Hidden Web

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Influencing without authority is one of the hardest skills to acquire. Yet there is a powerful tool that can help PMs understand how to influence effectively. Underneath organization charts and process maps are hidden informal networks: the webs of relationships that underlie all organization activity. People activate these webs in order to solve problems, gain expertise, and innovate. For years, we have known that these networks exist, but haven’t had the tools to leverage them properly. Today, thanks to advances in mathematics and technology, we now have the ability to scientifically identify, map, and analyze networks.

In this lively, interactive session conducted in May 2010 at the Massachusetts Bay chapter of PMI, PMs learned how to identify, nurture, and leverage these informal networks in order to boost project success rates. We looked at the science underlying informal networks and influencing with authority. We reviewed recent findings that show the connections between human network management and project performance.

More at: http://partneringresources.com/organizational-networks-and-organization-performance/

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http://partneringresources.com/it-alignment-resources/

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Hidden Web

  1. 1. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 The Hidden Web Inside the Informal Networks that Drive Project Performance Project Management Institute Central Massachusetts Chapter May 11, 2010 Maya Townsend, Founder Partnering Resources The Point Project P j t managers can improve projects success rates and personal performance if they attend to informal networks 2 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 1
  2. 2. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 Project Success Rates are Not Where They Need to Be… Changes Completed On Time and With Minimal Disruption 5% Gartner, 2001 Percentage of Originally Average Project Cost Defined Features Overrun Delivered 43% 54%* Standish Group * Of which 45% are never used Standish Group 3 Stronger Networks – Project Success Successful Projects Less Successful Projects Very Strong Strong 27% 36% Strong 57% • 93% of successful change initiatives were led by people with very strong / strong personal networks • 73% of less successful change initiatives were led by people with moderate / weak networks 4 Data: NEHRA / Partnering Resources study (2009). Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 2
  3. 3. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 Today’s Talk 1. 1 What are networks? 2. How can PMs use them to improve project success rates? 5 Image: Partnering Resources WHAT IS A NETWORK? 6 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 3
  4. 4. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 What is a Network? Public transportation networks help people travel in cities Computer networks move data from location to location The circulatory system Networks are about movement carries oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from our cells 7 The Simplest Work Network Human networks are also all about movement: The movement of information Sam knows how to answer the question so Mary connects you to Sam You have a You ask Mary at She doesn’t know question the next desk the answer and calls Sam for advice Problem solved! 8 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 4
  5. 5. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 People Form Networks within Teams 9 More People, More Complexity 10 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 5
  6. 6. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 It’s Not Just the Grapevine Social Decision-Making Innovation Expertise Improvement 11 PMs Work Through Informal Networks 12 Image: Rebecca St. James Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 6
  7. 7. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 When They’re Good, They’re Very, Very Good… Healthy networks can… • Adapt q p quickly to change. y g • Withstand stress. • Reorganize without significantly affecting productivity. • Diffuse information easily. • Grow quickly. 13 Case studies: Plastrik & Taylor (2006) and Evans & Wolf (2005). …When They’re Bad, They’re Disaster • Nearly 80% of senior executives surveyed believe that effective coordination across boundaries is crucial for growth… • …yet only 25% say their organizations are effective at sharing knowledge across boundaries b d i 14 Graphic: NetForm. Used with permission. Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 7
  8. 8. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 PMs Need Information “Our organization effectively shares 20% knowledge across boundaries.” “Coordination across 80% organizational lines is crucial for growth.” Percentage of executives in McKinsey poll responding positively to question. 15 Data: Cross, Martin, & Weiss, McKinsey Quarterly, 2006. Networked Leaders are More Successful Successful Projects Less Successful Projects Moderate 7% Weak Very 18% Strong Strong 27% 36% Strong 57% Moderate 55% • 93% of completely successful change initiatives were led by people with very strong / strong personal networks • 73% of less successful change initiatives were led by people with moderate / weak networks 16 Data: NEHRA / Partnering Resources study (2009). Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 8
  9. 9. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 HOW CAN PROJECT MANAGERS USE NETWORKS TO IMPROVE PROJECT SUCCESS RATES? 17 Four Techniques 1. Know your networks 2. 2 Build t B ild strong networks t k 3. Understand the project network 4. Build your project network 18 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 9
  10. 10. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 1. Know Your networks 19 Image: Partnering Resources. A Popular Network Myth I already know what’s going on in my network 20 Image: Stephenson, “Trafficking in Trust” in Coughlin, Wingard, & Hollihan, 2005 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 10
