Effective project leadership

Effective project leadership – overview

The leadership role of the project manager is increasingly recognised as a key determinant in delivering success. These skills can often be critical in project situations, where tight budgets and deadlines demand the highest levels of team performance and where the working environment presents fresh challenges on a daily basis.

This programme focuses on the leadership skills required of project managers and will benefit anyone involved in managing projects large or small wishing to extend or enhance those skills. It will particularly suit those in roles such as:

  • project and programme managers, project technical and support team leaders
  • leaders of business change programmes and improvement initiatives
  • project sponsors, functional managers and resource managers

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

The objectives of this programme are to help the participants:

  • Understand the significance of leadership skills to the project manager and the impact of these skills on project performance
  • Review the key skills needed to be an effective ‘multi-dimensional’ project leader and learn how to develop, adapt and apply them in practice
  • Learn how to identify the preferred leadership style for the context and organisational culture of a project and how to develop personal style versatility
  • Understand the role of the project leader in building an effective team and the skills required to promote and sustain team performance
  • Gain a better understanding of the interpersonal skills needed to motivate individual team members and harness the full potential of the team
Who should attend?

Programme participants who are newly appointed to leadership roles will gain a sound foundation in the concepts, methods and skills of project leadership whilst those with more experience will acquire new insights, broaden their expertise and extend their skills.
Course format

Over the course of this two-day programme, participants will learn through a range of teaching and personal development methods including presentations, tutorials, real life case studies, worked examples, short team exercises and video presentations.

Each session will include individual exercises or team activities to encourage participation and involvement to promote the sharing of ideas and expertise within the group.

Expert trainer

John is a highly qualified (BSc, MSc, CEng, MIMechE, MAPM, AMInstP) independent consultant specialising in project and change management. He established his consultancy practice in 1990, following 20 years of industrial management experience, and now offers a wide range of management training and team development programmes. He also provides facilitation and consultancy services to help clients with specific projects or to assist them with staff and management development programmes.

Before setting up his consultancy and training business, John was a senior manager with Ilford Limited, a leading manufacturer of specialist photographic products. Having starting as a development engineer, he progressed through technical and team leadership roles and was appointed Manager of Engineering Development in 1980. In this role he was directly involved in a major company restructuring programme whilst managing a diverse portfolio of multi-disciplinary engineering projects. His project management role subsequently grew to include a range of business projects, including manufacturing improvement programmes and new product introductions. John was also involved in co-ordinating international technology transfer activities and in strategic business development studies within the Ilford Group.

John’s project management experience includes the design and installation of new manufacturing equipment, the development of new products, the improvement of manufacturing procedures, the relocation of offices and staff and organisation restructuring. John has also co-ordinated international project teams and carried out assignments in support of strategic business development programmes.

Prior to joining Ilford Limited, John trained in the automotive industry and gained an honours degree in Applied Physics. He went on to conduct post-graduate research in cryogenics at Oxford University for which he was awarded an MSc in Engineering Science. John is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, The Institute of Physics and The Association of Project Management.

John’s client base includes leading organisations in Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Defence, IS/IT and Education. He is an associate with Loughborough Business School and is a senior consultant and course director with a number of well-known training organisations. Whilst his work is centred in the UK, he frequently works internationally in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A highly experienced, popular and professional trainer, John’s courses are always much appreciated by the participants, as the following comments show:

‘I really liked the practical exercises’
‘There was certainly a lot to think about’
‘John’s experience was excellent’
‘The group was encouraged to interact very well’
‘A very useful course’
‘A very worthwhile, productive and enjoyable two days’

Effective project leadership – course outline

DAY ONE

1 Introduction

  • Aims and objectives
  • Personal objectives

2 Project management and leadership

  • What is a leader? How much can leadership be learned?
  • The project environment and the impact of leadership skills
  • The characteristics of high performance project teams and their leaders

3 Principles of effective leadership

  • Some useful models and theories of leadership explored
  • Types of leadership; choosing how to use leadership power
  • Evaluating personal leadership style; how to develop style flexibility

4 Syndicate case study: Leadership in action

  • Review of the role of leadership in a contemporary project
  • Feedback and plenary discussion: effective project leadership

5 Team exercise: Leadership skills of the project manager

  • Teams compete in performing a project simulation
  • Project review and feedback
  • Discussion of the outcome: role and skills of the project leader

6 Leadership skills for project managers

  • The 3 dimensions of project leadership: inwards, outwards, and upwards
  • The vital role of communication skills and how to develop them
  • Developing a ‘project vision’: strategic thinking skills
  • Understanding others; emotional intelligence skills
  • Being a visible leader; behavioural and influencing skills
  • Building effective relationships; the importance of trust and respect

DAY TWO

7 Leading the project team

  • The role of leadership in developing team performance
  • Understanding individual strengths; recognising team role preferences
  • Managing conflict and promoting positive team dynamics
  • Setting standards, maintaining discipline and rewarding performance
  • Harnessing team potential: building motivation within the team
  • Promoting team learning; the team leader as coach/mentor

8 Leading through the organisation

  • Gaining the support others; developing effective influencing skills
  • Getting empowerment from key stakeholders
  • Knowing when and how to take the initiative and lead
  • Building and maintaining rapport with key partners
  • Becoming an effective team player in leadership teams
  • Becoming a business leader; leading colleagues and co-workers

9 Team exercise: Leadership and negotiation

  • Teams engage in a negotiation exercise
  • Exercise review and feedback
  • Discussion of the outcome: negotiation skills of the project leader

10 Negotiation skills for project leaders

  • Characteristics of effective negotiators
  • Classic problem behaviours and mind-sets to avoid
  • Getting to win-win; building partnership and trust

11 Leading more senior stakeholders

  • The challenges and skills of leading and managing upwards
  • Communicating with more senior stakeholders; building credibility
  • Negotiating upwards: knowing when and how
  • The role of networking skills; building and maintaining rapport
  • Handling disagreements; the art of diplomacy
  • Handling personality and style conflicts with more senior people