If you are absolutely dependent on your paycheck to survive, do yourself a favor, don’t be a project leader! In most of the scrappy high-tech organizations that I have worked in, the role of a project leader cannot be successfully filled by anyone who can’t put their job on the line in the pursuit of doing The Right Thing. From the project kick-off, where the project leader may not even be involved, to the attempted premature launch of a less-than-ready-to-ship product, projects run a higgily-piggily route. This real-world path rarely resembles the neat, tidy, well-defined process described in the PMBOK®.
In order to deliver results in the challenging circumstances typical of many business environments, project leaders must be absolutely committed to the success of their projects and leading their team to that success. Frequently they must execute this feat without any explicit support, sometimes with active resistance, and occasionally in the absence of any evidence that the project is indeed possible. This calls for leadership in the face of fearsome challenges. Continue reading
In spite of much rhetoric on the subject, and the holy grail of the triple constraint, you cannot measure your entire worth as a project leader, or the success of your project, purely by whether they are on-time, on-budget, and feature-complete. In fact, to do so could create a negative spiral that further undermines your chances of success.
Marcus Buckingham, of First Break All the Rules fame, argues in The One Thing You Need to Know that people and teams do not perform at their best when they are realistic. Great managers get the best performance from people when they build their self-assurance to the point of helping them to become unrealistically optimistic. And great leaders achieve the best from their organizations when they rally people to a better future and get them to be unrealistically optimistic about the prospects that things will get better.
Optimism is a Strategy
Unrealistic optimism and high self-esteem are key factors in individual and team success. However the project management environment isn’t exactly brimming with unbridled optimism and positive reinforcement. Quite the opposite. Continue reading
In a 3 hour workshop you helped to change people’s attitude about our challenge from something with too many obstacles to starting to see the big prize and plan the first baby steps, in short a transformative experience.
Kimberly took me to the next level in taking on a leadership role. She encouraged me to success.
“It is always a pleasure to work with Kimberly. As an expert in leadership and an experienced instructor, Kimberly brings her great knowledge and first hand experience in innovation and entrepreneurship to her work. She frequently contributes to the TVLP Institute programs for both individuals and corporate clients from 42+ countries. Kimberly recently guided about 70 senior leaders of YPF, the largest Argentinian oil and gas provider, during a Learning Lab intended to promote team cooperation a… Read more
Kimberly is one of the most enthusiastic and up-beat people I have ever worked with. She is driven by the belief that it is more than her job, it is her obligation, to make those around her successful. She is an exceptionally quick study with a firm grounding in science and engineering. Kimberly…easily identifies choke points to progress as well as opportunities for leverage. She is a model of persistence…
Kimberly, I continue to be in awe of your leadership skills. Very impressive!! I am so very pleased with how well our retreat went. I could not have asked for more. Inspirational, transformational, and built our team unlike anything I’ve seen before. You have a gift to bring out the best in people and to help them to believe!
It is delightful to have you work with us. You are already having a positive impact on the whole project situation.
Kimberly helped me create an actionable list that was pure gold. Taking the time to work with Kimberly forced me to articulate the challenges I face and talk through possibilities.
Kimberly is a physicist by training, is active in SDForum and other technical organizations, authored the “Scrappy” Project Management books, is a skilled and engaging facilitator, and is also funny and refreshingly entertaining.
I have known Kimberly for 14 years and had opportunities to work with her at various situations. Her well organized and thoroughly prepared project management skills and convincing argument buildings and negotiation skills amazes me all the time. She is a good leader, coach, and advisor in business management enhancement projects. And she is always fun to work with.
You rocked the house with your presentation this morning on effective communication styles! Because of your energetic yet sensible and practical approach, some very conservative people in the room showed a new side of themselves. This is a tribute to your energizing delivery about how to better communicate and more effectively lead. My hat is off to you!
Books in the Scrappy Guides Series
By Kimberly Wiefling
A Top-selling PM Book!
Scrappy PM Audiobook
Authors: J. Abrams, C. Amos, E. Davie, M-H. Le, H. Kain, S. Lebeck, T. Mui, P. Obuchowski, Y. Shibata, N. Udo, B.J. Waxman, K. Wiefling
By Michael Seese
By Michael Seese
By Michael Horton