You have gathered the requirements of the project from the client, story mapped with the team, estimated the time taken for each task and set out the timeframe for the project. The project has been costed accordingly and resources booked into the studio. Sounds great so far. However, you have just been informed by more senior stakeholders that prior to the requirements gathering with the client, they had already agreed a deadline for the project. The new deadline varies rather dramatically from the one you have just agreed with the team.
As the DPM, you are now responsible for delivering the project to this new deadline and getting your team to buy-in to the tighter timescale; convincing them this is achievable. Does this sound like a familiar tightrope you have to walk?
Here are my 5 top tips to working with integrity…
Integrity is an inner compass, the points of which are your own values and beliefs. These are important to you, so start by identifying them. A periodic, honest audit to raise your self-awareness allows you to continually self-check and ensure you are living by your values, and therefore with integrity, on a daily basis. Ask yourself, which values are important to you?
Integrity what people believe in their heart of hearts – can’t be bought, claimed or bestowed. The person with integrity rarely claims it, it simply exists. Best manifested quietly day-to-day living – treasured above all things, after integrity comes decency, honour, trust and principal – Mr. Jere Joiner retired captain, Shreveport, Louisiana, Police Department
As the DPM, you will have to accept the responsibility for the project outcome whether it is good or bad, and you will not assign blame to others. A proactive approach is now required to create a framework for the different method of reaching this new goal. This accountability does mean you need to engage with your team, be honest and open about the new goal, discuss the possible approaches and the feasibility of each. This next part is key. Whatever is agreed, you need to demonstrate congruence between what you say and what you do and act consistently; your words and actions need to reflect each other.
Integrity has a huge impact on others being able to trust you. The way to build this into project delivery, is about keeping those commitments you have made to the team at the start. Be emotionally honest and open, don’t withhold information and be receptive to input from others, actively listen, acknowledge and seek to understand their points of view or concerns. Keeping things transparent will help people to confide in you, and to be confident in your abilities.
We are going through a period of intense change in probably every aspect of our lives – consistency, trust, values and honesty are like a harbour in the storm – Emma-Sue Prince, The Advantage
Communicate the truth respectfully and don’t leave out important information for your own personal gain, or power trip – in short, don’t have hidden agendas. This demonstrates a clear lack of integrity, which in turn creates mistrust, lowers respect and creates an environment unconducive to openness. Ideally, you want to be seen as being candid and forthright, not political or manipulative or getting people to do things without them knowing your real intent. You also need to demonstrate sincerity and not tell people what you think they want to hear. This is where you need to manage expectations – both for yourself and others. Be clear about your what you expect and what is expected of you – so ask questions, get past the assumptions, make agreements and clarify.
“No matter where you sit in an organisation, you can “own the room” if you are able to do two things well: first, demonstrate your authentic value and distinction, and second, connect to others in a positive way…connecting with and impacting others have what the authors call a “signature voice” – Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins
Have you experienced the feeling when something isn’t quite right, after a decision you have made at work which continues to niggle throughout the course of the day? One of the most likely reasons is you have in some way compromised your values, a core belief that you hold. You need to be responsible for yourself, your actions, and be honest about the way you behave. If you observe negative behaviour in others, you don’t have to emulate it. You can really exemplify integrity by embracing your ethics and ‘do the right thing’ even when no one is looking. Rather than being seen as shallow and artificial, you will rightly be perceived by your team as being real, genuine and authentic.
Integrity begins with the small things – you did what you said you would do honestly – walk the talk and do the right thing even when no one is looking. Demonstrating integrity requires a lot of effort and conscientiousness. You need to behave in a way that is consistent with your values and beliefs. A team working well together, I believe, is based on a combination of trust, honesty, openness and accountability, starting with the DPM themselves, the team individually and then as a whole.
Want to know more about the seven soft skills you need to get ahead as a DPM? As well as practical tips you can start to use straight away? Please visit the Digital Project Managers page 🙂