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Higher-Order Project Leadership

Updated: Mar 29

Big Picture Project Thinking

The transformation from project management to project leadership involves a shift in mindset.  We change from asking HOW questions to WHY questions.  We think not only in terms of constraint optimization but also in terms of operational, life-cycle costs and strategic implications of our projects.  We question numbers and apply higher-order business analytics and metrics to make decisions.  We look to add value at every stage of the project so our organization migrates to a higher level of excellence.

Some points to ponder: (1) Perfect is usually the enemy of good.  If we are afraid to fail, we will never really tap the true potential within ourselves and our teams; (2) A great project-driven organization promotes information sharing and provides an environment to become a self-sustaining learning organization; (3) Systems thinking is at the core of great projects – this requires a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach; (4) Don't fear complexity – instead, look to break up big problems into smaller discrete targets; (5) Always look for ways to simplify processes and drive technical and tactical decisions to people with the greatest subject matter expertise; (6) Strive to reduce cognitive load on team members; (7) Think before adding more people to your team – it is seldom the right approach; (8) Use data to drive accountability and engagement.

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