Does your company focus on change-makers? If you are uncertain why this is an important question, here is another one: What makes the difference between a project team that repeatedly overspends, misses deadlines, reduces overall profit, and just about scrapes by and a project team that can turn this scenario around, and successfully hit their project margins and milestones? The difference is that the latter has a change-maker driving the show.
At Proteus, we talk to many consultancies and teams, big and small, who run complex projects. This gives us a unique insight into what makes a project team successful. Time and time again, we see that the project teams who recognise they need to change the status quo are the ones who achieve success. This success may be winning more work; it may be billing more across a hybrid team; it may be improving project performance; it may be improving resource utilisation rates. For each successful client, there is always one or more people within the team who fit the description of a change-maker.
What is a change-maker in a project team?
A change-maker in a project team is someone who leads and owns the action to transform and demonstrably improve a process or problem. By its very definition, project management is about managing change. But having a change-maker as a driving force behind a project team is not about planning and working through a methodology, it is about taking ownership and accountability, and making the change happen.
Project teams are often bogged down in executing and managing the agreed tasks, squeezed on time and budget. The systems and processes that they are seemingly locked into make them unable to see any different ways of working. Blindly moving through methodologies for the sake of it and inefficiently ticking every box ends up becoming the outcome whilst achieving the real goal becomes delayed and diluted.
It is the person who can step back, lift up some stones and find a way to make improvements who is the change-maker. Problems are opportunities rather than limitations. Project plans and scopes can be realigned and adjusted. Change is accepted and embraced. Clients’ experience is improved and, resistance is overcome.
Sounds good, right? So do you have a change-maker in your team?
Who is the change-maker in your team?
Being a change-maker often involves determination, creativity, and a willingness to explore and listen. These skills seem simple and common, but it is the person who is able to turn a problem into an opportunity by combining empathy, leadership, and positivity who is the change-maker.
The fact is if you are a project manager and you want your project team to benefit from transformative culture, you yourself need to become a change-maker. By leading by example you are then in a much better position to be able to ask the people around you to adopt a change-making attitude.
Be prepared for your team to become disrupted: you will have to leave your comfort zone; become a ground-breaker. Wired magazine says change-makers are “innovators and ambitious leaders who are upending convention and embracing technology to shape a better future: increasing accessibility and inclusivity, pushing to ensure that advance is universal; … creating viable and scalable sustainability solutions.”
How to encourage change-makers?
We are all busy, and if you work on a project team your time is at a premium. You need to find people who are enthusiastic about change and seek their support. Anyone who is an early adopter of new technology is a good place to start. Don’t only look towards leaders, you need to galvanise the grassroots of the team, managing the change from the ground up. Getting all key stakeholders on board is important, so work out what positivity introducing change is going to bring to different people within the company. For example, for one of our clients at Proteus, bringing on board our new project management software meant that the leadership was able to get full transparency over which team members were utilised on which task. This in turn meant the team members themselves were much more accountable and recognised for the work they were doing.
Invest in change-makers by getting them involved: pull your teams together, giving the junior team members face-time with the leaders and allowing them to input into shaping the change. Use empathy and give lots of praise.
Think about how the change will reduce pain points, resolve problems and remove inefficiencies. Speak to the frustrations your team has and show how the change can make demonstrable differences. Focus on the often very personal benefits. For example, if someone doesn’t have to do a slow and repetitive task late into the night anymore, that means they will get home earlier and have more time each evening. Maybe the change will impact profit and that obviously in turn brings potentially positive news for the team’s income.
Communication is key. If you want to know more about how to bring change to your project management, speak to our customer success team today.
About Xergy and Proteus
Xergy Group are a diverse, international team of engineers, data specialists, customer champions, and change-makers. We believe we have created a product that will digitally transform our industry to create a lasting legacy, for everyone. Xergy Group’s Proteus project management solution is designed to work with your existing systems and to scale and evolve as your business evolves. It was created by project management professionals, for the diversified engineering consultancy sector, and delivers an end-to-end project management software platform compliant with ISO 27001 and common project management frameworks.
How to get Proteus
Proteus’ project management software is a cloud-based system designed for businesses of all sizes to handle projects of unlimited complexity. Each Proteus feature is aimed at making bottom-line improvements by improving proposal win rates, resource utilization, streamlining workflows, providing quick and efficient access to resources, and reducing overheads.
One of the unique advantages of Proteus is that we offer a free onboarding consultation service to ensure the company account is set up according to your company’s needs. This makes getting your company up and running on Proteus quick and easy. Get your free Proteus demo here.
Proteus operates under a software as a service (SaaS) model costing $35 per user per month. See Proteus pricing for more info. Billing is monthly or annually with two months free if paid annually.
We designed Proteus to be simple, and that means you can get up and running on Proteus without an IT team or support from a programmer. You will want to spend a bit of time configuring the admin console so that you have everything set up to suit your company structure, but it’s very intuitive, and you don’t need a PhD in IT. However, we want you to get the best out of what is a brilliantly powerful tool, so don’t hesitate to ask for our support. We have a team of customer success experts who are ready to help you with the configuration process, so get in touch today by completing the form below.