By Allia DeAngelis
Program Manager at InContact
Despite the increasing number of tools and resources available to businesses, data consistently show that projects continue to fail at an alarming rate. To mitigate failure, businesses are continually trying new project tools and processes. However, these don’t actually address the real problems but are merely a solution for some surface-level symptoms. To overcome what the real underlying challenges are, project managers need to get to the root of the issues.
This approach should come as no surprise, as the first axiom of the Agile Manifesto is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” Project managers have long understood that tools can never drive the right process and that processes can never take care of your teams. All tools and processes can do is give a focus to the work so projects can move forward. The actual drive and success of the project depend on the people.
If you find your projects or teams are consistently facing roadblock after roadblock, it’s likely there is a leadership and conversation issue. If you cannot have an open and honest conversation about what is holding the team or project back, then it doesn’t really matter which process you adopt. A team that functions well, communicates clearly and is led by an emotionally intelligent manager can easily use any process to succeed.
To keep your projects moving forward toward a successful outcome, it’s imperative that you facilitate critical conversations so you can fix the underlying issues that are holding your team back so they can reach success — regardless of the process you use. Here are some suggestions for how you can get your teams communicating:
Get to the root of the problems
Before your team can really make progress on any project, you all must confront the elephants in the room. These elephants are any reality or truth you or your team don’t want to address and are impeding the progress of your project.
Is there someone on the team who isn’t doing the work you need them to do? Is the team lead not giving the team the help it needs? Do you need to get some perspective and rethink how you’re approaching the project?
About the Author
Allia DeAngelis is a senior program manager at inContact, where she runs cross-functional initiatives and communication across disparate corporate groups and departments. As a Certified Scrum Master with the Agile Alliance, Allia has more than 13 years’ experience driving engineering team communication. She is also a member of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Allia can be contacted at email@example.com.