How Project Managers Manage Diverse Teams Management Essay

When we talk about project manager, the very first thing comes to our mind is captain of a ship who is going to start his journey from the very beginning. So, its all depend on the captain that how he leads in order to sail it through all circumstances. Therefore, the leadership becomes the first essential thing for a project manager but this leading role could be more difficult if the manager has to manage the diversity in terms of perception, coding encoding of thoughts, culture, and personal attributes as well. There are many studies to investigate the project managers’ leadership competencies and most of them have concluded their thoughts in six foremost schools of thoughts i.e. “Trait, Behavior, Contingency, Visionary, Emotional, Intelligence, and Competency school.”(Geoghegan, Dulewicz, 2008 P.59). However, these thoughts are difficult to handle in diverse case and research shows that it is more dependent on the personality of a project manager that how he deal with the situation of diverse project team, because here he not only need to compete with knowledge, but with the personal perceptions and likes and dislikes of people as well.

The role of manager as a leader has a great importance that encourages the people and creates an effective working environment that helps the project team to cope up with the challenges in today’s diversified global economy. Project manager’s leadership roles and responsibilities toward a project team and stakeholders influence the project outcomes and performance. Proper project leadership is vital at all stages of project in order to ensure the success of project. Since of their influential place, we suggest that leaders grip the solution to winning diversity management in teams. It has been widely recognized that diverse project teams have been common in recent years. Diverse team combination is a particular difficulty for clients and project managers. Once they are established, diverse teams are supposed to do better than the teams having the members of the same country. If we talk in the context of project, diversity in team has been established to influence a broad range of vital team results. In global projects, diversity in teams can prompt the trade and giving out of different perceptions and ideas, which can develop team performance and boost work inspiration and contentment regarding to work.

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Diverse work teams are source of variety in terms of quality and productivity as it not only gives new ways to do the things but also help in competing the domestic market of those diverse group people. Project managers competencies are not only the skills to make plans, in fact, in case of diverse team project managers first need to understand the mind set of their workers or at least one should have that much knowledge that can help him to formulate the tasks according to their thinking styles. A competent project manager has the ability to read the minds of their worker and this is only possible if he or she can encode well what the employees expect from him. In other words, he can solve the problem in better way and can communicate well to all the diverse group of employees. Most of the researches have focused more on the communication ability of the project manager, as it can satisfy them in better ways.

Its true that communication is the basic competency for the project manager in managing the project but this research is aiming to evaluate the competency of a project manager in managing the multi diverse team. Here most important thing is not only the managing the multi diverse team but also getting the good result for the project. If the employees are satisfied, it means that project manager is managing them well but does it guarantee that project performance as well. So here, the competency becomes the use of knowledge as well as experience.

Research Question:

The research question for this study is;

“How Project managers’ leadership competencies for managing the multi diverse teams can affect the performance of a project.”

Literature review:

Managing and leading collocation (diverse) teams are very much difficult because of globalization. It is given more focus on creating and maintaining trust (working together) through proper ‘communication’ among team members and project manager. Communication is considered very much important for managers in managing the diverse teams but there are some barriers to it like different time zones and cultural differences (S.Anantatmula, 2010). Close communication is considered critical to the success of fast track projects and a clear, concise statement of project objectives is considered important. People skills focus on fostering a climate of active participation and minimal dysfunctional conflict implies an environment of trust, consistent processes without ambiguity, communicating expectations, and clarity in communications (S.Anantatmula, 2010). The current scenario of globalization has changed the management concept in many ways. It gives wide scope towards different cultures their language barriers, their perception towards the leaders’ behavior and decision. Project manager faces different challenges not only in the understanding of different perceptions but in also converting those perceptions into their actual meanings. The recent research has given it the name of encoding and decoding (Henderson, 2008 P.3 ) According to the definition of a cosmopolitan leader in an “An effective cosmopolitan leader is one who can access the strengths of his or her employees while minimizing the weaknesses.” (Wallace, V.Schmidt, 1997). However, most of the researches are more focusing on the communication gap between the employees and project manager.

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Most of the researches have emphasized more on the communication and personal skills to identify the problems. However, we think that analyzing is one part but taking some corrective action and implementing some positive approach is another aspect. This approach couldn’t be explained only with the communication ability, in fact, for this one need to organize every step of their plan. Sometimes managers only focus on the project outcome, no doubt it’s very important but they can never get the positive result without the complete satisfaction of their employees. Therefore, it really becomes a challenge to align the organizational goal of project performance with the employee satisfaction. For this, managers should also try to encourage social interaction between the teams through trust. Although there are problems in working in a diverse team but through project managers can come to know that which skills are lacking in them and his team to work in that diverse environment, so in this way they can learn lot of new skills and techniques. Project managers have a great responsibility of managing their diverse teams so most of the time in global project, project mangers take so much time to have a proper planning before the initiation of the project to avoid any kind of bad circumstances in his project teams. But mangers don’t give so much importance that how will their disperse team finishes their work(working approach) so lacking this knowledge may cause more time and effort consumption which may also lead to losing the trust between team members and ultimately will cause a bad effect to the performance of the project.

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Now let’s talk about a model which states that “leadership style must adapt to the prevailing cultures and the cultural differences that are present in the project environment” (S.Anantatmula, 2010). As we see that the successful global project management model starts from the ‘culture’ adaptation for team members and manager also which then depends upon the fast and ‘reliable information system’ as well as on the relationship created between diverse team members and project leader/manger through ‘trust’ which then ultimately increases and strengthens the ‘communication’ path which lead to a proper ‘planning execution and control’ of the project which positively results into high level of ‘stakeholders and customer satisfaction’, which means that our project is completed successfully.

Successful global project model (Vittal Anantatmula, 2010)

According to our point of view, there is knowledge gap in the model, which is its ‘validation of the project’. The model is made in keeping in mind the environments of Europe and America but if we talk about Africa and Asia, then we can say that there are lot of differences in the people thinking and doing projects because of diverse cultures. Therefore, before applying the model in global projects, there should be some technique to validate this model that whether this will work or not? Moreover, the project success is considered different from the project management success. Author (S.Anantatmula, 2010)has related project success with overall objectives of the project and on the other hand project management with traditional gauges. According to our opinion, “success” includes both the project success and management success.

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