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    • 1. Unspoken Fears What Gives Brave Project Managers Nightmares Dhanu Kothari President, D2i Consulting Co-presenter: Romeo Mitchell President, Bold TCM GroupKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 1
    • 2. The Universe is hostile to the success of your projects What are your “unspoken fears” and what are doing about it?Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 2
    • 3. Unspoken Fears Nightmare Scenarios 1. Change in Management/ Sponsorship 2. Unrealistic deadline or expectations 3. Uncooperative client and stakeholder 4. Key resources transferred or terminated 5. De-motivated/ Difficult team members 6. Culture of fear - Pressure to ignore risks 7. Ever-changing client requirements 8. Organizational Politics – the hidden agenda 9. Visible roadblocks – Sponsor with no clout 10. Estimating Assumptions; Level of confidence 11. Mgt. misinformed (viability, timing, status) 12. Refusal to accept that the project needs help Worries & fears . . . . . . can lead to chronic stressKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 3
    • 4. Expectation of Failure1. Projects do and will fail2. A mindset issue3. Often burdened with right from the start4. Anticipation of failure … … built into the project from the very beginning!5. Fear of being exposed6. Protect negative view of ourselves7. Fear of perfection – If I want something done right, I have to do it myself8. Fear of things being out of control9. Fear of not being respected10. Fear of failure – what if it doesn’t work?11. Fear of ReprisalKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 4
    • 5. Manifestations of Fear1. Associated with core beliefs about ourselves2. Leads to Stress resulting in wear and tear.3. “Consequence of the failure of an organism to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined. “ H. Seyle4. Even a thought can set off the same response mechanism that would be in play while standing in front of a hungry lion.5. Deming’s 14 points applied to Project Mgt. # 8 – Drive out Fear and Create TrustKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 5
    • 6. Stress Contributors PM Role/Position Inherent Stress Organizational People-related Stress StressKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 6
    • 7. Stress Contributors 1. Unrealistic Deadlines 2. Project Risk Factors 3. Management Pressure 4. Conflicting Situations 5. Project Environment 6. Completion 7. Career ExpectationKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 7
    • 8. Effects of Stress 1. Headaches 2. Short Temperedness 3. Upset Stomach 4. Low Morale 5. Cardiovascular Disease 6. Psychological Disorder 7. Musculoskeletal Disorder 8. Workplace Injury 9. Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers 10. Impaired Immune FuctionKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 8
    • 9. Managing Stress 1. Level Set - Align expectations with reality 2. Explore why things bug you - Introspection 3. Strive for a well rounded life 4. You are not your career 5. The project is not you, and - You aren’t the project!Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 9
    • 10. Techniques for Managing Unspoken Fears 1. Make a list – Act of writing is a therapy 2. Focus on realistic issues Vs. imaginary 3. Discuss with a trusted advisor/mentor 4. Ask for help; Alert client of situation 5. Present “bad news” with alternatives 6. Reserve time slots to address/ worry 7. Establish network in the organizationKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 10
    • 11. Managing Unspoken Fears The Eight Steps 1. Ask yourself:  What specifically am I worried about?  How would it have an impact on me?  What are my rational & irrational fears about this situation?  What am I able to do about this situation?  What are others able to do about it? 2. Get accurate facts and information  Worry is often based on worst-case scenario thinkingKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 11
    • 12. Managing Unspoken Fears The Eight Steps 3. Challenge your irrational fears 4. Engage in something you enjoy to interrupt your worry 5. Discuss with a trusted friend or mentor 6. Stop & focus on the here and now. 7. Try “thought stopping” Reserve “Worry Time” Limit your worry to the time 30 minutes max. 8. Believe in yourself and your teamKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 12
    • 13. Is There a Better Way … … to make sense out of situations to see significance?1. A certain degree of detachment from immediate perception is a crucial inner resource2. Take a step back; understand the bigger picture3. Not taking it personally . . . It ain’t about you! It’s all about people, process and the project! “Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion for the real truth” – Abraham Maslow Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 13
