Select Page
Master class 2:  Project Stakeholder Management

Master class 2: Project Stakeholder Management

WP Symposium Pro - Extensions Plugin
This demonstration has expired, please purchase a licence or uninstall the WP Symposium Pro Extensions plugin - get a valid licence code here.

StakeholderMasterclass

Stakeholder management is all about understanding what influence and interest stakeholders have in relation to your project and then actively managing their expectations.

In this master class Davida van der Walt, Charl Buys and Anton Putter discuss their experience with stakeholders on large capital projects.

Here are some of the questions dealt with:

  • Why is stakeholder management so important in a mega project environment?
  • Who is the most important stakeholder on a project?
  • Why the project manager and sponsor need to communicate extensively.
  • Why the project manager and sponsor should balance strategic decision making with project communication.
  • Who are the internal stakeholders in an organisation?
  • Why engaging early and setting realistic expectations is so important.
  • Who should be engaging with contractors and how is it best coordinated.
  • The difference between managing internal and external stakeholders and the importance of having a proper mandate for the people engaging with external stakeholders.
  • Why communication planning and disciplined execution of the plan is so important.
  • Who on the team is responsible for stakeholder management?

You can view the masterclass from within the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).   And if you have any questions about stakeholder management,  Davida van der Walt is available to help you and answer your questions in the discussion forum.

See you inside the Toolkits.

– The OTC Toolkits Team

Effective teams are high performing teams

Effective teams are high performing teams

WP Symposium Pro - Extensions Plugin
This demonstration has expired, please purchase a licence or uninstall the WP Symposium Pro Extensions plugin - get a valid licence code here.

Much research has been done around the subject “effectiveness of teams”, and it is well known that effective teams are high performing teams.   The question that project sponsors and project managers are faced with, is how to ensure effective project teams stay effective?

The easiest way to explain the model, shown below in Figure 1, is to start with the signs and symptoms of poor team effectiveness. It is crucial for project managers, project sponsors and team leaders to be sensitive to these signs and symptoms.

Generally one would find that the first signs of team ineffectiveness shows up by means of team conflict and misalignment.  These can be considered as early warnings.  If team conflict and misalignment is observed and not addressed, it is likely that absenteeism will increase and safety incidents, burnout and increased personnel turnover will begin to manifest themselves.  These can then result in schedule and quality slip and eventually in cost overruns.  Cost, schedule, quality performance and safety statistics are routinely monitored on all projects, making it easy to pick up on negative trends and performance against benchmarks.

Team conflict, when destructive in nature, should be taken seriously.  Here we are not talking about isolated incidents.  Underlying frustration in the team is normally observed when team members become irritable and impatient.

Misalignment can also seriously hamper a project’s progress.  If decisions are challenged and overridden, it means going back to the drawing board.  Rework is very costly and also leads to significant productivity losses as suddenly the rework needs to be done at the same time as the normal day to day activities.

Team Effectiveness

Figure 1:  Team Effectiveness – An Integrated Approach (van der Walt, 2016)

On projects, these symptoms are typically the result of the influence of one, or more, of four environmental factors, namely the personal wellness of team members, their job environments, the project environment or the larger work environment.   By analysing these four environmental factors, one can pinpoint the causes for poor team effectiveness.

The exciting aspect of this model is that it is an integrated approach to team effectiveness and one can ensure that these factors are proactively planned for and managed. This is done through:

  • effective leadership (project sponsorship);
  • sound project framing and alignment;
  • well planned and executed stakeholder management and communication;
  • effective team development;
  • effective management and control processes and mechanisms;
  • targeted HR interventions; and
  • effective wellness programmes.

OTC has developed a Team Effectiveness Tool (TET) which includes a survey that assesses the signs and symptoms, as well as the environmental factors influencing the team’s effectiveness. The TET also includes a report with clear recommendations on how to address the issues identified in the team in order to ensure team effectiveness, and ultimately improve project team performance.

For the months of March to April we have a special offer which provides you free access to the OTC Stage-Gate and Framing and Alignment Toolkits.  This special offer provides you free access to the practical guides, e-learning and templates.  We are excited to let you know that the Framing toolkit is cpd accredited by ECSA.

To take up this free offer, you can register here

For more practical lessons on team effectiveness, visit the OTC toolkits on: www.otctoolkits.com

Questions?  Suggestions on how we can improve this article?  Comments?  Please leave your thoughts below.

Core Training 4:  Effective teams are high performing teams

Core Training 4: Effective teams are high performing teams

WP Symposium Pro - Extensions Plugin
This demonstration has expired, please purchase a licence or uninstall the WP Symposium Pro Extensions plugin - get a valid licence code here.

Effective Teams High Performing Teams

Have you ever wondered how to enhance your chances of achieving success on your projects? The answer lies in proactively implementing processes and interventions that ensure team effectiveness.  Effective teams are after all high performing teams.  

This toolkit will enable you to get an understanding of the building blocks of effective teams.  You will learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of poor team effectiveness  and the factors that can impact on team effectiveness.   Learn about the proactive measures that you can take to enhance the team effectiveness on your project.

