People skills prove just as
important as technical ones on a
By Bernadette Williams, PMP
I realized that forcing the team to change their
business processes would never work. I would be
telling them to fix things that were working perfectly—from their perspective. But by employing
the following three practices, I was able to lead
them to water and get them to want to drink.
1. Sell the vision with passion
The first step in leading your team toward a common goal is articulating a vivid vision for the
project. That said, the adage “more is caught than
taught” is true; people will respond to your actions
more than your words. In order to lead my team
toward standardization, I needed to have a genuine
passion for the project.
I displayed excitement for the opportunity our
team had to make a real difference. The focus of
the team became what we would gain as a result
of standardization, instead of what would be lost. I
The project aimed to implement an online grant
and loan application system based on a com-
mercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product. The cost of
customizing the COTS product would have been
extremely high, so instead, we had to change busi-
ness processes to make the product work.
It’s no small task to help business experts standardize long-standing processes across an organization. Many of these processes had been in place
for years and had been customized to meet the
skills and needs of individual staff members.
Getting It Done PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN ACTION