Unformatted text preview: take more responsibility for themselves, then
we treat them as if they are irresponsible and wonder why they don’t behave responsibly!
The first meaning of control, then, connotes power. Another meaning, which was introduced in an earlier
chapter, suggests that control is comparing progress to plan so that corrective action can be taken when a
deviation from planned performance occurs. This definition implies the use of information, rather than power,
as the primary ingredient of control. Thus, we talk about management information systems, and indeed, these
are the essence of what is needed to achieve control in projects.
Unfortunately, many organizations have management information systems that are good for tracking
inventory, sales, and manufacturing labor but are not good for tracking projects. Where such systems are not
in place, you will have to track progress manually. ACHIEVING TEAM MEMBER SELF-CONTROL
Ultimately, the only way that a project can be under control is to have every member of the project team in
control of his or her own work. A project manager can achieve control at the macro level only if control is
achieved at the micro level. However, this does not mean that you should practice micro-management! It does
mean that you should set up conditions under which every team member can achieve control of his or her own
efforts. To do this requires five basic conditions.
1. Clarify for every team member what her objective is. Note the difference between tasks and
objectives, which was discussed in Chapter 3. State the objective, and explain to the employee (if
necessary) what the purpose of the objective is. This allows the individual to pursue the objective in her
2. Have each worker prepare a personal plan for doing the required work. Remember, if you have no
plan, you have no control. This applies at the individual level, as well as the overall project level.
3. Ensure that all workers have the skills and resources needed for the job. The need for resources is
obvious; in addition, some workers may require training if they lack the necessary skills. Certainly,
when no employee with the required skills is available, it may be necessary to have team members
4. Provide direct feedback to each worker. If feedback is given in some roundabout way, workers
cannot exercise self-control. On the other hand, if a team member is building a wall, she can measure
the height of the wall, compare that to the planned performance, and know whether she is on track or
5. Define clearly for each individual her authority to take corrective action when there is a deviation
from plan—and it must be greater than zero authority! If the worker has to ask the project manager
what to do every time a deviation occurs, the project manager is still controlling. (In addition, if very
many people have to do this, it puts a real burden on the project manager.) Previous Table of Contents Next www.erpvn.net Products | Contact Us | About Us |...
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- Fall '13
- Project Management, project manager