Book Review: Leadership Skills for Project and Programme Managers
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TSO’s second Focus on Skills book is Leadership Skills for Programme and Project Managers. Since all three books were launched simultaneously, I don’t know which one it is. It’s the second book I’ve read, so it’s my second review.
This was an interesting idea for a book. After all, project managers are not project leaders. I was unsure what the book would cover if it didn’t include Franklin and Tuttle’s Team management Skills.
They tackled this challenge head-on in the opening pages, being very clear about the differences between leadership and management.
The lifecycles are described by PRINCE2 (r) and MSP (r), and the book covers what leadership tasks must be completed at each stage. It is difficult to define what leadership is. Many leaders describe it as a characteristic, rather than describing what they do. However, Franklin and Tuttle are able to show each stage of leadership and the activities that must be completed.
They do this by using a fictional case study and excerpts from interviewees. They even go as far as printing a possible announcement from a project, and analyzing it to show how positive the tone is. These sentences show the human cost to business problems and how the speaker predicts success.
Appendix A, which covers prioritizing leadership actions, is the part that I enjoy the most. It provides an example leadership strategy that covers the different activities of leadership and how much time you should devote each week.
There is so much you should be doing as leader. The authors suggest that you set aside half of your work week for planned leadership activities. It would be difficult to balance project management and leading, but I know that we all have the time.
The book is for “anyone responsible for motivating, motivating, and energizing colleagues to get started with a piece or project, convincing them that they’re on the right track, or encouraging them to see where their work fits into the larger picture” (p3).
This definition includes project sponsors and project managers. Much of the text I see is directed at project sponsors. However, I have never worked with one who could dedicate half their week to my projects. Having said that, project managers must be able to lead.
Large, multinational teams are often our responsibility. If you don’t have the ability to lead, you won’t be able to manage the details. Even if you don’t adapt all of the ideas in this book, you’ll still learn a lot about leading.