Get Rid of Micromanagement: Introduce Project Ownership to Save the Day
Micromanagement is sometimes counterproductive when it comes to deadline-oriented work. Here's what experts recommend doing instead for increased efficiency.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
One of the most challenging management tasks for new and seasoned leaders is understanding how to delegate appropriately. Those struggling with delegation frequently appear as micromanagers, making their staff feel watched and distrusted.
Most employees dislike being micromanaged. Thus it is in your best interest as a leader to stop this behavior before it has negative consequences such as low morale, lack of motivation, and staff turnover.
Trusting your team to learn, improve, and eventually function independently is part of your responsibility as a manager, yet trust might feel like relinquishing control at times. If you are concerned about what could happen if you let go of your hold and give your team greater freedom, consider what might happen if you don’t.
According to a Gallop study, 75 % of the reasons people quit are due to their bosses. Staff dissatisfaction and, eventually, employee turnover may occur from a boss who does not provide ownership and instead stresses individual influence inside an organization.
The project team is persuaded by the assignment’s significance for the customers and their careers. Finally, you delivered on schedule, much to the delight of both stakeholders and customers.
These positive stories do not simply emerge. The secret lies in Project Ownership.
What Is the Difference Between a Project Manager and a Project Owner?
Project owners are responsible for the project’s failure or accomplishment, while project managers strive to make the day-to-day tasks as easy as possible.
To execute a goal, every project needs a leader and management. The project manager and project owner are at the top of the project management hierarchy. The titles are frequently used interchangeably. However, their professional functions differ significantly.
When we focus on the core ideas, we can better understand the differences between these two careers.
Ownership is a high level of accountability in gaining credit for success and being held accountable for failure. There is also a sense of power, especially when big choices are being made.
The project owner is the one who has the vision. They have identified the issue and are prepared to address it. They ensure that the project is linked with the larger aims of the organization, obtain funding from a project sponsor, and deliver the business case to stakeholders. The project owner also assembles the project team and inspires them by assisting them in realizing the value of the project, listening to their ideas, and offering opportunities for them to grow.
Management refers to the day-to-day operations of something ultimately controlled by someone else, such as a group of people, a property, or a project. Managers serve as both liaisons and the oil that keeps the wheels turning.
Project managers take the vision and organize the effort to bring it to fruition. They sketch out the steps required to attain each milestone and allocate them to the appropriate individuals. Capacity planning, dependency management, weekly planning, and progress reporting are all responsibilities of the project manager.
The following describes the duties of the project manager and project owner:
- The project manager is involved in the day-to-day activities of the product team.
- The project owner is in control of the overall project.
A project owner must question, “What is this project accomplishing?” “How important is it to the organization?”
The project manager ensures that the project owner’s criteria are satisfied. Questions a project owner should consider are “How?” and “Who?”
The larger or more mature the organization, the more likely it is that different people will occupy different tasks. In many small to medium-sized businesses, the project owner and manager are the same people. It can be daunting, so attempt to delegate as much business as possible so you can devote at least two-thirds of your time to the project.
How to Decide Who Should Be Project Owner?
- Excited about the project, its importance, and the end deliverables (s).
- Capable of explaining the benefits of the project and gaining stakeholder support.
- Is impacted directly by the project’s outcomes.
What Is the Role of a Project Owner?
The project owner has the business responsibility for successful project execution. The Project Manager is in charge of:
- Assist the project manager in providing leadership and overseeing the team’s execution of project activities.
- Serves as a “champion” for the project in partnership with the project sponsor.
- Assist the project manager in giving leadership toward the conclusion of the project.
- Encourage other project stakeholders to actively engage.
They also make high-level judgments, such as settling a disagreement about general strategy or prioritizing must-haves vs. nice-to-haves.
Example of Project Ownership
For example, if a project slips behind schedule, the project owner must determine whether to cut the scope, extend the timetable, or recruit extra workers. Implementation choices, on the other hand, such as whether a campaign needs a landing page or a blog post, should be left to the project team’s subject matter specialists.
Suppose the project team needs the services of a web developer for a week. In that case, the project owner will collaborate with whoever manages the web developers to decide their team’s top priorities and how to secure seven days of someone’s time. Similarly, if the project manager requires assistance untangling dependencies or unclogging a bottleneck, the matter can be escalated to the project owner.
Why Is Project Ownership Important?
Taking charge of a project has various benefits, including:
1. A Sense of Belonging
You want your employees to feel comfortable at work. This is because belonging is what allows employees to be themselves.
