Project Objective Essay
The purpose of this project is to improve the current recruitment and selection process by improving the calibre of employees and their engagement to create a cost effective process. ‘Keeping projects on track — especially in the face of constant change requests and additions — is a project manager’s greatest challenge. And when project managers don’t properly set expectations from the start — with senior management, the client or their team — and don’t have a strategy in place for dealing with scope creep or last-minute requests or changes, deadlines can suffer.’ *1
1. Given the purpose of the project and 6-month timeframe, devise a project plan, with objectives, activities, timescales and deliverables, for your project. This project will run for 6 months between January – June 2016 (appendix 1). During this time, I will aim to produce plans to establish a new recruitment and selection process. Included in the project plan I have allocated time for a Project Implementation Review, this will be carried out the week after the project has been completed. This is the best time for it to take place as the project will still be fresh in the minds of those who were on the project.
‘However, to adequately assess the quality of the implementation and complete this process, you’ll need to wait long enough for the changes caused by the project to truly take effect.’ *2 We will then hold another Review meeting after 3 months to discuss any matters that have started to arise so that these can be analysed and resolved. As the project lead, it is my responsibility to ensure that the project meets the required deadline. I shall risk assess the project for potential issues throughout the duration and make sure that solutions have been put in place to guarantee there are no delays in these areas. If I am able to foresee any problems which may occur which could delay the project, the CEO and relevant people will be informed in case an extension will be required. The main areas to focus on
To have a full understanding on the current process
Broad knowledge of current and potential costs
Ensure new recruits are fully engaged.
2. Risk assess the project for potential areas where problems could arise. Risk assessing is required when carrying out any project. It is the process of identifying, analysing and responding to risk factors throughout the life of a project and in the best interests of its objectives. Proper risk management implies control of possible future events and is proactive rather than reactive. As long as I am proactive, then I can arrange for contingency plans to be put in place. Risk management will reduce not only the likelihood of an event occurring, but also the magnitude of its impact. After completing the project plan (Appendix 1) it has become apparent that there are some potential risks which could delay the project.
Having only 6 months to complete this in depth project is not a long time. There are issues that could arise, such as sickness, holidays, financial year end and other projects which may be happening at the same time which members of the company will also need to be involved in.
As the project manager I will plan ahead by addressing the project teams holidays. This project runs across two school holidays, one being Easter. As this is a popular time for employees to be off I will sit down with the team on day 1 to clarify the importance of making me aware when they are taking time off and after this meeting I would consider implementing a holiday restriction at this time.
The financial year end will also take place in the middle of the project. In the plan I have put the financial objectives near the beginning of the project. During this time is when we plan to write and send out the Engagement Survey. As this will be a particularly busy time of year I have allowed an extra 2 weeks contingency against this activity.
The main objective is to ensure that we are recruiting the best candidates going forward. As well as the new recruits being business savvy we will require them to always wanting to improve themselves. Ensuring that the potential new employee have some of the capabilities we require could potentially be tested for. If we were to inclement technical/general knowledge technical tests at the interview stage, this could narrow down the selection process quicker. Holding ‘open mornings’ for new positons ab=nd getting numerous candidates in could narrow down the time as the tests already mentioned and then faster 1-2-1 interviews can take place
Finding potential candidates who have an up to date CPD record may be difficult, therefore I have added this objective into the project plan to assist our current employees to achieve this. We would still like to see and hear when interviewing new candidates that they still have the drive and desire to progress further within their careers.
Although this may length the recruitment process I believe that employing staff who want to continue to develop themselves in the areas they are strong in or even in their weaker areas would be a great advantage. The pace of change in any sector is probably the fastest it has ever been with new technologies, qualifications etc being available. As a company we want to continue to strive to be the best at what we do and to have the staff who can prove this.
3. Identify a potential aspect of the project which may require creative thinking and explain how you would encourage this in your team. Team Definition: ‘A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job or project. *3 In order for this project to be a success the team needs to be made up of ‘Thinking Performers’, also known as ‘strategic campaigners. I feel that the Thinking Performer model (Appendix 2), best demonstrates why these type of people are required in the team.
The Thinking Performer grid is made up of 4 quadrants
Lifetime Liability – the employee who either performs or thinks Wish-List Dreamer – the thinking nonperformer who, if he has ideas, keeps them to
himself Automated Bureaucrat – the non-thinking performer who does what he’s told and no more Thinking Performer – the ‘strategic activist’ employee who adds value When creating the project team, it should consist of thinking performers. The employees selected should continuously want to do better. Thinking performers have a clear understanding of commitment to the purposes behind tasks given and challenge things that are currently in place.
In order to overhaul the recruitment and selection process, the thinking performers will naturally be able to ‘get stuck in’ and deliver the expected and required results. Thinking performers are critical in the project team as they are aware of expectations and ’performance elements’. Ensuring we have thinking performers to come up with new ideas for the selection process is a necessity. The current process needs a shake up and having these type of people to develop a new process is the main focus. ‘The thinking performer continuously update their professional knowledge and ‘add-value’ to the businesses by which they are employed’ *4
4. Explain the steps you would take, as a project leader, to help your team work together effectively and how you would resolve any inter-personal skills ‘Conflict, or more specifically, interpersonal conflict, is a fact of life, and particularly of organisational life. It often emerges more when people are stressed, for example, when there are changes on the horizon, or when everyone is under pressure because of a looming deadline.’ *5
As the project lead I would be responsible for resolving any conflicts which may arise within the team. How I handle the conflicts may determine whether the project gets completed smoothly and on time. All conflict is not necessarily a bad things, good ideas and solutions can be raised during these discussions. If the team was to overstep the mark of it being a difference in opinions, I would then step in to resolve the matter. I feel that influencing the team will play a big part in order for everyone to agree to move forward.
Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence as published in his 1984 book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ would be a theory I would use and follow. Appendix 3 clearly shows the 6 steps. I feel that Step 2 – Commitment (and consistency) plays a big part. ‘Cialdini says that we have a deep desire to be consistent. For this reason, once we’ve committed to something, we’re then more inclined to go through with it.’ *6 I believe once we have decided on the recruitment and selection process we will use in the future, it will be left for me to influence members of the team for them to also become as committed as myself. ‘If the people do not believe in the cause you are fighting for they will not join you in battle’ *7
Cialdini Six Principles of Influence
5. Give at least 2 examples of how other people/teams political behaviour in the organisation could impact on the success of your project, and explain how you would apply the skills of influencing, persuading and negotiating to manage these stations and ensure the project stays on track. ‘Politics has been around for millennia. Aristotle wrote that politics stems from a diversity of interests, and those competing interests must be resolved in some way’ *9 Many employees will have their own agendas in reaching the top/or highest possible in the company. Some people’s agenda will want them to get to the top so that they have the power they crave. The main sources of power (shown in Appendix 4) are: Expert Power: The ability to control another person’s behaviour through possession of knowledge/experience
Referent Power: By being respected & admired
Legitimate Power: Power by position and authority
Reward Power: Ability to reward others
Coercive Power: Ability to influence others behaviour by punishing their undesirable behaviour
Appendix 4 – Power
As well as power being a main cause of political behaviour there are people within an organisation who have low political intelligence and are interested in their own goals. These type of people are often hard workers and determined but this is all for their own benefit so that they can meet their own targets that they have set out for themselves. They will be convinced that they are right in all that they say and believe and will not be afraid to inform others of this. Having the skills of negotiating, persuading and influencing will assist in managing the different types of political behaviour. It will be imperative that I understand and utilise the skills shown in Appendix 5 & 6. I will ensure that clear rules are put in place at the first team meeting, ensure there is always open communication and that information is discussed.
Appendix 5 – Persuading, Influencing and Negotiating
Appendix 6 – The Four Stages of negotiation.
6. Assuming that the project reveals several possible ideas for improving processes, explain how you will determine which of these to formally recommend to the CEO.
Appendix 7 – The Decision Making Process
Looking through the data collected we are currently not employing that calibre of candidates that this company requires. In short we require employees that are business savvy, use their initiative, responsive, passionate and dependable. Our current employees need to start to take accountability for their work within the organisation and we are currently not recruiting these people. After following the Decision making process (Appendix 7) I have gathered and analysed all the information we have collected from the project and the area that stands out the most to be worked on is the learning and development of employees. For the company to continuously improve and grow the employees need to continuously grow and learn. We need to be more of a Learning Organisation.
This would hopefully make the employees more engaged and our retaining levels would increase. I feel that another project will be required to take place to work through our ideas of each individual employee’s career paths. We need to focus on the staff we have to begin with so we know what staff we need to recruit to enable us to be cost effective with our recruitment process. As we will already know what we require from the candidates, we will need to ensure that they wish to learn and improve themselves into the areas we require. Once employed we will be able to train them and help them grow by following the new company development scheme we should have in place. If we were to put in place the new processes as outlined then the future employees that come through the new recruitment process are our future and we will need to keep hold of them.
*1 2011-2015, (. (2015). Conflict Resolution | SkillsYouNeed. [online] Skillsyouneed.com. Available at: http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/conflict-resolution.html (Accessed 11 Jan. 2015). *2 Anon, (2015). [online] Available at: http://www.ftms.edu.my/images/Document/MOD001181%20-%20Developing%20professional%20Practices%20and%20using%20information%20in%20HR/Week%201%20-%20The%20Thinking%20Performer.pdf (Accessed 14 Jan. 2015). *3 Bia.ca, (2015). Risk Management…The What, Why, and How. [online] Available at: http://www.bia.ca/articles/rm-risk-management.htm (Accessed 14 Jan. 2015). *4 BusinessDictionary.com, (2015). What is a team? definition and meaning. [online] Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/team.html (Accessed 14 Jan. 2015). *5 Mindtools.com, (2015). Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence: Convincing Others to Say. [online] Available at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/six-principles-influence.htm (Accessed 14 Jan. 2015). *6 Schiff, J. (2015). 11 Project Management Tips for Setting and Managing Expectations. [online] CIO. Available at: http://www.cio.com/article/2378680/project-management/11-project-management-tips-for-setting-and-managing-expectations.html (Accessed 14 Jan. 2015). *7 amrayman246, (2012). amrayman246. [online] Available at: https://amrayman246.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 19 Jan. 2015]. *8 Flat World Knowledge, (2015). Organizational Behavior 1.0 | Flat World Education. [online] Available at: http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/3?e=bauer-ch13_s03 [Accessed 20 Jan. 2015]. *9 The Happy Manager, (2015). Rational Decision Making Model, Bringing Structure to Decision Making. [online] Available at: http://www.the-happy-manager.com/articles/rational-decision-making-model/