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Basic Consensus Building

“A project is not a true case of consensus building because there is a reporting hierarchy that affects the relationships. In some ways, the hierarchy simplifies consensus building because team members can generally be open to guidance from their manager without personal inhibitions or ego.”

“In other ways, the hierarchy makes the situation more complicated because individual team members may not be as forthcoming. This reduces their level of output, and you may never even know it. Telling team members what they need to do, without demonstrating that their feedback has been considered, will discourage them from offering valuable input in the future.”

“Consensus needs to be built around the different project relationships, as you’ll see later in this section. This is a difficult and time-consuming process. This section examines some of the high-level considerations for achieving consensus, before getting into the details.”

“Looking for the common ground is the first step in this process. Among the questions presented on the previous sections, the one that needs to be answered unequivocally and completely is ‘Where are we going?’ A clear answer that can be documented and clearly explained around several dimensions needs to be given; otherwise, there is little likelihood of a successful rescue. A complete answer to this question must address the following dimensions:

  • What the end result looks like.
  • How much we can spend in getting there.
  • When we need to get there.”

“This is another opportunity to emphasis the project charter or Statement of Work.”

“After establishing a common reference point, the basic consensus building strategy is to find other common ground between the key team relationships. After reiterating and confirming this, the next steps are to work on temporarily bridging the differences. The bridges could be permanent, but this is unlikely to be the case and is not necessary for the rescue intervention. It would help if some of the bridges could be designed to stand, so that execution of future projects is smoother.”
 
Consensus Building is one of the techniques used in the Human Resource Management processes described in the PMBOK. Becoming a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) let's customers, clients, and employers know that you've been grounded in these and other project management best practices. To learn more about the certification process visit that section of our website at: PMP® Certification