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Intervention Techniques

“A project cannot be rescued unless there is strong consensus at key levels of the organization. This gives clarity to what needs to be built, and when it is going to be built, and enables the project rescue team to overcome obstacles as they are encountered so that a successful conclusion can be reached.”

“Consensus, unfortunately, is difficult to achieve on a project. Combining different personalities from different team members in an already severely strained situation can produce an environment that requires more energy to be consumed in sorting out the people dynamics instead of adding value to the organization.”

“This section examines the key conflicts that can occur during a project, especially one that is being rescued. Relationships are key to overcoming these conflicts. This chapter defines the important relationships between the different roles on an extended project team and explains how these can be leveraged.”

This material is subdivided into the following areas:

Reasons for conflict: Understanding the reasons underlying the conflict you're trying to resolve is the first step in resolution. Your task will become simpler once you gain an understanding of the causes of the conflict you're faced with.

Types of Conflict: Most of us respond to visual and audio stimuli. If we hear shouting and see angry gesticulations at a meeting, we're alerted to a conflict. Recognizing different types of conflict may help to identify a conflict before it gets out of hand and initiate a resolution process early in the conflict.
 
Personal Motivation: Every single member of the project team, from the Executive Sponsor to the User Acceptance Tester, has a personal motivation that will influence them to want to see the project succeed (they equate project success with personal success). In some cases, they may see the failure of the project as personally advantageous. These are the people you need to identify and deal with.
 
Types of Motivation: Recognizing the different types of personal motivation will help you spot the team member who is personally motivated to see the project fail. It can also help you identify and communicate the motivators that will encourage team members to want to see the project succeed and increase their efforts to ensure it does.
 
Consensus Building: Help avoid some of the causes of conflict by building consensus on the team. Consensus should start with the rescue plan - build consensus around the plan so that everyone understands where the plan is leading them and believes in the path you've chosen to take them there. You can read about some tried and true consensus building techniques by clicking on this link.
 
Professional Motivations: Understanding what motivates the professional members of your project team will be a great help to you when you try to build consensus on the team. Click this link to read more about the common motivations shared by the professional members of your team, some suggestions for how to build consensus around that motivation and the challenges you're likely to face when you try to build consensus.
 
Relationship Management: Familiarity with the mechanics of managing communications channels and the key groups that influence your project (and are influenced by it) will help you avoid conflict caused by neglect of communication, or failure to identify the key groups in your project.
 
Project Relationships: This section describes the key relationships which exist in the rescued project. There are 3 types of relationship: key relationships, important relationships, and some relationship (minimal impact/influence). There is a 4th category, not applicable, which reflects the relationship between people or groups which don't have any relationship which is significant to the project.

Key Relationships: A key relationship is one that can make or break your project rescue. These relationships require you to invest sufficient management so that the key people and groups identified contribute what you need for your rescue to be successful. Click this link to read more about these relationships.
 
Important Relationships: This section describes relationships whose criticality to the rescue effort does not rise to the level of relationships which are considered key. They are important to the rescue and the rescue manager nonetheless, and should be managed carefully. To learn more about these relationships and how to manage them, click this link.

Some Relationship: These relationships are relevant to your rescue effort but not key, or as important as the ones described above. They should be monitored to ensure that problems don't develop that have a negative impact on project performance. To read more about these relationships and how to manage them, click this link.