Analysis of Nursing Ideologies: Leg Ulcers and COPD Case Professional Studies Essay The aim of this essay is to address various professional nursing ideologies and how they can be applied to nursing practice. This will be undertaken in order to assess the authorâ€™s knowledge and understanding of the various themes of the Professional Studies module. In order to assess knowledge and understanding this essay will answer three questions, each pertaining to particular strands of professional studies. These include factors that can influence the promotion of evidence-based care, the philosophy of caring and managing the delivery of care. Examples of practice used in this assignment will be from published research. The answers given will be supported by research pertaining to the treatment of venous leg ulcers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is suggested that evidence-based practice (EBP) or evidence-based care is a high point on political and professional agendas (Wright, 2001, p198) having gained popularity in health care following concerns over the continued use of practices based on tradition or habit, rather than evidence of their efficacy (Flaherty, 2001, p4). EBP contrasts with this in that it intends to promote treatment and care that is based on systematic evaluation of the evidence of the effectiveness of interventions. It is suggested that the Department of Health (1998, p17) has adopted the principles of EBP, changing the focus from individual staff seeking to identify the best course of action in given clinical situations to national initiatives to minimize variations in healthcare provision across regions, developing national standards of health care and debatably determining what is deemed the most effective use of finite NHS resources. However, it is argued that the implementation of the national standards of health care which are in the form of guidelines issued by organisations such as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) are often delayed (Shannon, 2003, p1368). Debatably, this is a result of various factors such as lack of finances, time, inclination to change and lack of conviction that change will be beneficial. Having said that, it is important that nurses understand what theoretical knowledge is needed in accessing and selecting evidence for use in supporting practice. It is recommended that nurses, who employ evidence-based care, recognize the distinction between EBP and research-based practice. EBP acknowledges that even where there is an absence of empirical research, evidence in the form of case studies or expert opinion might exist that can inform practice (Hewitt-Taylor, 2003b, p43). In addition, arguably not all research is of high quality, and practices may be described as â€œresearched-basedâ€, even where the research upon which they are based is not of a good standard, or not intended to be applied in a particular setting. Theoretically, EBP is concerned with gathering all the available evidence, evaluating the evidence and deciding what would constitute the best approach to a particular aspect of care in a given clinical situation (Hewitt-Taylor, 2003b, p44). The evidence that can be used includes research, consensus expert opinion, cost and patient preferences (NICE 2003, p3). It is suggested that as well as taking into account a variety of sources of evidence, the use of EBP with health care involves the ability to evaluate the quality of all these forms of evidence and there application to certain clinical circumstances. Therefore, it is proposed that nurses need to be able to critically analyse all of the proposed evidence that is to be used before employing evidence-based care to practice. It is also suggested that nurses need to have knowledge of the individual component skills of evidence based-practice. These include research and information technology skills, awareness of major information types and sources, as already mentioned, the ability to analyse critically evidence against set standards, dissemination of new ideas about care to colleagues and the ability to review own practice (Cranston, 2002, p39). As previously mentioned, nurses need to have the knowledge and skills to be able to identify and analyse which evidence is most appropriate for a given clinical situation. Therefore when implementing EPB in a care situation it is important to understand that research evidence is only one part of the picture when considering clinical decision making. For instance, at present there is good quality research evidence which indicates that the most effective treatment for uncomplicated venous leg ulcers is the application of compression bandaging (RCN Institute, 1998, p7). It is suggested however that research evidence cannot yet point to the best type and method of bandaging to apply. Therefore, individual nurse clinical experience and the patientâ€™s preference in terms of