Situational Leadership

The fundamental principle of the situational leadership model is that there is no single “best” style of leadership. Project teams or project stakeholders belong to various experience levels and attitudes. Hence, there is no single style managers and leaders can adopt that will be effective across team members. These models helps to tailor one’s leadership style to cater to the needs of the individuals and teams.

One cannot have a one for all kind of leadership style for all team members in the team as they fall on to the various levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Based on their capability and maturity the leader has to change his leadership style. The basic principle of situational leadership is this. Based on the maturity level and the capability of the team members, the leader resorts to any one of the following styles of;

  • Telling or Directing
  • Selling or Coaching
  • Participating or Supporting
  • Delegating

This is a model created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard.

Situational Leadership emerged as one of a related group of two-factor theories of leadership.

These theories are based on two main variables of task and relationship.

Effective leadership is task-relevant, and the most successful leaders are those who adapt their leadership style. They adapt their leadership style to the performance readiness (ability and willingness) of the individual or group they are attempting to lead or influence.

Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership II measures project team member development using competence and commitment as two parameters.

Ken Blanchard's situational leadership model Explained
Ken Blanchard’s situational leadership

7 habits of highly effective project managers

The project management job opportunities as well as the scope of the project manager’s job description are on the rise. Project manager’s job description goes beyond the triple constraints of time, cost and scope. The new project manager’s job description covers the achievement of the business case of the project as well. This makes the new project manager’s role more strategic. In this changed scenario, Have you ever wondered why some really climb up the professional ladder where as many do not, despite having the same credentials and opportunities? When we studied the careers of very successful project professionals, we could identify the following 7 habits common across the achievers.

  1. Good foundation – Most of them had good grades in their academics and they pursued their project career in the areas related to their field of study.
  2. Application of Project Management – They had clarity on their academic and professional goals and they applied project management to achieve them.
  3. Focus on long term rewards – Their focus is on long term rewards than on the short term benefits.
  4. Continuous on the job learning – The first ten years of their career was dedicated to gaining hands on experience and learning new things.
  5. Strategic Credential enhancement – They continuously improved their knowledge and authenticity through globally accepted qualifications.
  6. Networking – They are good in networking with others in the profession.
  7. Pro-activeness – They are pro-active in sensing opportunities ahead and pursued them before others.

What is the Opportunity awaiting Capable Project Professionals?

By 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management oriented roles. The talent gap could result in a potential loss of some US$207.9 billion in GDP through 2027 for the 11 countries analyzed (China, India, USA, Japan, Brazil, Germany, UK, Canada, Australia and the Middle East region). PMI (2017). Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017–2027. Even though the pandemic might have negatively impacted these projections, this is good time to get ready to leverage the opportunities ahead.

How to leverage these 7 habits to advance your profession?

If you want to understand how to systematically plan your project management career goals proactively, and to achieve them at the appropriate time, then read ahead;

What is PMg-CMM?. How will it help career progression?

The objective of the Project Manager’s Capability Maturity Model is to provide a professional ecosystem comprising of aspiring professionals, mentors, trainers, organizations and recruiters collaborating around a structured road map for meticulous planning and progression of project management as a profession.

The diagram below depicts the five levels of project management professional maturity.

Level#1 – Beginner

At Level#1

  • Because you are technically good, you are asked to manage teams
  • You are not aware of the basic project management tools and techniques and their application
  • You think project management is about just getting things done at any cost
  • Success is inconsistent and short lived
  • In the longer run, You and the team members fail to perform as a single unit due to internal conflicts
  • Though you have technology mentors, you do not have mentors to guide you on the management side to the right degree

Level#2 – Professionally qualified

At Level#2

  • You get certified in one of the popular project management certifications, hoping to improve your job prospects.
  • You are aware of the globally accepted project management best practices.
  • You would have realized how the application of these best practices would have helped you to prevent some of the challenges you faced before.
  • You start applying and leveraging some of the project management core practices
  • As and when challenges arise, you leverage the models, methods & artifacts recommended by global standards
  • You have good mentors who can guide you professionally

Level#3 – Professionally proven

At Level#3

  • You have proven yourself as a dependable project manager who can manage small to medium complexity projects
  • You are highly respected within the project organization
  • You are considered to manage prestigious projects
  • You become a role model for other budding project managers within the organization
  • You are good at nurturing your professional networks
  • You have good mentors and you start mentoring others

Level#4 Strategic Role

At Level#4

  • You are invited to strategic project portfolio meetings
  • In some cases your expert advise is sought to improve the project management capability of the organization (PMO)
  • You will be asked to manage programs or very large projects
  • You leverage your professional networks to great advantage
  • You have mentors and you yourself is a highly sought after mentor

Level#5 Leadership Role

At Level#5

  • You are considered as an expert authority in project management
  • You contribute to the project management community by way of research and knowledge sharing
  • Great deal of you time is spent in mentoring individuals, teams, organizations and communities

How quickly one traverse through these levels depends on their ambition, commitment, mentoring and the ability to pivot according to the market trends. Instead of growing vertically through the five maturity levels, one has the opportunity to grow horizontally as ‘T’ skilled professionals who have in-depth domain expertise in a particular trade supported by good project management capability as well.

How to proceed?