  11. 11. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 Map Your Network and Identify Gaps 21 Image: Credit unknown. 2. Build Strong Networks 22 Image: Barry Wellman, “The Network Community: An Introduction to Networks in the Global Village. Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 11
  12. 12. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 A Common Tip for Network Building 23 Another Way to Network High Performers… • Invest in relationships with sources of information and helpful critics • Build relationships that span organizational levels • Position themselves at key points in the network and leverage p p around them g people People who serve as bridges are for implementation more likely to be in the organization’s top 20% of performers 24 From Cross, Thomas, & Light, “How Top Talent Uses Networks and Where Rising Stars Get Trapped” and Groysberg, Lee, & Abrahams, “What It Takes to Make ‘Star’ Hires Pay Off” Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 12
  13. 13. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 Key to Building Your Network 25 Photo: Sizumaru’s Photo Stream, Flickr. The Minimalist Approach 1. 1 Schedule 1 coffee meeting / month 2. Forward 1 email / week 3. Walk around the office and talk with people 1 time / day 26 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 13
  14. 14. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 Watch Out for Network Traps The bottleneck The biased learner The disconnected Image: Gijs van Kooten expert The surface networker Image: Gijs van Kooten 27 Cross, Thomas, & Light, “How Top Talent Uses Networks and Where Rising Stars Get Trapped 3. Understand Your Project Network • How does information flow within your project team? Where is it blocked? • Who are the ad hoc decision- makers? • Who has expertise needed to solve problems? • Who can make things happen? 28 Image: Nancy Margulies (www.nancymargulies.com) Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 14
  15. 15. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 An Example 29 Images: Partnering Resources using NetForm™ Connectors software. How to Understand a Project Network 1.Map the network by hand 2.Map the network using ONA software 3.Ask 10 people you trust: Who do you trust to get things done? 30 Image: Adapted from Cross, Borgatti, & Parker, “Making Invisible Work Visible: Using Social Network Analysis to Support Strategic Collaboration.” Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 15
  16. 16. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 4. Build Your Project Network 31 Use Multiple Techniques Ask informal leaders Leverage personal Understand what the to help support the contacts to help get grapevine has to say change things done about change Brainstorm or explore Strategize how to Get feedback on ideas associated with overcome planning or l i documents, approach, d t h the change with implementation and aspects of the people outside the obstacles initiative before rollout change team 32 Data: NEHRA / Partnering Resources study (2009). Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 16
  17. 17. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 Key Takeaways • Stronger networks : better performance • Understand U d t d your networks and your gaps t k d • Understand and build the project network • Nurture relationships with information sources, helpful critics, and boundary spanners 33 Let’s Leverage Our Networks! What stands out as most relevant to your work? What questions do you have? 34 Image: Nancy Margulies (www.nancymargulies.com) Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 17
  18. 18. Presentation to PMI, Central Massachusetts Chapter 5/11/2010 About the Presenter • Founder of management consulting firm Partnering Resources. • S Specializes in identifying the hidden web of relationships that d i i li i id tif i th hidd b f l ti hi th t drive organization performance and helping leaders reach across the “white spaces” to develop solutions that stick. • Client list includes Alcatel-Lucent, eCopy, eTeck, Fidelity, Financial Profiles, Hanover Insurance Group, Merrimack Pharmaceutical, and Novartis, as well as public and third sector companies such as Andover / Phillips Academy, Close to Home, National Air and Space Administration, National Braille Press, and Project Harmony. • Teaches leadership, strategy, and alignment at Boston University Corporate Education Center and Northeastern University. • Published by CIO Com Chief Learning Officer, Mass High Tech, and other CIO.Com, Officer Tech magazines and journals. • Serves on the Editorial Review Board for OD Practitioner, the premier organization development practitioner journal in the United States. • Likes chocolate a lot. Contact: 617.395.8396 o maya@partneringresources.com o www.partneringresources.com 35 References Articles & Research • Cross, R., Borgatti, S.P., & Parker, A. (Winter 2002). “Making Invisible Work Visible: Using Social Network Analysis to Suppo t Strategic Co abo at o California a age e t e e Support St ateg c Collaboration.” Ca o a Management Review. • Cross, Martin, & Weiss (2006). “Mapping the Value of Employee Collaboration. McKinsey Quarterly. • Kleiner, A. (2002). “Karen Stephenson’s Quantum Theory of Trust.” strategy + business. Available at www.strategy- business.com. • Stephenson, K. (2005). “Trafficking in Trust.” In Enlightened Power (Coughlin, Wingard, & Hollihan, ed.). Available at www.drkaren.us/KS_publications01.htm. • Townsend, M. (2009). “Leveraging Human Networks to Accelerate Learning.” Available at bit.ly/3V0iF4. • Townsend, M. (2008). “The Three Most Important Positions You Don’t Know About Yet.” Available at www.partneringresources.com/resources.html. • Townsend, M. & Yeung, S. (2009). “Informal Networks Linked to Change Success.” Available at bit.ly/17wANX. • Evans & Wolf (2005). “Collaboration Rules.” Harvard Business Review. Books • Anklam, P. (2007). Net Work: A Practical Guide to Creating and Sustaining Networks at Work and in the World. • Cohen, D. & Prusak, L. (2001). In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work. • Cross, R., & Parker, A. (2004). The Hidden Power of Social Networks: Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations. 36 Partnering Resources www.partneringresources.com | 617.395.8396 18

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