    • 14. Creative Detachment Mind Body medicine - Make yourself relax physically Turn your attention inward to relax the mind Seven Steps 1. Find a quiet place for relaxation 2. Close your eyes 3. Relax your muscles from top to bottom 4. Breathe slowly & focus on the breath 5. Witness everything & judge nothing 6. Visualize - Absorbing energy with “Inhale” - Releasing stress & tension with “Exhale” 7. Repeat for 10-15 minutes Outcome Detachment from the outer physical worldKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 14
    • 15. Holistic Fitness & Resiliency 1. Make connections 2. Help yourself by helping others 3. Maintain a daily routine 4. Take care of yourself 5. Give yourself a “news” break 6. Have a plan 7. Prepare a security kit 8. Nurture a positive view of yourself 9. Keep things in perspective 10.Maintain a hopeful outlookKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 15
    • 16. Comprehensive Soldier Fitness US Army CSF Program Emotional Physical Social Spiritual Family NASA PM Challenge 2012 16
    • 17. 5 Ways Project Managers Don’t Lose Their Minds 1. You’ll never be caught up. Stop trying 2. You’ll never make everyone happy 3. Get it off your chest 4. Practice the art of saying “no” 5. Explore the concept of hidden costsKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 17
    • 18. Dealing with Unknown Fears Essential Skills and Competencies 1. See the big picture 2. Focus on managing expectations 3. Bias towards action 4. Engage the Client 5. Understand client needs & objectives 6. Adhere to PM Fundamentals 7. Enjoy the PM roleKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 18
    • 19. Dealing with Unknown Fears Behaviourial Characteristics 1. Problem solving culture 2. Coaching Project team members 3. Having a risk Management plan 4. Process for Decision making 5. Promoting good team interaction 6. Belief in Project purpose and plans 7. Driven by Team ValuesKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 19
    • 20. Preventing project failure Good analysis as part of continuous cycle of Project Management1. Measurable benchmarks for progress at key milestones2. Comparing actual progress against the benchmarks3. Highlighting the variances at the milestones4. Reporting variances to team members & Sponsors5. Where the variance is negative: - Taking action to get back on track with the plan or, - Changing the operational plan, if justified Solution Follow the Best Practices & eliminate worry that "...Gives Brave Managers Nightmares.”Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 20
    • 21. Overcoming Failure Complacency Lessons Learned Success Good-Will VectorSyrupy Leadership 1. Strong leadershipSweet Zone 2. Supporting PMO 3. Cultural bias to Leadership succeed Zone 4. Communication highlighting successes Brutally Honest HonestyKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 21
    • 22. Lesson 1… Make it Relevant Mgt./ Project Business Steering IT Strategy Committee Strategy Vendor Executive Project Sub- Sponsor Champion ContractorInternal Project Client Stake- Client Manager Organizationholders External Stake- holders Project Client Team Team Consultant Team Team Solution. Team ArchitectKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 22
    • 23. Lesson 2 – Make it Meaningful Shoot the Willful Messenger Deception & Filtering Wishful Info. Thinking Psychology of Denial Org. Suppress Culture Bad News Failure to Speak Up Psychology of DenialKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 23
    • 24. Lesson 3 – Make it Visible Example: OS Migration Project Roadmap Define XP Hardware Planning & Delivery Security Develop User Conduct User Template Training Training Project Develop ProjectApproval Initiate Contract for Define XP Install Complete Hardware Acquisition User Policies Scripts Train Help DeskAssemble Hold Gather Identify Prepare Conduct Conduct Project Kick-off Apps High Pr. Develop Test Conduct Conduct SW Del. Pilot User Team Meeting Inventory Apps Method for Apps App Test User Test Object Migration Migration Define  Repeat process for Each App  Conduct COE for Post Gather/Analyze Office, Test & Finalize SW Impln. HW Assets Info. XP and Distribution Method Review Upgrades, Outlook New & Refresh Set Up Test Lab Install & Test Define Publish For App.Testing Data Migrn & Migration Migration Backup Tools Process Schedule Focus on the Critical Path, Major Milestones, Deliverables, Dependencies and Activities
