Throughout this chapter we have emphasized that project processes need performance-based management. They do not need micromanagement. The art of effective management involves leading people through processes to improve performance. People have a natural tendency to perform at much higher levels when their leaders help them create and lead them across the Project Performance Bridge. This bridge includes all of the processes associated with “Clearly Defining Success,” “Planning for Performance,” and “Performing.”
As project managers help their team members “Clearly Define Success,” they are in effect helping them see the project specific vision. They are helping the team visualize and prioritize the parameters that will produce success or customer satisfaction. When people catch the vision and have the end in mind, they are much more likely to perform in a manner that will help the team achieve this vision.
Good project managers, who help the team “Plan for Performance,” put in place proper goals and metrics that help the team keep score and track their progress. They also integrate goals, metrics, PSP, and vision with their project baselines. In this way they are truly helping their team prepare to perform in a manner that produces success.
The final aspect of leading the team across the bridge is to “Perform.” Physically acting upon the plan and leading the team through risk and change events is the essence of project execution. Excellence during this portion of a project involves making appropriate assignments, taking appropriate action and requiring a proper accounting of performance from team members. It also requires flexibility and innovation as project managers act as change agents and change leaders to improve the position of the project during risk and change events.
When project managers find themselves getting out of the weeds and leading the team across the “Project Performance Bridge,” they will know they are truly managing project processes – based on performance. And they will better reach the ultimate goal of satisfying the customer.