since projects tasks, processes and their sequences of steps are growing complex with heightened budgets and global dimensions there has been a felt need to review an important input to any project management task viz…
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Leadership in project management
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Download file to see previous pages A view holds that leaders are people oriented and their main task is to inspire people. Their primary functional output is a change(Veal,2004) and their capabilities are assessed in terms of controlling the process of this change. That is to mould and control change to suit project's objectives. Whereas managers are task and process oriented and their main task is to organize such tasks and processes. Management's main output is task done in target time at target cost. In plain language Management is assigned the task of producing and maintaining a degree of predictability & order(Veal,2004). Leadership on the other hand assumes the function of producing change under a constantly updated schemata of direction and vision. Leadership is the process of motivating others to work to meet specific goals and objectives. Leadership is deliberately causing people-driven actions in a planned fashion for the purpose of accomplishing the leader's agenda.
Subsequent to identification of role of leadership in project management it is clear that leadership physically comprises of an individual or set of individuals acting on common concert and vision. A set of qualities are generally stated in support of good leadership. Such qualities helps in execution of the agenda of leadership as defined above. These qualities are stated below corresponding to their importance in an information system project:
(a) A project leader must have the capability to nurture and develop a vision and a concrete sense of direction in which to lead the team on. He must make the entire team convinced of his stance of an inspired shared vision. At least he should be able to convey his vision to critical members of the project team. "Visionary leaders enable people to feel they have a real stake in the project. They empower people to experience the vision on their own(Barry,Top). Bennis explains about the leaders that "They offer people opportunities to create their own vision, to explore what the vision will mean to their jobs and lives, and to envision their future as part of the vision for the organization," (Bennis, 1997).
(b) A project leader is expected to have high level of problem solving skills(Barry,Top). He may share problem-solving responsibilities with the team .As Kouzes says that a leader must have a "fresh, creative response to here-and-now opportunities," and not much concern with how others have performed them. (Kouzes,1987).Thus he would be capable of giving new solutions to complicated problems and lead in dead ends.
(c) A project leader must exercise a lot of empathy. There is vast amount of difference between empathy and sympathy(Barry,Top). Although the words rhyme, they, in fact have widely different meanings. According to Norman Paul, in sympathy the subject is principally absorbed in his or her own feelings as they are projected into the object and has little concern for the reality ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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