comfort of bandaging will come into play when making a decision about the best way to treat the leg ulcer. It is debated that it is essential for nurses to understand that arguably very few treatment interventions or nursing practices have a purely research evidence base from which to direct practice (Cranston, 2002, p40). Therefore, it is argued that nurses must also be able to draw on all aspects of evidence, including patientsâ€™ and familiesâ€™ perspectives, the results of research, and their own and colleaguesâ€™ expertise to reach the best holistic, person-centred care for each patient (Howitt Armstrong, 1999, p1324). Apart from the importance of holistic care and person-centred care, the theory of caring is also a key issue relevant to the advancement of nursing. It is proposed that in recent years several issues pertaining to the development of nursing knowledge have been addressed. Debatably, these include uncovering phenomena considered central to nursing and nursing theories and models that have emanated from them (Chinn Kramer, 1995, p24). One important concept within nursing that is gaining increasing attention in nursing literature is that of caring (Kyle 1995, p506). A range of theories have been presented in nursing literature that have caring as a central concept and are based on a human science perspective. One of these theories is that of Simone Roachâ€™s (1992) theory on caring. In her writings she discusses the uniqueness of caring, arguing that caring is not unique to nursing but it is unique in nursing. Furthermore, she presents the idea that this one concept includes the â€œessential characteristics of nursing as a helping disciplineâ€ (Roach, 1992, p12). The main concepts of this theory are the attributes of caring, or the five Cs. Roach perceived the five Cs as â€œa broad framework suggesting categories of human behaviour within which professional caring may be expressedâ€ (Roach, 1992, p69). The five Cs are defined as compassion, competence, confidence, conscience and commitment (Roach, 1992, p19). It is acknowledged that it has been difficult to find any practical examples of Roachâ€™s work. This could be due to the fact that it is not formally considered a theory for nursing. Debatably, while the five Cs including are essential to caring within nursing, it is proposed that the third C, confidence is required to enable the nurse to deliver holistic care. (Roach, 1992, p63) defines confidence as â€œthe quality which fosters trusting relationshipsâ€. In Roachâ€™s writings she accentuates the need for a â€˜caring confidenceâ€™ between the nurse and patient that promotes a trusting, truthful, equitable and respectful relationship that happens without any attached conditions, misrepresentations, anxiety or subjection (Roach, 1992, p64). In a practice setting, it is suggested that if patients cannot feel that the staff are being truthful and candid in their contact with them they will not trust or believe in them. Debatably, at the center of patientsâ€™ making informed choices is that nurses are honest and give truthful information, therefore, if they do not perceive honesty the patientsâ€™ cannot be sure they are making the right decisions. It is essential that nurses trust in their own abilities and they need to possess confidence in their own skills and judgements and as well as knowing their limitations (Fry, 1989, p9, Pusari, 1998, p6). With this in mind it is proposed that nurses could use the Johnsâ€™ Model of Structured Reflection (1994, pp71-75). Arguably, this model can help the nurse reflect on the above factors that constitute confidence in caring. The model asks questions that allow nurses to reflect on their abilities, actions and what they tried to achieve in a given clinical setting. It helps nurses to reflect on how they responded as they did in a care setting and if they could have dealt better with the situation. On reflection the model might help nurses to have the confidence to care in a holistic, person-centred, knowledgeable and reflective manner. It is suggested that in order to manage the delivery of holistic, patient-centred care, that care needs to be of high quality and performed within current policy guidelines. Delivery of healthcare can be undertaken on three levels: primary, secondary and tertiary care (Royal College of Physicians (RCP), 2001, p292). It is proposed that the delivery of COPD care can be undertaken at all levels of care; however, it is argued that COPD care is normally managed within primary and secondary care settings. Patients suffering from COPD can access primary care from there General Practitioner (GP). Some GPs might have an interest and an expertise in the management of COPD and therefore could provide specialist nurse-led clinics within their surgeries. Secondary care for COPD sufferers is normally a hospital-based service whereby patients have accessed this level of care