Six Project Management Modes

In the last blog, I was musing about what a project manager is and also the personality factors that make up a typical project manager. If you have not already done so, please complete the short poll at the end of this blog, to add to my data.

Another topic I toyed with for How to Manage a Great Project, but had to cut for lack of space because it was not essential, was the idea that there are multiple styles of project management.

I don’t here mean the personal styles that we all bring to the role – although there is another great blog topic! Different stages in the project and different challenges each bring out a need for a different style of project management – or for a unique combination of those styles. I like the idea of a radar plot (sometimes called a spiderweb plot) to characterise a specific style.

Here, six different modes can be combined in different admixtures. These modes are:

L for Leading Mode: leadership, communication, authority

S for Supporter Mode: caring, concern, compassion

F for Fix-it Mode: pragmatism, practical, just do it urgency

E for Exploration Mode: investigating, gathering information, research

C for Crisis Mode: emergency response, calm and commanding

P for Process Mode: Routines, systems, procedures and organisation

Put them together and see what pattern emerges at different times. Here are two examples:

Project Management Styles

What other stages or challenges demand a particular style profile. Let me have your High/Medium/Low/Nil estimates and I will draw some of them up.

And, here is the poll, please complete it if you have not already done so.

Tick all of the statements that your friends and colleagues would say apply to you most of the time. I know that they all apply at some time, so please try to avoid ticking all of them.

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