If you are interested to have a mentor who can guide you, please provide us some details about your present career position

Watch the mentor talk videos

Inspiring Careers – Dr. Kalirajan, Deputy Dean at L&T Institute of Project Management

About Dr. Kalirajan

As a visionary leader and a Project Management specialist, He brings with him over 33 years of progressive experience in managing challenging mega projects in power and infrastructure sector. His complete ownership for ROI accountability and passion for developing people make him an asset for any organization. A Doctorate in Concrete Technology with MBA and PMP Certified professional, he possess sound ability to lead and ramp up projects and ensure their timely completion within defined budget and quality guidelines while institutionalizing budgetary controls. He holds the distinction of turning around projects in crisis and ensuing their successful completion and acceptance. Adept at managing all facets of engineering project management, including construction management, site survey & execution, design engineering, tendering & contract administration and people management. He is presently into corporate training and development in the areas of project management, leadership and team building, strategy development etc. Linkedin profile

Inspiring Careers – Jayapal Chandrasenan, Associate Infrastructure Designer, Urban Planning

Here is an exciting interview with Mr. Jaypal Chadrasenan, Associate Infrastructure Design at Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, United Arab Emirates. In this interview with Abrachan Pudussery, Director of PMRI, he shares his exciting journey starting from his campus life to the present position and about the key success factors that governed his professional journey.

About Jaypal Chandrasenan

Experienced Associate Power Planner, Urban Planning, with a demonstrated history of working in the Power and Infrastructure Design and Construction Engineering Industry. Skilled in Renewable and Conventional Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Networks, Metro, LRT, Tram Highways, Project Control, Engineering, and EPC. Strong consulting professional with a Engineering Masters Degree – Electrical Engineering degree from College Of Engineering Trivandrum , CET,Kerala- BSc ( Engg), Bits Pilani MTech , Graduateship in Industrial Engineering NIET Mumba,MIET( UK),CEng (IET UK )PMP, PQP.

Linkedin profile

Quick bridge to PMBOK7 from PMBOK6

Who should read this?

  • Those who prepared for PMP exam using PMBOK6 and writing the exam now
  • Those who know PMBOK6 and want to update their knowledge of PMBOK7 without going through all the pages of PMBOK7

If you fall into anyone of the above categories, please read further….

PMBOK7 is structured into;

  • Principles
  • Project Performance Domains
  • Models
  • Methods
  • Artifacts

If you want to know more about the structure and principles of PMBOK7, I request you to read the two earlier articles, before reading this one;

Unboxing PMBOK7 – Article1

Unboxing PMBOK7 – Article2

12 governing principles

  1. Stewardship – Be a diligent, respectful, and caring steward
  2. Team – Build a culture of accountability and respect
  3. Stakeholders – Engage stakeholders to understand their interests and needs.
  4. Value – Focus on value.
  5. Holistic Thinking – Recognize and respond to systems’ interactions.
  6. Leadership – Motivate, influence, coach, and learn.
  7. Tailoring – Tailor the delivery approach based on context.
  8. Quality – Build quality into processes and results.
  9. Complexity – Address complexity using knowledge, experience, and learning.
  10. Opportunities & Threats – Address opportunities and threats.
  11. Adaptability & Resilience – Be adaptable and resilient.
  12. Change Management – Enable change to achieve the envisioned future state.

8 Performance domains

  1. Stakeholders
  2. Team
  3. Development approach and life cycle
  4. Planning
  5. Project work
  6. Delivery
  7. Measurement
  8. Uncertainty

The governing principles and the performance domains are supported by the Models, Methods and Artifacts. If you know PMBOK6, you have already covered all the Methods & Artifacts of PMBOK7. Hence, our primary focus is on the Models, followed by some of the methods and artifacts.

True to the spirit of Agile, we want to reduce the amount of unwanted work not done. Hence we are not repeating the topics again, instead we are providing you with the page numbers of PMBOK7, which will help you to get familiarized with the new terms of PMBOK7.

Here are the list of topics with page numbers of PMBOK7, for your quick reference.

Now open PMBOK7, and skim through these topics, instead of reading the entire PMBOK7.

  • Emotional intelligence – Page 25
  • Conflict management – Page 29
  • Delivery cadence – Page 33
  • Hybrid approach – Page 36
  • Explicit and tacit knowledge – Page 77
  • Done drift – Page 85 last paragraph
  • Leading indicators, Lagging indicators – Page 96
  • Cycle time – Page 99
  • Que size – Page 99
  • Batch size – Page 99
  • Process efficiency – Page 99
  • Net promoter score – Page 103
  • Mood chart – Page 103
  • Regression analysis – Page 105
  • Throughput analysis – Page 105
  • Information radiators, Big visible charts – Page 108
  • Hawthorne effect – Page 112
  • Vanity metric – Page 112
  • Decoupling – Page 120
  • Tailoring – Page 137
  • Situational leadership II Page – 156
  • OSCAR model – Page 156
  • Rich communication – Page 157
  • Gulf of Execution and Evaluation – Page 158
  • Hygiene and motivational factors – Page 158
  • Intrinsic Vs Extrinsic motivation – Page 159
  • Theory of needs – Page 159
  • Theory X, Theory Y and Theory Z – Page 160
  • Managing change in organizations – Page 161
  • ADKAR Model – Page 161
  • 8 step process for leading change – Page 162
  • Virginia Satir Change Model – Page 163
  • Transition model – Page 163
  • Cynefin framework – Page 164
  • Stacy matrix – Page 165
  • Tuckman ladder – Page 166
  • Drexler/Sibbet team performance model – Page 167
  • Conflict model – Page 168
  • Think Win-Win – Stephen covey – Page 169
  • Planning – Page 170
  • Process groups – Page 170
  • Salience model – Page 171
  • Story map – Page 190
  • Infinite delivery infinite quantity (IDIQ) – Page 191

At the end of this exercise, you can be almost sure that there is no gap between your knowledge and PMBOK7 provided your knowledge about PMBOK6 is good.

Point to note

Do not delete PMBOK6. It is still a valuable reference document along with PMBOK7.

Best wishes

PMRI team