PM Applications :: Lesson 12 :: “I have to do WHAT!?”

A big apology goes out to all of the past developers I’ve managed that have had to say this blog title.  Typically we found out that through discussion and review, the request I had made as an estimator just needed some refinement.  (This means you Anthony…am I right? And of course, John, Kenny, TED, Mike, Kathy, Kyle and anyone else…)

a goo cheif

Image via Wikipedia

This lesson discusses organizational culture and structure, then moves into motivation and true leadership abilities…

Organizational Charts Again?!

Define and refine multiple times if needed; Org Charts define who reports to whom and who will receive the pink slip for messing up.  It’s vitally important that each team member fully understands how they fit into an organization.

When there are 2-3 start-up members in a company, typically one has the technical background and the other, financial…the ultimate third exhibits a strong sales mentality, but as a company grows (adds people), you need more direction and accountability.  Create the chart, edit it as times change, enforce it.  Be aware of multiple reporting relationships; a matrix organizational structure may temporarily exist for very important activities with a time sensitive schedule.

As a project manager you need to recognize the difference between the following:

  • Authority; right to act – be sure you have this before starting a project
  • Responsibility; obligation to act – does everyone know their role?
  • Accountability; being liable for ones actions
  • Power; ability to act without necessarily having a right to act (see ‘norms’)

Org Charts may also help you recognize the line to staff relationship and whether the above terms relate to centralization or decentralization of duties.  Dig it out!  Know the procedures; know who has authority vs power and to whom you can delegate tasks.  In my opinion, in most cases, the manager is still accountable and responsible for the final product/service – if proper authority was provided.

“The Parity Principle states that authority and responsibility go hand in hand to effectively perform a task.” (taken directly from Lesson 12 of this KSU PM Applications class)

Organizational Culture

In this PM Applications course at KSU, it is defined in the lesson as being ‘similar to personality’.  I like that explanation; personality reflects years of experience and interpretation of those experiences based on the values with which you were raised.  Values build beliefs which are influenced by assumptions which are built on perceptions and norms.  It’s all intertwined.

Values are what we hold as our inner mantra.  Companies should have mission statements that reflect its values.

Beliefs can be true or not; they are sown through the mind.  Be sure to not create false beliefs; this is the rumor mill.

Assumptions are not based on objectivity and can get out of hand.  See beliefs.

Perceptions are formed from the surrounding environment and create paradigms.

Norms are standards behaviors formed over time by people (including management).

Behaviors are the physical outcome of the above.

ALL of these must be recognized before starting a project.  Sometimes we are not lucky enough to have that leisure and need to ferret this out during a project.


I have one belief here.  Delegate to those who will benefit from responsibility and be willing to let go.  I have never been let down.


How to direct people towards a goal – willingly.  A very interesting topic that cannot be mastered in a day or during a project or whatever because projects and environments change as do the stressors experienced by people when they leave the office.  Main idea here it to find that motivation factor for your team as well as for each individual.

Remember these motivational theories?

  • Reward/Punishment
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy – physiological needs first…
  • Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory – don’t let the A/C fail…(satisfiers vs dissatisfiers)

From leading a Boy Scout troop to leading a NASA expedition – all require the Project Manager (or Boy Scout Leader) to be vigilant in determining the Organizational Culture, Motivational Factors and the Structure of Control.

per Zemanta; trying this out for the first time:
Related Articles