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Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams by Terry Schmidt

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10
Managing the People Dynamics
If we don’t worry about who gets the credit, just think how much we can accomplish.
—Ronald Reagan

The Heart and Soul of Projects

We sometimes equate project management with the visible planning artifacts—timelines, budgets, and reports. But the heart and soul of every project concerns people—their relationships, skills, and ability to work as a team. Shrewd project managers focus their attention from day one on understanding the human dynamics of every step, and even anticipate probable human interactions as the project unfolds.
Putting people first boosts your probability of success. Consider this key premise: How you develop a project plan and who you involve is as important as the actual plan itself. People who perceive themselves as co-creators of a vision are more positively involved and committed. The challenge lies in getting that critical buy-in and maintaining stay-in.

Engaging Your Key Stakeholders

Paul Newman, playing an aging pool hustler in the movie The Color of Money, revealed his secret of success to his protégé, played by Tom Cruise: “I’m a student of human moves.” Becoming a master student of human moves by applying psychology is critical for any successful project leader. Understanding people’s interests, nurturing relationships, and building a supportive coalition is as crucial as managing tasks, budget, and schedule.
Do your initial stakeholder analysis early and update it often as the project evolves with emphasis on ...

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