Project Communication and Leadership: Final Journal Entry

1.Given your knowledge and experience at the end of these courses, which course objectives did you master?  (Objectives can be viewed in the Syllabus button).

Given my knowledge and experience at the end of the course which objectives did I master? None, I didn’t master the objectives of the course. I think the question should be did I get a better understand and more in-depth clarification about the relationship between communication and leadership? The answer to that question is yes, I did.

What I did take away from this course was; a better understanding about leadership skills and project management skills and how they both relate to each other. I got a better understanding of the various training and development methods used by organizations in terms of the way they develop and train of project managers, I know more about the various social styles (Assertiveness, Responsiveness – driver, expressive, amiable and analytical) of leadership by type, role, and situation. I know more about and have a better understanding of leadership styles from the quiet to the charismatic leader to the situational leader, the participative leader and transactional Leader. All playing an important on how we look at things and people.

I know more now about the impact that the culture of an organization has on its employees and I know how important the role that it plays is any successful project or organization. I understand more now that culture is what happens when people get together. It tells us how to behave and agree. I have a better understanding the culture of a team and an organization. I know more about its importance and how it affect rules, norms, ethical codes, values and not forgetting attitudes.

These are some of the elements that makes the culture of an organization or team succeed or fail. That’s what I got from the course. I got a better understand of how comes up with a successful plan that imparts leadership and an ability to communicate effectively with project and organizational teams. I have a better understand about the various methods used to communicate using today’s technology. These are some of the things I got from the course; Like anything other principle within project management leadership and communication an on-going process. It’s not something you start then stop. There has to be consistency with both leadership and communication in addition they must be visible and everyone associated with the project should be involved.

It serves both an organizations and project managers better if they make sure everyone (upper management, middle management and all end-users, project team, vendors and stakeholders) are involved not to mentions having the full resources and capabilities needed to support them through any project or business strategy.

So, “mastering” communication and leadership as it relates to project management? No, I didn’t master it. A better understanding on what effective leadership and effective communication  is and what they do and how if followed properly they could  help me going forward, whether it’s in the field of project management or, any other field I might choose or  they can even be beneficial in everyday life. When I look at from that standpoint. Yes, it has been extremely beneficial to me.

2. Given your knowledge and experience at the end of these courses, which course objectives still look troublesome to you?

I don’t know if there is one that looks troublesome but in term of if I would like to further explore one of the objective. I would want to further look at evaluating the role of organizational culture on project leadership and communication. It starts at the top and I would think that everyone involve with a project along with the project team and stakeholders should have a role in communicating and maintaining the project vision throughout the lifecycle of the project. Leadership make a difference, especially with project management.

3. What obstacles did you run into during the course? How did you try to overcome them?

I didn’t run into any obstacle that the text and a fair amount of research couldn’t help me overcome. Not to mention the information provided by the professor in term of additional information.

4. How do you feel here at the end of a term as you look at your efforts and accomplishments?

It’s more than just knowing yourself and in hindsight that is very important. It’s about project managers understanding that they don’t have all the answers and being wrong is not a bad thing. Most project managers don’t like to or wouldn’t admit that they make mistakes but it’s important that your team see you as a person just like them… We all have our faults. Once a project manager understands the concept of self-awareness then they get then they earn the respect of their team.

5. What did you learn this semester and how will you use that in your current or future work?

I learned a number of things this semester. First, they ask the right questions. Project managers should never be afraid to ask questions. They should be afraid to say “NO” They shouldn’t be afraid to be wrong. They don’t have all the answers. They should check their ego at the door.  Second, the best leaders consult with an array of people, with different perspectives, backgrounds and knowledge to predict, assess and manage projects or an organization itself. As an organization of when it comes to leadership there is nothing wrong in consulting with others not only within your own circle but in other in the industries and same sector.  There are some in leadership positions and there are some project managers who believe that they were much smarter than everyone else and they have all the answers and there is no need to ask or talk to anyone, regardless if it’s someone inside or outside their organization. Leadership in these organization perpetuated this type non communicative type of thinking, setting the wrong example for everyone else in the organization. That’s the reason leadership and communication is so important to the success of an organization or project. But, that starts at the top.

Third and what I feel the most effective when it comes to leadership is people of good character. By that I, mean ethics, integrity, values and courage. Organizations and project managers have to make sure that any decisions made are for the good of their organizations, project, project team and their stakeholders.  They have to show the determination to contribute to the good of the organization and or project, the people who follow them.

The importance of communication. Communication is very important. By talking to stakeholders about risk in every context of business, not just what’s happening with the project, offers them your expertise, along with different perspectives in addition to  support for whatever form of risk management plan they being adopted. It is necessary to have a risk management policy and process guide in place to provide the necessary framework and by communicating this allowing everyone to contribute to the identification risks and opportunities, which makes it much easier in terms of engagement from people in other departments. Communication can also resolve any differences between parties, and lead to a better understanding of those differences. When you communicate it builds and maintain trust and confidence. The leadership and communication must be visible, involved and consistent.

Organization similarly to project managers must make sure everyone (project team, stakeholders, upper management, middle management and all end-users) buys into and is involved with the process of providing effect leadership and communication which build trust and confidence with everyone involved. They should also make it part of their core belief to build a culture of collaboration as part of the overall management strategy. The process of building a strong organization starts by creating cohesive teams at every level (top, middle and line managers).They must communicate, educate and build consensus on strategies, directions and goals.

Reference:

Social Styles; 8.13.2013; http://changingminds.org/explanations/preferences/social_styles.htm retrieved on 8.10.2013

Leadership styles; 8.13.2013 http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/leadership_styles.htm, retrieved on 8.10.2013

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