Project Management Software: Find the Balance
While there are many contributing factors to the success of a project, nothing is as key as establishing a good project management system. There’s no singular “best” way to manage a project, as every project has its own needs and expectations that need to be met to achieve success. Some management styles may be better suited for certain projects than others, but overall, a good project manager needs to have a support system, like project management software, in place to keep everything running smoothly.
According to psychologist Kurt Lewin, management styles can be divided into four distinct groups. Each style has its own advantages, but all four can benefit from utilizing project management software. Which is right for you? Take a look at our breakdown of the 4 management styles.
1. Autocratic Management
Autocratic managers take complete control of their projects and team members. This type of manager rarely asks for input, but in exchange takes responsibility for every facet of the project. Team members are expected to follow orders and have confidence that their manager does in fact know best.
For autocratic managers, project management software can be a hands-off way of ensuring project completion in compliance with their marching orders without constantly checking up on employees. Instead, they can reference their project management software to see how the project is progressing and if it is progressing as ordered. Autocratic managers can be criticized for behaving in a “dictatorial manner,” so finding a way to monitor employees that limits micromanaging opportunities can be beneficial for the entire team’s relationship.
2. Laissez-Faire Management
On the opposite side of the scale is laissez-faire style management. The term “laissez-faire” loosely translates to “leave alone” and refers to a system that functions without interference. A laissez-faire economy is one that operates without government interference. In regards to management styles, laissez-faire refers to managers who describe the end results they want to achieve with a project with very little instruction on how to actually reach these goals.
Similarly to autocratic managers, laissez-faire managers benefit from remotely monitoring their team’s progress. Laissez-faire managers rely on the competence of their team and have to make it clear that they have confidence in their team’s abilities. Project management software allows these types of managers to remain updated on the project’s progress and methodology without interrupting the flow and initiative of team members.
3. Democratic Management
Democratic managers give team members the opportunity to voice their own thoughts and opinions about how to approach a project. The manager still has the final say in how to tackle a project, but they can be convinced to act differently if the argument is made persuasively enough. Democratic management relies on a combination of the acting manager’s expertise and the new ideas and suggestions of team members who can think outside the box.
For democratic managers, project management software becomes a centralized hub where they can compare various aspects of the project as well as team member input. Because all of this information is localized in one place, it becomes much easier to see the project as a whole rather than a piece. As a result, project managers can make informed decisions about individual project aspects as they already have an idea about how it will affect the project as a whole.
4. Persuasive Management
Persuasive management combines aspects of the autocratic and democratic styles. With persuasive management, project managers are still responsible for making all of the final decisions related to the project, but they share their reasoning and rationale with the team. By allowing team members to have access to this sort of information, they in turn feel valued and like they are part of the decision-making process.
For persuasive managers, project management software allows them to easily communicate and loop in their team to any new and relevant information that is impacting the manager’s decisions. Giving team members access to the information available in project management software can then inform on how they should prioritize or perform certain project tasks and can also increase their confidence in the project itself, the manager, and the company as a whole.
Managing Your Company Right
Top project managers are able to adapt and use multiple managerial styles in order to achieve their desired results. Support tools like project management software help to simplify this process and make it easier to transition between multiple projects and styles. Whatever your preferred management method, project management software makes it simple to keep your team and projects on schedule.
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