Friday, June 13, 2008

Delusional Project Management

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines Delusion as follows:

"A false belief or incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everybody else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture."

I have seen a number of examples of Delusions in Project Management. One example from a while ago was a client decided while they could not do Project X which had medium complexity and would take 12 months, but could do Project Z that included Project X but do it all in 6 months.

Clearly individuals who are not clinically delusional can gather together into a team and collectively be delusional. I am sure there are many examples of such behavior.

What I am wondering is are there good methodologies for doing organizational psychotherapy to help such organizations and teams perform better?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Building Collaborative Teams

"We found that the greater the proportion of experts a team had, the more likely it was to disintegrate into non-productive conflict or stalemate." This is a statement made by Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erikson in the Harvard Business Review article “Eight Ways to Build Collaborative Teams” from November 2007.

A lot of the projects I am involved with require a large number of experts on very large teams. Some of the projects I am involved have non-productive conflict and stalemate at certain times. However that may be due to selection bias: my expertise lies in large complex projects that are in trouble.

So I would like other readers and contributors to this Blog views on two things:

1. Anecdotal evidence that supports or not the primary thesis: lots of experts leads to non-productive conflict and stalemate.
2. Some specific ways they have mitigated or proactively prevented such conflict from arising.