This toolkit is available to all members and the e-learning section consists of 4 modules with subunits containing the practical guide, 7 video recordings (70 minutes), a voice recording (9 minutes) and 6 e-learning supplements packed with practical learnings on projects.  The course is presented by Davida van der Walt who has a Master’s degree in Industrial Psychology, combined with practical experience on mega projects.

Here’s what you will learn:

  1. What constitutes team effectiveness is and how to pro-actively ensure team effectiveness
  2. How the OTC team effectiveness model applies to projects in general
  3. How the various team effectiveness factors contribute to team performance
  4. The basic factors that needs to be in place to secure team effectiveness
  5. Lencioni’s 5 dysfunctions of a team
  6. What an integrated team is and why it is important in a project context
  7. Which competencies should be represented in a project owner team in order to be effective
  8. The difference between leadership and management
  9. Pro-active strategies that can be deployed on a project to ensure team effectiveness and high performance namely: project sponsorship, framing and alignment, team development, stakeholder engagement and communication, management and control, integrated wellness programmes and HR Interventions.

 

This Course is now available to all members and you can access your e-learning from the OTC Toolkits Membership site.  (Log-in required).

 

See you inside the Toolkits.

– The OTC Toolkits Team

Team wellness a challenge on your programme?

Team wellness a challenge on your programme?

WP Symposium Pro - Extensions Plugin
This demonstration has expired, please purchase a licence or uninstall the WP Symposium Pro Extensions plugin - get a valid licence code here.

Programme Management for Owner Teams authors Freek van Heerden, Jurie Steyn and Davida van der Walt explore team wellness on a programme.

Book image Lo Res

 

Programmes tend to pose the following team wellness challenges:

  • Team member’s careers may be seen as stagnant, since they stay in a certain position for a long period of time.  Hence employees tend to become demotivated and disengaged.
  • Programmes typically calls for a lot of travelling.  Inevitably fatigue as a result of extensive driving and flying sets in.
  • Temporary offices and site conditions may be less than ideal and overcrowded and unpleasant working conditions further contribute to work stress
  • Long periods away from home and the family may cause relationship problems and the breakup of marriages.
  • When traveling and working long hours, employees tend to neglect their health and fitness.

 

In reality we have found that there is a significant correlation between team productivity and the extent to which team wellness is pro-actively addressed on programmes.  If programme teams are not nurtured pro-actively, absenteeism and frequent illness tend be prevalent.

 

To ensure healthy and productive programme team members:

  1. Integrated team wellness programmes should be introduced pro-actively.
  2. Programme leadership should invest time and effort into individual and team wellness which contributes to a team feeling cared for and recognised.
  3. A strategy for developing promising individuals can be deployed in the form of is job rotation.  Plan succession planning in a structured way that allows new team members to take over.
  4. Do not oversee team members for promotion, and implement a recognition system on your programme.
  5. If possible, implement a retention bonus system.

 

For more practical lessons on programme management, please take a look at our book on the subject Programme Management for Owner Teams available on Amazon.

Using a stage-gate approach and project framing process to set yourself up for project success

Using a stage-gate approach and project framing process to set yourself up for project success

WP Symposium Pro - Extensions Plugin
This demonstration has expired, please purchase a licence or uninstall the WP Symposium Pro Extensions plugin - get a valid licence code here.

Two key success factors in the development and implementation of a mega capital project are (1) a well defined stage gate modelor approach and (2) an effective project framing process.  Without these in place, your project is set up for failure from the start.

A well defined stage-gate process:

  • Provides sharper focus and improved prioritisation by weeding out poor projects;
  • Helps focus resources (money and people) on the projects that will have the best returns;
  • Improves quality by supporting teams to deliver the right activities right the first time;
  • Supports the team by providing red flags when deliverables are not of the right level of completeness and quality for a given stage, and;
  • Sets the team up for success.

 

One of the first critical steps in the stage-gate process is to frame a project.  Framing and alignment refers to the process whereby the frame and the boundaries of the project are agreed upfront (the project frame) and consequently securing alignment of all key stakeholders.

The opportunity framing meeting outcome is intended to set the scene for the owner’s project management team to land on their feet running. It sets the objectives and boundaries for project team members to proceed without ambiguity. Framing is necessary to understand the needs, calibrate the stakes and set the direction and boundaries for the project organization.

Doing proper framing and alignment at the start of a project and throughout the project life cycle ensures that project managers and engineers working on projects are aligned on the business and project objectives.

In reality we have found that if framing is done well at the start of the project, the project will experience less scope changes and have a greater chance of business success.

For the months of March to April we have a special offer which provides you free access to the OTC Stage-Gate and Framing and Alignment Toolkits.  This special offer provides you free access to the practical guides, e-learning and templates.  We are excited to let you know that the Framing toolkit is cpd accredited by ECSA.

To take up this free offer, you can register here

 

For more practical lessons on stage-gate and framing, visit the OTC toolkits on: www.otctoolkits.com

Questions?  Suggestions on how we can improve this article?  Comments?  Please leave your thoughts below.