Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Silence Fails and Crucial Conversations

I recently came across a fascinating report called 'Silence Fails: The Five Crucial Conversations for Flawless Execution' . If you involved in projects at all, be it as a team member, a project sponsor, project manager or otherwise, I highly recommend that you register and download a copy of the report. To summarise those 5 crucial conversations:

Problem 1: AWOL Sponsors.
65% of project leaders work regularly with sponsors who fail to give the required support, leaving projects stranded and exposed.
Conversation: Project sponsors must communicate, providing leadership and political support.

Problem 2: Fact-free planning. 85% of project leaders are given parameters such as deliverables, budgets and timelines with no opportunity for input.
Conversation: Project leaders must be involved in the earliest stages of planning.

Problem 3: Skirting. 83% of project leaders say their effectiveness is undermined by powerful stakeholders and managers who attempt to skirt decision-making, planning and prioritization processes.
Conversation: Project managers have to stand up and maintain project discipline.

Problem 4: Concealing risk. 50% or more of project managers say team members regularly fail to honestly report project risks. As a result, the team loses opportunities to respond with revised goals, shifted resources or reorganized plans.
Conversation: Team members must be encouraged to speak up.

Problem 5: Team failures. 80% of project leaders are hobbled by direct reports who don't show up to meetings or fail to meet schedules or goals.
Conversation: Project leaders must insist on picking their teams, and they must confront inadequate performers.

I've ordered the book Crucial Conversations and will post my thoughts on it once I get around to reading it (doing a great job of adding to instead of reducing my reading pile right now!).


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