better than you,
“Getting It Done.”
So every month,
PM Network shares
your expertise on
and all project
topics in between.
If you’re interested
Andrew Ritcheson, PMP, is a program manager and
National Institutes of Health practice director at
the consulting firm Attain in McLean, Virginia, USA.
plinary approach. ;at requires the project manager’s leadership. Since not all team members will
feel comfortable working across disciplines, project
managers must take the time to encourage and
A key objective of IPM is to move team members toward a constructive middle space where
their participation is unanchored from these
extreme positions. Here, the team engages in
interdisciplinary dialogue and co-creation, not only
utilizing their own expertise, but looking beyond it
and easily switching back and forth from expert to
novice and teacher to learner.
As the team continues to mature, its members
begin to self-initiate and self-help in less hierar-
chical and project manager-dependent ways. ;e
project manager continues to shape the behaviors
of the group, balancing the competing needs of
team members in di;erent ;elds, while structur-
ing an environment where trust, shared objectives,
structure and guidance are clearly articulated and
consistently maintained. ;e goal is to create an
expert team, rather than simply a team of experts.
;is interdisciplinary approach requires project
managers to shift away from dogged alignment
with rigid and specialty-driven functional structures and instead to concentrate on better managing the spaces in between professions. But the
reward is well worth it: the ability to put a cure for
cancer within closer reach. PM
Since not all team members will feel comfortable
working across disciplines, project managers must
take the time to encourage and coach them.