Projects are executed by people and rather often on behalf of people (directly or indirectly) esp. ICT projects. A Project Manager not only needs the ‘hard’ skills such making a project planning and performing risk management but also needs a lot of ‘soft’ skills and experience. In this context ‘soft’ skills are mainly focusing how to deal with people.
In case you can’t deal with people, in a variety of circumstances, you can’t be a Project Manager in my view. Nowadays people working on projects could be in different physical places due to for instance outsourcing of work to other countries. This makes Project Management even more complex and challenging compared to 20 years ago.
So holistic means in this context that a lot of attention is paid to the human aspects of projects. Finishing a project within time/budget and when you are looking behind you and notice that people for instance are not happy/satisfied, don’t want to work with you anymore and have burn-outs is in my perspective not a successful project.
A project is successful according to me when merely everybody (100% is a challenge) is happy and the attitude is ‘WE have done this together’ and ‘we would like to work with you again’.
Project Management has overlap with Line Management but also a number of differences. The two disciplines need to work together as well in order to achieve the required results.
The main difference is that a project is a temporarely composition often of people with different disciplines (different Line Managers) and Line Managers (normally) take care of their staff contineously. Furthermore Line Managers are responsible for the personal development of their staff including performance reviews. The Project Manager delivers input for these performance reviews as well.
Lex has written a book 'Holistic Project Management' which is currently being prepared for publication by an American publisher.
This book covers not only the ‘normal’ subjects of Project Management such as financial management and risk management during the project phases but also contains special chapters about psychology, personal development, outsourcing and presentations.
It is not my intention to make a psychologist of a Project Manager but my intention is to create first of all awareness of the psychological side of Project Management in dealing with people. My intention is to give practically and directly usable information based on my personal experience I did gain during for instance 16 years as certified Senior Project Manager at IBM Global Services based in the Netherlands.
How often is thought about the impact of a project in a broad sense? This book also covers this important subject by looking at the impact on persons as well as the environment.
For more information (this book can also be ordered via eg. Amazon): Publisher