either from a referral from their GP of through Accident and Emergency. It is proposed that most district general hospitals have a highly trained respiratory medicine team (RCP, 2001, 292). One example of managing the delivery of COPD within primary care is that of the introduction of Quality Outcome Framework (QOF) practitioners. Arguably, this is a major incentive to improve primary care COPD management and the QOF for COPD became part of the General medical Services Contract (Booker, 2005, p33). Debatably, the QOF targets can form the basis of good COPD management as in most cases; evidence-based rationales were used for the inclusion of particular targets such as smoking cessation advice. However, it appears that in some areas the QOF and the NICE guidelines disagree on the management of COPD care. The NICE guideline suggests that reversibility testing is not routinely necessary for initial diagnosis (NCCCC, 2004, p1), but the QOF requires spirometry testing plus reversibility testing as a premise for diagnosis. Evidence suggests that reversibility testing to a single, â€œacuteâ€ dose of bronchodilator is not reproducible and can be misleading. It is suggested that the majority of COPD cases can be accurately diagnosed from the clinical history and then confirmed with spirometry testing (Calverley, 2003, p659). Debatably, despite the disagreements between NICE guidelines and QOF, the QOF scheme is a good starting point and arguably, has served to increase the profile of COPD in primary care. Nurses need to understand and become knowledgeable about professional nursing theories and ideologies. Person-centred holistic care is often based on clinical evidence and research. It is important therefore that nurses can appreciate the usefulness of evidence but also be conscious of the relevance of the evidence in everyday practice. Nurses need to be able to critically analyse any evidence-based research or guidelines for its effectiveness in practice. Knowledge of the theories of nursing can help enhance practice by understanding key concepts pertaining to care and delivery of care. Reflection as a concept within care is important for developing safe, quality, holistic, patient-centred care. In contemporary nursing managing the delivery of care is often guided by current policy. Nurses need to be aware of the current care guidelines that plan their care actions. It is important to note that clinical care guidelines can enhance patient care by providing rules on ethical, safe and quality care. However, it is important to note that guidelines are there for the safety of the healthcare profession as well as the patients. References Booker R (2005) COPD, NICE and GMS: getting quality from QOF, Primary Care, 15, 9, 33-36 Calverley PMA (2003) Bronchodilator reversibility testing in COPD, Thorax, 58, 8, 659-664 Chinn PL Kramer MK (1995) Theory and Nursing: A Systematic Approach, 4th edn, St Louis, Mosby year Book Press Cranston M (2002) Clinical effectiveness and evidence based practice, Nursing Standard, 16, 24, 39-43 Department of Health (1998) A First Class Service: Quality in the new NHS, London, HMSO Flaherty R (2001) Medical Myths: todayâ€™s perspectives, Patient Care, 15 September: 4â€“10 Fry ST (1989) Toward a theory of nursing ethics, Advances in Nursing Science, 11, 4, 9-22 Hewitt-Taylor J (2003b) Reviewing evidence, Intensive Critical Care Nursing, 19, 43-9 Howitt A Armstrong D (1999) Implementing evidence based medicine in general practice: audit and qualitative study of antithrombotic treatment for arterial fibrillation, British Medical Journal, 318, 7194, 1324-1327 Johns C (1994) Clinical notes: nuances of reflection, Journal of Clinical Nursing, 3, 2, 71-75 Kyle TV (1995) The concept of caring: a review of the literature, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 21, 506-514 NCCCC (2004) Chronic obstructive disease: NICE Guideline for management of COPD in adults in primary care, Thorax, 1, 1-232 NICE (2003) Factsheet: General Information About Clinical Guidelines, NICE, London Pusari N (1998) Eight â€˜Csâ€™ of caring: a holistic framework for nursing terminally ill patients. Contemporary Nurse, 7, 3, 156-160 RCN Institute (1998) The Management of Patients with Venous leg Ulcers, London, RCN Publishing Roach S (1992) The Human Act of Caring, Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Hospital Association Press Royal College of Physicians (2001) Consultants physicians working for patients, 2nd edition, London, RCP Shannon C (2003) Money must be available for NICE guidance, minister says, British Medical Journal, 327, 1368 Wright SM (2001) Contribution of a lecturer-practitioner in implementing evidence-based health care, Accident Emergency Nursing, 9, 3, 198-203
â€œNo, you're still too low,â€ I said to Gretchen. â€œIt's making you flat. You need to be a note higher or something. Like this.â€ I sang the part I wanted her to sing.
