10Behavioral Excellence


Previously, we saw that companies excellent in project management strongly emphasize training for behavioral skills. In the past it was thought that project failures were due primarily to poor planning, inaccurate estimating, inefficient scheduling, and lack of cost control. Today, excellent companies realize that project failures have more to do with behavioral shortcomings—poor employee morale, negative human relations, low productivity, and lack of commitment.

This chapter discusses these human factors in the context of situational leadership and conflict resolution. It also provides information on staffing issues in project management. Finally, the chapter offers advice on how to achieve behavioral excellence.


As project management has begun to emphasize behavioral management over technical management, situational leadership has also received more attention. The average size of projects has grown, and so has the size of project teams. Process integration and effective interpersonal relations have also taken on more importance as project teams have gotten larger. Project managers now need to be able to talk with many different functions and departments. There is a contemporary project management proverb that goes something like this: “When researcher talks to researcher, there is 100 percent understanding. When researcher talks to manufacturing, there is 50 percent understanding. When researcher talks ...

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