Weeds in Project Management

17 Jul

What are Weeds?  Are they useless, ugly things that people decide to removed from their garden to prevent them from taking over their garden? 

Did You Know There Are Useful Weeds? I do not have a degree in botany, but have read articles about plants, some of which we would determine as weeds & remove, but some weeds do have uses to help in cure several health issues or even can be used in crafts.  For example: Dandelions: The petals are edible and used as garnish in a salad.  You can also make tea and wine from them.

So, How does Weeds Tie Back to Project Management?

As a project manager, we manage several individuals to help us to meet the end goals of the project, so ponder these questions with me:

  1. If a project team member does not meet their deadline, do you address the issue, or let it go, so that others knows that is an acceptable practice?  This behavior can then spread throughout the team like weeds in a garden.
  2. How do you know which project team member would bring the best value to a project versus someone else?  How do you know which person/plant to add to your garden, leave/continue to grow in your garden/team or remove from your garden/team?
  3. Do you know everyone’s strengths & weaknesses that they bring to a project team, so each team member is shown in the best light or best utilized?  If you knew that a team member/plant has experience/uses in something that would best bring value to the team/garden, wouldn’t it be good to know, so you can utilize that extra resource/use in your project?

What if a project team member:

  •  Does not have the best communication skills to win the best first impression award, but they may be an excellent IT programmer
  • Does not have the best time management skills, but they have a large vast of knowledge and experience in the project’s topic and willing to share
  • Does not work best in a large meeting environment to brainstorm ideas, but feels more comfortable communicating through e-mail or a one-on-one meeting environment

People could be thought of as an analogy to weeds, as we come in variety of different shapes, sizes, colors and each have different uses. We are not perfect, as each of us have our strengths, weaknesses, and best working practices we each can bring to the table.  Do you just give up on someone or hope they just go away like a weed or remove them from your project team?  With any project, each team member is working towards the same end goal, so helping and learning from each other to make everyone shine best in their light, makes the team stronger and sets up everyone up for success.

Maybe I just provided you with a great excuse to get you out of removing any further weeds out of your garden now?!  🙂  Maybe also a different way of thinking of project team members as a project manager?! 🙂 Please share your comments below, as I would love to hear from you.

Image Credit


2 responses to “Weeds in Project Management

  1. Christopher Janney

    July 18, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Great points here, and I love the analogy. One of the biggest and most important components of project management that I believe fails to get it’s rightful credit is the ability to build a great team. PM’s tend to be so concerned with accomplishing the goal, and staying within time, budget, and scope that it’s easy to forget that it’s the individual people, and the cohesion and interaction between of them, that will truly “make the garden grow”.

  2. Lisa Drake

    July 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you Christopher for your comment! I could not agree more, as project teams really do make or break a project’s success. -Lisa


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