    • 25. Lesson 4 – Make it Formal 1. Project CharterIf it’s not documented, 2. Project Organization Work Breakdown - WBS it doesn’t exist! 3. 4. Major Milestones 5. PERT/ Dependency 6. Detailed Estimates/ Schedule 7. Deliverables/ Responsibility 8. Resource Plan 9. Financial Plan 10. Risk Management Plan 11. Project Quality Plan 12. Project Control Plan 13. Project Communication Plan 14. Change Management Plan 15. Acceptance Plan 16. Contract Mgt. Plan 17. Work Assignments 18. Status Reports 19. Minutes of Meetings 20. Escalations & Issue Mgt. 21. Sign-offs/ Completion Reports 22. Business Benefits Validation 23. Supporting DocumentationKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 25
    • 26. Lesson 5 – Make It Easy Manage Project Deliverables with the “RACI” Chart Work Package/ Deliverable Work Pkg # 1 - Deliverable 1 A R I C MM/DD $ - Deliverable N I C A R $ Work Pkg # 2 - Deliverable 1 C I R A $ - Deliverable N A C I R $ Work Pkg # N - Deliverable 1 R A C I $ - Deliverable N R A I C $ R : Responsible for the Deliverable A : Accepts/ Approves the deliverable C : Must be Consulted I : Needs to be InformedKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 26
    • 27. Lesson 6 – Make It Work For You How We Communicate Non- Verbal Written E-Devices Visual Aids Verbal• Body Language • Project Kickoff • Project Documents • PDA’S • Graphs• Expressions • Client Review Requirements thru • Data Devices • Charts• Hand Shake • Project Review Final Assembly, • Intranet/ • Slides• Posture • Performance Test & Operations Internet • Pictures• Eye Contact Review • Manuals for User, • Project Servers • Posters• Listening • Status Update Operations & Trng. • Web-based Rpt. • Video Clips• Dress/ Attire • Presentations • Change Requests • Cell phone • Logos• Interest/ Attention • Project Selling • E-Mail Messages • Pager • Conference Call • Management Reports • Phone Call • Contracts • Interviews • Agendas • Meeting Minutes • Status Reports • Newsletters • Promotion/ Publicity Leverage different modes & styles
    • 28. Lesson 7 - Make it Effective Impact on Effectiveness of Verbal Communications How we say it What 38% 7% we say Body Language 55% Reference: Social Intelligence by Karl AlbrechtKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 28
    • 29. Lesson 8 – Make The Toolkit 1. Business Case & Project Charter 2. Project Organization Chart 3. Work Breakdown Structure 4. Dependency Chart & Critical Path 5. Major Milestones, Work Packages, Deliverables & Updated Schedule 6. RACI Chart (Responsibility Matrix) 7. Risk Assessment & Risk Plan (Top 3 Risks) 8. Financial Plan with the Six Measures (TBC, CBC, CAC, CEV, ETC, VAR) 9. Change Order Requests (Most Critical) 10. Status Reports, Issues & Escalations If you are not using these, then what exactly are you using to manage your project?Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 29
    • 30. Lesson 9 – Make It Personal Insulate the Team from Org. Politics & Management Issues  Client interface responsibility  Focus on individual deliverables  Awareness of stakeholder expectations  Continually sell the project  Manage internal & external politics - Budget, Buy-in, Approvals, Resources - Dept. Goals, Priorities, CommitmentKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 30
    • 31. Lesson 10: Make It Fun Enjoy the Politics “Having the organizational savvy to get your ideas and recommendations accepted” Good politics . . . the art of meeting members’ needs, solving problems & communicating recommendations … to influence project direction towards its intended outcome.Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 31
    • 32. Lesson 11: Make It Unique  Structured & meaningful communication  Formalized process for delegation, escalation, resolution etc.  Inclusive culture of “problem resolution”  Focus on the process. . .not personality!  Value differentiation - Excellence, Integrity, Learning, Serving? What is unique about your Project Team?Kothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 32
    • 33. Lesson 12 – Make it Focused Relax … It’s not your fault! Speech: 250 words/minute Hearing: 750 words/minute Brain CPU: 10K-50K words/minute Listening Skills … Channel Excess Capacity to the conversationKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 33
    • 34. Lessons Learned – Summary Make it Consistent Make it Easy Make it Effective Make it Focused Make it Formal Make it Fun Make it Meaningful Make it Personal Make it Relevant Make it Unique Make it Visible Make it Work for YouKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 34
    • 35. Dealing With Unspoken Fears May I have the courage today To live the life that I would love, To postpone my dream no longer But do at last what I came here for And waste my heart on fear no more. - John O’DonohueKothari@D2i.Ca NASA PM Challenge 2012 35