5.1: 5 Working with People on Projects -- Project Management for Instructional Designers
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5 Working with People on Projects
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This chapter aligns with Chapters 3 and 9 of the PMBOK and 18% of the CAPM questions come from these chapters. The content connects to the Planning and Executing category of the PMP questions.
Few skills are more essential to the project manager than the ability to lead, inspire, and manage people effectively. By effectively managing relationship dynamics and enhancing communication among team members, a project manager can contribute enormously to the success of any given endeavor. Moreover, as project scope and complexity increase, these skills become increasingly important lest the project fall into a tangle of petty factions and unclear expectations.
Some of the key skills include:
- The ability to work well with individuals. This includes skills such as responsiveness to the needs and motivations of team members and the ability to effectively negotiate and resolve disputes.
- The ability to create effective team dynamics. The project manager must take the lead in ensuring that trust and accountability are engendered, developing goals, effectively managing meetings, and monitoring team progress.
- The ability to create a project culture. Successful project cultures are characterized by a strong shared vision of success and a consistent set of values that guide members of the project team in their independent decision making.
The concepts discussed in this chapter are not meant to be an exhaustive description of the skills required to successfully work with people on a project, but instead are meant only as a starting point. Some students of social dynamics mistakenly think that they can learn people skills solely from what they read in a book. This notion would be tantamount to an aspiring violinist hoping to learn the instrument by reading about music theory without ever physically touching the instrument! The principles that follow are the groundwork as you begin to build your own mental map of what effective people management and leadership looks like.
Note for ID: Effective people management is perhaps more important within instructional design than it is within a more prototypical setting, such as within a software company or building construction business. Instructional design projects are often characterized by small teams, vaguely specified client deliverables, the requirement to work closely with many individuals who do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the project, such as the subject matter experts (SMEs), and oftentimes a limited budget. Although no specific domain of project management has a monopoly on difficulty, the instructional design project manager has his or her own unique set of challenges and needs – especially when it comes to working with people.
Designers Share Their Experiences
Dr. Andy Gibbons – Instructional Psychology and Technology – BYU
Heather Bryce – Independent Studies – BYU
Dr. Larry Seawright – Center for Teaching and Learning – BYU