Whole Brained Project Management

I recently got to read the 5th edition of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), in particular, the addition of the ‘Stakeholder Management’ section – I’m afraid I was disappointed!

Though PMBoK is very well structured, thorough and rigorous, it is essentially a very left-brained (logical) document best suited for technically driven projects. What has always been lacking, in my opinion, is the genuine attention to emotional quotient (EQ)!

After all, all projects are initiated by people, for people (customers) and rely on people for undertaking the tasks and activities. I was hoping that the introduction of Stakeholder Management (‘stakeholder’ is just a fancy word for ‘person’) would address the more right-brained attributes: EQ, intuition, motivation and relationship management. Unfortunately, this section still treats people as a process within a well-defined, hierarchical structure.

Whole-Brain teamwork has received a significant amount of recognition over recent years. There are ‘whole-brained’ individuals who can deliver excellent results: the outcome, however, will be average or possibly above average. For break-through results you need a team!

One particular approach, the Herrmann Whole-Brain model defines four basic thinking styles. There are people think up brilliant ideas (but often don’t get round to realising any of them); there are great analysts (but who under-estimate the emotions that govern decision making); there are the interpersonal types who can somehow manage to get ‘buy-in’ when others have failed and then there are the quiet achievers who implement the solutions in a reliable, no-nonsense manner (but who can get caught up in too much detail). The trick is to get these disparate people to work as a cohesive team!

The Whole-Brain Team Development Program addresses this need. It is an effective blend of the Herrmann whole brain thinking model and PMBoK.  The essence of this approach is to place a much stronger emphasis on the ‘people’ side of project, thus bringing the ‘Stakeholder Management’ section to ‘life’! Using the practical tools and techniques, throughout the project lifecycle, the ‘ideas’ people provide the intuitive, ‘outside the box’ thinking, the analysts define clear goals and milestones, the ‘people’ people overlay the critical EQ input which leaves the ‘doers’ to methodically implement the solutions with the minimum of disruption and unnecessary ‘scope creep’.

Remember, it is people who make and break projects – not charts!

For more information on The Whole-Brain Team Development Program, please contact us to see if there is a fit between what we do and what you are looking to achieve.