A project manager has a significant place to direct the project on the path of success and achieve the objectives and goals through optimum utilization of available resources (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011). If a project manager expects a team to exercise their own judgment, the project manager must provide the team with decision making experience. In order to give experiences, project managers should develop a strong and positive relationship with the team members by giving value to their perceptions and views in the decision making process (Kerzner, 2009).
For giving understanding about project conditions, sharing past experiences, and building a foundation for strategic thinking, firstly, project managers should develop an effective, two way communication process with the team members so that project manager can describe the boundaries of the work to associates involved in the project directly as well as indirectly (Powell & Buede, 2009). Through this, project managers can predetermine the strategy and course of actions within the environment. In addition to this, it can be helpful for the manager to define role and responsibilities of each member of the team. As per the case study, Dodge, the foreman of the team of fire fighters, was not able to give clear directions to all the fire fighters due to their apparently poor judgment and lack of decision making skills.
According to Drummond (2001), a person should have the abilities of using some sort of sense to respond when faced with a critical situation. Thus, expectations of both team members and project managers alike will also align with their abilities, responses and acts that are performed by them. A project manager should have team-leading abilities to all the team members through establishing direction, aligning people to that direction, motivating them and inspiring them in order to fulfill their responsibilities and implement significant actions and strategies during emergencies and critical situations (Thompson, 2004). This would improve the abilities of members to use their senses to face a critical situation instead of waiting and following instructions, which happened in the case of Mann Gulch Fire.
As given in the case study of Mann Gulch Fire, the fire fighters were not fully prepared to make the decisions necessary when they were faced with this critical situation. Add the fact that they all lacked team coordination, totally ignored the instructions of Dodge, their leader, as they apparently did not have trust in him. Also, coming back to their skill set, and they were unable to utilize their own skills, which ended horribly due to lack of effective communication and coordination (Rothermel, 1993).
Project managers should follow a transformational and participative leadership style and respect the team members and their talents (Northouse, 2009). It is important to influence the team to work together and respect each other’s point of view. The experiences of one’s own judgment in the team can be developed when project manager discusses a problem with them, ask for suggestions and implements the best suggestion given by them. In order to share the past experiences, project manager should organization regular meetings and events with the team members, so that they can discuss their experiences, ambitions, working styles, etc. This will also beneficial to develop trust and confidence among team members (Kerzner, 2009). Sharing experiences and knowledge will also help them to better develop their intellectual abilities in strategic manner (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011).
Lack of effective communication and mutual understanding can create conflicts in the team. If the team members do not have complete understanding about the goals and objectives, the conflict can occur at the initial level, which can be a cause of project failure (Powell & Buede, 2009). Thus, project managers should use his/her transformational skills to...
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