Project managers in the organizational paradigm are primarily responsible for carrying all of the processes and tasks that are included in the project development process, on their shoulders.
They are the backbone of the whole shebang and without them, everything will go to waste.
As we all know, that the primary objective of the project managers is to complete all of the projects in their roster at the appropriate time with just the resources that are in the resource pool.
But that doesn’t mean that they get ignore the most important element related to the whole process, the people.
The development team members and all the other people associated with the project are the most important resource in the resource pool, as they have to make sure that all the tasks, reports, risks, project deliverables, and objectives are catered to.
So, it’s a no-brainer that when it comes to good project management, you need to have a high-functioning team that can deliver the project on time, and also makes sure that it syncs with the expectations of the clients and the company.
But which one is more crucial? In this article, we are going to talk about Project management vs People management to find out which one is more crucial, what sets them apart and how we can bridge the gap between the two.
Project Management vs People Management – Who Wins?
This is an interesting debate, because most of the time when you talk about this to the project managers of the organizational paradigm, they reply by saying that people management is an integral part of the whole project management process, but still not that important.
We are here to tell you that if you are a manager who thinks that people management is a small part of the project management process and doesn’t deserve its solo recognition, you are in for a surprise as the project development process is going to be harder and harder down the line.
But if you are a manager who puts people management above everything else when it comes to managing their project, then you are going to be on track the whole time and you are going to have a project with little to no issues.
This is because the success of the project is always in the hands of the people that are managing the everyday tasks and activities of the whole development process, and not just the resources that they use while doing their work.
Why Project Managers Screw-up While Managing their Human Resources?
Over the years, the whole process of project management has evolved drastically from a single-threaded process to a multi-layered behemoth.
This whole procedure has also become more complex because the project managers have to rely on technology and other tools to bring efficiency and reliability to the table when it comes to work-related processes.
Even though there are many different tools and technologies which can help a project manager complete their work easily and effectively, many of the projects that they work on, end up as huge failures.
Why? Because of faulty human resource management.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why project managers are unsuccessful when it comes to managing their human resources.
1. Clash of Diverse Personalities
In a development team, there are always many different kinds of people that come from various races, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, and various genders.
What project managers fail to realize is that they should all be treated the same way and there should be a policy that forbids discrimination. But when there isn’t such policy and there are clashes in the team, the project managers can’t do anything but watch while the team deteriorates.
2. Communication Issues
Whenever there are complications or problems in development or any other type of team, 90% of the time it is because of faulty communication between the team members.
Poor communication has always been the cause of suspicion, misunderstanding, and intra-team conflicts, and as a project manager your need to eradicate that.
You need to create more communication channels and fix the old ones while making sure that every single piece of information that is relevant to the project, is circulated throughout the company without any gaps or missing links.
3. Vagueness over Job Responsibilities
There are always animosity and confusion between the team members when the project managers fail to make sure that everyone in the company knows what they have to do in the whole project development process.
This happens when there is a lack of communication between the project managers or when they fail to assign the relevant tasks to the relevant people. This ultimately results in vagueness over job responsibilities and causes the team members to lose the respect of their managers.
4. Inadequate Support
Most of the projects in the organizational paradigm are stalled or eradicated due to poor management by the project managers or the senior management.
This happens when the senior management or the project managers fail to support the development team with rapid-decision making and as a result, the development team fails to complete the goals and milestones set for them.
5. Unrealistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations are a very common but serious issue when it comes to people management and project management. In order to get the best results possible, the upper management or the project managers push their development teams to the edge thinking that they can handle it.
But 90% of the time this strategy blows up in their faces and they lose some amazing team members without whom the project is unable to survive.
6. Weak Workplace Culture
Another important issue that plagues every single office and project development team, is the weak workplace culture.
It’s this weak workplace culture that causes team members to feel like they are not an integral part of the team or the organization, and they lose interest and the team spirit to work for that company.
If this happens, then the project manager should buckle up, because this generally doesn’t stop with just one employee leaving the company.
Let’s now take a look at how we can bridge the gap between project management and people management and how we can make them work together for the benefit of the company.
How to Bridge the Gap between Project Management and People Management?
As we discussed earlier, people management is one of the most important soft skills that a project manager should have if they are a pro in their field of work. This is because managing human resources is certainly a crucial step in achieving much bigger organizational milestones and goals.
So how can we eradicate project management vs people management and bring them closer? How we can bridge the gap between the two so that we can enjoy better outcomes? Let’s find out.
1. Understanding the Dynamics of Basic Human Behaviour
The first thing that you need to do as a project manager is to make sure that you understand the workings of human behavior. You need to understand that all of the team members have their unique personalities, and that’s for a particular reason.
That reason can be a lot of different things like family pressure, working environment, religious or cultural beliefs, or all of the above. You just can’t know for sure which one.
What you can know is how you can make your employee happy by understanding them on a basic human level, which will ultimately result in better performance by the employee and better employee retention in the future.
2. Give Your Team the Necessary Autonomy
Most of the time in a project development process, the team members feel quite suffocated and displeased when they are not given the freedom that they deserve while doing the things entrusted to them.
They have to ask about every single activity that whether or not they should perform it, by their managers. This is wrong.
The project managers need to give their team members the necessary freedom to ensure that they love what they do and ultimately bring more value to the company without any obstacles or hurdles.
3. Improve Team Communication
Communication is key when it comes to project management and it is certainly important when it comes to people management.
A good project manager will always make sure that the communication between the team members is immaculate and there are no gaps in information transmission.
Because when they do that, everything becomes easy and the project development process is started and finished without any lasting issues.
4. Recognize and Reward
One of the best things that you can do as a manager is to make sure that you recognize the work and the effort put in by your human resources during their workdays.
When you recognize what they have done and reward them accordingly for it, you can retain them for as long as you possibly can without them even thinking of leaving your team and the company.
This was our guide on project management vs people management and how you can bridge the gap between the two. If you think that we missed some important part of the whole debate, then contact us and we will check it out ASAP.
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