Top Project Manager Challenge: Team Motivation
Practice to hire profession project manager (PM) to lead projects is becoming more and more popular in organizations. However, project managers’ scope of responsibilities is usually misunderstood. Yet the belief in that project manager is responsible for project’s success and failure is common among researchers. According to PMBOK (2008) successful project is the one that achieved on time, on schedule, and within the budget; this definition of success identifies only variables that need to be addressed, while there are more pieces to successful project management. According to common definition PM is responsible to ensure project’s “timely delivery, adherence to budget constraints, scope, and quality specifications” (PMBOK, 2008). However, successful project management is more than just following presumed project management methodologies ...view middle of the document...
Lack of formal authority can make it difficult to manage teams. As consequence Heagney (2012) points out that the first skills that project manager needs is people skills; Heagney even goes farther by saying if PM cannot deal with people than he/she should not be PM in the first place.
Project management is not about performing technical job but rather getting people to perform work to meet objectives of the project. It can be difficult to meet project objectives if PM lacks interest in project. Yet it is even more difficult to make others to perform the job if they are not interested, overloaded, uninvolved, feel unappreciated, etc. Whether the team is motivated to meet project’s objectives can make a difference between smooth project progress and the one that is filled with complications.
According to Lindner (1998) motivating the project team is arguably the most difficult function project manager performs simply due to the fact that motivation factors can change constantly. For example, as employee’s salary increases, money becomes less of motivator whereas employee gets older interesting assignment becomes more of a motivator. Motivators also depend on the team’s occupation; for instance, in their research Sharp et al. (2007) found that technical challenges and good tools are main motivators for software engineers.
Team motivation can help PM push the team above and beyond to succeed on the project. In order to use proper motivation techniques PM has to be able to motivate each team member individually and project team as a whole. Proper motivation of individual team member can promote motivation contingency effect within the group whereas motivation of the whole team can provide unity of team member with PM.
In order to understand motivation process better and make possible suggestions for motivation strategies the overview of various motivation theories will be discussed. Motivation matrix (Figure 1) compiled from different researches will be explained. Possible motivation techniques will be suggested.
How can project manager successfully motivate project teams?
Figure 1. Motivation Matrix.