SPONSORS

SPONSORS

The Business Value of the Soft Stuff[1]

SECOND EDITION

Jocelyn Davis

Nelson Hart LLC, Virginia, USA

Adjunct Professor, Center for Excellence in Project Management,

University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA

________________________________________________________________________

ABSTRACT

When individuals flourish, organizations thrive.  This paper will present the case for project managers to implement positive psychology into routine people management practices to deliver successful projects which meet the triple constraints and enhance the project team’s experience of their work.  To simplify the implementation of these people practices, we will present a well-being at work assessment which links personal resources, management systems, experience of work and functioning at work to organizational outcomes relevant to project management at all levels.

We will explore how your team members can be corporate athletes able to meet the daily challenges of stressful work, how to design management systems which support the team’s best work, how to enhance internal motivation on project teams, and how to enhance employee engagement, flow, satisfaction, and sense of purpose to attain and sustain great project results.  Each element of the well-being at work assessment will be linked to people management practices which drive attainment of key organizational outcomes.

Introduction

The next frontier for the development of project management competence is the development of a body of knowledge and practice which focuses on the sustainable management of people on projects.  A number of piecemeal efforts to do this have been underway for decades:  employee satisfaction surveys, employee engagement, culture assessment, wellness initiatives, flexible work schedules, etc.  Each of these efforts has merit conceptually in its own right, but used individually they lack a philosophical and empirical coherence that can persuade managers and their organizations to create workplaces that support sustainable, exceptional performance and yield the desired individual and organizational results.  Further, this lack of coherence reduces the scope of the actions likely to be taken by organizations resulting in less than satisfactory results.

Simplistic solutions are not sufficient to address inherently complex and dynamic issues involving people at work.

This paper will use a comprehensive model of subjective well-being (SWB) or Happiness at Work ([email protected]) to review the case for, and some selected interventions to enhance, SWB at work. This model considers the individual, their teams or work units, and the overall organization.  This paper case will highlight a few of the many organizational or project outcomes that are empirically linked to SWB in the workplace.  And, it will offer some of the proven interventions which enhance SWB at work.

More…

To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note:  Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 1st Annual University of Maryland Project Management Symposium in College Park, Maryland, USA and included in the conference Proceedings in June 2014.  It is republished here with permission of the author and the Project Management Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland.

About the Author 

pmwj24-jul2014-Davis-IMAGEJocelyn Davis flag-usa

Virginia, USA

Jocelyn Davis is the president and co-founder of Nelson Hart LLC, a women-owned consulting firm.  Nelson Hart works with clients in all sectors to help them develop teams and workplaces where individuals flourish and the organizations thrive.  She believes that each of us has unique strengths and capabilities to bring to our personal and professional lives as individuals and as members of various groups.  She is a leader in efforts to enhance the quality of workplace experiences and the performance of people, teams and organizations. Jocelyn is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA in the Clark School of Engineering’s Project Management Program where she teaches two innovative applied positive psychology courses:  Managing Project Teams and Evolving as a Leader. Jocelyn can be contacted at [email protected].

[1] Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 1st Annual University of Maryland Project Management Symposium in College Park, Maryland, USA and included in the conference Proceedings in June 2014.  It is republished here with permission of the author and the Project Management Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland.