12 October 2010

How Will You Measure Your Life?

"Knowing what tools to wield to elicit the needed cooperation is a critical managerial skill." 

In an HBR article entitled How Will You Measure Your Life? Clayton M. Christensen describes models he uses to manage his life. His three main goals; to find happiness in his work life, to ensure family relationships prosper and to stay out of jail.

Along the way he raises this model for managing organisational conflict; Agree on what is important, and agree on how to get there. It struck me that there may be something in there for managing project teams and stakeholders.

What do you do if people disagree on what the project’s goal is?

There are probably many answers and I’d love to hear your suggestions, but the first thing that came to mind was the ‘selling the vision’ work we often speak about.

And what do you do if people disagree on the path?  Again, my mind leapt to a fairly simple answer; coach people. Is there a better way?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:18 am

    I thought of two things. One, you need to know the strategic direction of the organization (or group) first. That should drive the project goal. If it's not helping the organization achieve its objectives, it's probably not the right goal. So perhaps a "method" here would be to compare the different visions of the goal with the strategic direction. I think this is related to "sell the vision."

    Two, I know a lot of organizations are more collaborative and perhaps make decisions on teams. But, someone has to have the authority to referee and make a call on the (hopefully) correct project goal. Perhaps it's the job of the project manager to know when to pull this authority in.