There is evidence that emphasizing project ownership might help organize workplace inclusion initiatives.
Project ownership is significant for people who regularly do not feel included at work. Employees believe a company cares about them when they feel totally connected.
2. Goal and Work Alignment
Do your staff understand where they are going? Otherwise, your staff may lack personal motivation to meet your organization’s goals. Fortunately, project ownership brings everyone together and pushes everyone in the same direction. It also enables management to establish a corporate culture based on its mission, vision, values, and goals.
3. Eludes Micromanagement
Micromanagement can demoralize your management style. This is common when supervisors are uninformed of their obligations.
Project ownership enables you to provide your staff with the time and space required to survive and grow.
As a result, employees will work hard and not take advantage of the lack of supervision.
Project ownership removes the need to continually monitor your employees’ activities and actions and seek progress reports from them.
As a consequence, you will be able to foster a culture in which employees seek accountability and act as business owners.
4. Gives the Team a Sense of Ownership
Business owners desire employees that think like entrepreneurs. This is because this type of employee sees the company as an extension of themselves. On the other hand, they cannot think like owners if they are treated like employees.
As a result, you must devise a method to aid your team in internalizing the importance of finishing a task and accepting responsibility for the project.
How to Become a Good Project Owner?
A successful project owner must possess a mix of the following characteristics essential for any genuinely effective project leader.
Exceptional Communication Skills
We shall start with this one because it is undoubtedly the most significant. Communicating clearly and effectively while leading any project or team is essential.
Project owners must be able to convey their visions and describe the purpose of a project in a way that everyone can understand quickly and simply.
The project manager, in many ways, sets the standard for the rest of the team to follow, and the best owner is those that others feel they can trust because they consistently act professionally.
When your team understands your consistent efforts on the project, they will have more respect for you, and the general working atmosphere will be happier and more productive.
We apologize if we blew this up for you, but a gloomy, negative project owner would surely destabilize any team.
Listening to your team is essential for getting client feedback, being open to new ideas, and comprehending any difficulties. Since every “business difficulty” or “technology impediment” is a people problem, solutions must be approached with compassion and empathy.
In a perfect scenario, with rigorous planning from the outset and a clearly stated goal for everyone to strive for, all projects would go off without a glitch.
However, as we all know, life isn’t always smooth, and challenges must be accepted and conquered for a project to be completed on time.
It is not always the project owner’s obligation to find the best solution to each problem (though this would be beneficial) because another team member may have abilities better suited to dealing with any particular issue.
A project owner must be knowledgeable in their subject and be able to demonstrate it to their team. Expect disaster if you are in command of a group of individuals who think you do not know your bottom from your elbow.
Ability to Delegate
The distribution of tasks to the proper people is a critical component of the project manager’s responsibility.
This requires getting to know a group of people well enough to recognize and understand their unique talents and abilities. With this information, you can assign the correct tasks to the right individuals and get the best results possible.
According to a Gallup poll, 90% of global firms that adopted strength-based management practices saw increased sales, profit, customer involvement, and engaged employees. When leaders capitalize on their team members’ strengths, everyone benefits.
5 Project Owner Tips You Should Follow in 2022
1. Compile All Project-Related Data
As the project manager, you have to oversee all aspects of the project and guarantee that the final goal is met on time and within budget.
To begin, identify the project’s scope – the work that must be accomplished to attain the final goal.
2. Choose Your Ideal Team
You will not be able to fulfill your project’s goal no matter how hard you try if the right team is not in place.
In fact, the project’s success is determined by the experiences and abilities of the team members. This is why assembling the greatest team possible is crucial.
3. Utilize an Organizational Chart
Organizational Charts give you a graphical representation of the structure of your team.
It illustrates staff roles and responsibilities, making it easier to organize and align available resources and talent and choose the best team members before assigning tasks.
4. Provide All Necessary Resources to Your Team
The fundamental responsibility of a project manager is to cater to the demands of the project team. You must address all issues, whether it be more conference room hours, equipment, or a project team member’s health problem.
5. Focus on Team Communication
When a team works together to achieve a common goal, there must be an environment in which team members can successfully interact with one another. Rather than putting them in the same room, it is easier to boost communication between them by using online collaboration services such as Skype or Slack.
You can also check some of the best project management tools.
Over to You
Being a successful project owner isn’t a walk in the park…
Knowing the theoretical side of project ownership is one thing, but if you know your stuff and possess all (or most) of the qualities on this list, you can do it concerted.
Published at DZone with permission of Fred Wilson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.