people start looking at you differently.
You need to be at the center of the
aggravation and accept [being] the target of people’s discontent. That way
the team sees that you mean business.
You’re not hiding away in your office,
and they can trust you.”
Keeping team members on board
can be particularly tough in societies
with close-knit communities opposed
to a controversial project, says Paul
Kamgang, PMP, CEO of Africa
Project Management Consulting in
“With projects in West Africa, the
key challenge can be to keep up the
morale of team members when they
are being challenged by the local community,” he explains. “It’s important
to keep focusing on why the project is
Some people will need convincing.
“Effective communications within
the team and with stakeholders from
early on in the planning process can
resolve most controversies,” says Mr.
Kamgang. “The problems we typically
encounter mostly stem from a lack of
understanding of the projects’ goals.”
To take over leadership of
a controversial project, you
need to accept ownership
Having a cohesive core team can
help pull a project through those crisis
periods, says Tom Johns, Ph.D., PMP,
founder and chairman of the advisory
council at Business Management
Consultants, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
“The commitment of team members to each other can outweigh and
transcend what the media or politicians
are saying,” he says. “Confidence in a
controversial project improves over a
period of time when you actually prove
it is working.” PM