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Project Management: Giving Everyone a Seat at the Table

To create a new service, product or result, your team must meet specific goals and success criteria at a specified time. This will include the basics of project management: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team.

Although there is the thought process that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’, this isn’t always the case when you are taking on a new project. Getting help from employees of all levels can bring a fresh perspective to the task at hand, breathing new life into processes and how to implement them.

Avoid Micromanaging

Giving up control over aspects of the work your company produces is one of the most healthy things you can do as a manager. Through fear that certain tasks will not be done to your standard or a lack of trust in the ability of your employees, this style of project management can really stifle your team and the potential success of each project.

To relinquish control or simply take a step back can be difficult if you are used to having your eye on every aspect of your business. However, by divvying out responsibility – maybe just part of it or a possibly all of it – you can focus your attention on the bigger picture or other matters that need your attention.

One of the key perks of project management is the ability to move from one project to another, keeping things fresh and exciting in the workplace. Creative people can flourish in this environment if given free reign to flex those creative muscles. By overseeing even the most simple of tasks, this enjoyment will eventually wane and die. New research by YouGov says that 80 percent of employees have experienced what they consider poor management, or a poor manager, at least once during their career, with 55 per cent actually quitting their job because of bad management.

The downsides of micromanagement include:-

  • Time Costs of Micromanagement – It can often take a manager less time to perform a task themselves than to hover over an employee to micromanage them completing the same task. This is an ineffective use of time for someone in a senior role, which could be better used developing systems and facilitating processes.
  • Stifling Creativity and Efficiency – A good thing to keep in mind is the reason you hired this person. They seemed capable, enthusiastic and you could see them improving your business in some way. Micromanagement essentially creates employees who all perform in exactly the same way – your way – so that nothing new and improved can reach the projects you manage. Given the breathing room to do so, employees can develop ways of working more efficiently on tasks they perform every day, potentially creating superior outcomes.
  • Reduced Job Satisfaction – This sort of atmosphere in a workplace creates unnecessary stress on the employer and the employee. Under this management style, employees become dissatisfied and less enthusiastic about the task at hand. They don’t feel empowered or trusted, so why would they stick around? Staff turnover is sure to be higher, causing you more hassle and eating in to valuable time.

Lean Management

A great project management style to adopt is lean management. One of the key takeaways from this method is to encourage shared responsibility and share leadership. As explained by Kanban software, lean management is about continuously improving work processes, purposes and people – discouraging the mentality of trying to hold control of work processes and ‘keeping the spotlight’.

A great idea can be born at any level within the company so giving everyone a ‘seat at the table’ is a positive step forward. After all, who would know the best way a job should be done other than the people who are actually doing the job every day?

The three basic ideas of lean management are:

1.    Delivering value from your customer’s perspective

2.    Eliminating waste (things that don’t bring value to the end product)

3.    Continuous improvement.

To succeed in creating value to the customer, lean management helps as a guide for building a stable organisation that evolves constantly and helps to identify actual problems, so you can remove them. Through lean you should be able to create a stable workflow based on customer demand, while also ensuring that every employee is involved in the process of improving.

The removal of micromanagement and the introduction of a tried and trusted workflow can turn your business around. With improved processes and happier, more fulfilled employees, you can bet on happier customers and increased business.

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