â€œI am singing that,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œNo, you're singing lower than that,â€ I said.
â€œThen you're singing the wrong note,â€ Gretchen said. â€œBecause I'm singing the note you're singing. Go ahead, sing it.â€
I cleared my throat, and sang the note I wanted her to sing. She matched it perfectly. I stopped singing and listened to Gretchen. She was flat.
â€œWell, nuts,â€ I said.
â€œI told you,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œIf I could pull up the song for you, you could hear the note and sing it,â€ I said.
â€œIf you could pull up the song, we wouldn't be trying to sing it at all,â€ Gretchen said. â€œWe'd just listen to it, like civilized human beings.â€
â€œGood point,â€ I said.
â€œThere's nothing good about it,â€ Gretchen said. â€œI swear to you, Zoe. I knew coming to a colony world was going to be hard. I was ready for that. But if I knew they were going to take my PDA, I might have just stayed back on Erie. Go ahead, call me shallow.â€
â€œShallow,â€ I said.
â€œNow tell me I'm wrong,â€ Gretchen said. â€œI dare you.â€
I didn't tell her she was wrong. I knew how she felt. Yes, it was shallow to admit that you missed your PDA. But when you'd spent your whole life able to call up everything you wanted to amuse you on a PDA â€“ music, shows, books and friends â€“ when you had to part with it, it made you miserable. Really miserable. Like â€œtrapped on a desert island with nothing but coconuts to bang togetherâ€ miserable. Because there was nothing to replace it with. Yes, the Colonial Mennonites had brought their own small library of printed books, but most of that consisted of Bibles and agricultural manuals and a few â€œclassics,â€ of which Huckleberry Finn was one of the more recent volumes. As for popular music and entertainments, well, they didn't much truck with that.
You could tell a few of the Colonial Mennonite teens thought it was funny to watch the rest of us go through entertainment withdrawal. Didn't seem very Christian of them, I have to say. On the other hand, they weren't the ones whose lives had been drastically altered by landing on Roanoke. If I were in their shoes and watching a whole bunch of other people whining and moaning about how horrible it was that their toys were taken away, I might feel a little smug, too.
We did what people do in situations where they go without: We adjusted. I hadn't read a book since we landed on Roanoke, but was on the waiting list for a bound copy of The Wizard of Oz. There were no recorded shows or entertainments but Shakespeare never fails; there was a reader's theater performance of Twelfth Night planned for a week from Sunday. It promised to be fairly gruesome â€“ I'd heard some of the read-throughs â€“ but Enzo was reading the part of Sebastian, and he was doing well enough, and truth be told it would be the first time I would have ever experienced a Shakespeare play â€“ or any play other than a school pageant â€“ live. And it's not like there would be anything else to do anyway.
And as for music, well, this is what happened: Within a couple days of landing a few of the colonists hauled out guitars and accordions and hand drums and other such instruments and started trying to play together. Which went horribly, because nobody knew anyone else's music. It was like what happened on the Magellan. So they started teaching each other their songs, and then people showed up to sing them, and then people showed up to listen. And thus it was, at the very tail end of space, when no one was looking, the colony of Roanoke reinvented the â€œhootenanny.â€ Which is what Dad called it. I told him it was a stupid name for it, and he said he agreed, but said that the other word for it â€“ â€œwingdingâ€ â€“ was worse. I couldn't argue with that.
The Roanoke Hootenanners (as they were now calling themselves) took requests â€“ but only if the person requesting sang the song. And if the musicians didn't know the song, you'd have to sing it at least a couple of times until they could figure out how to fake it. This led to an interesting development: singers started doing a cappella versions of their favorite songs, first by themselves and increasingly in groups, which might or might not be accompanied by the Hootenanners. It was becoming a point of pride for people to show up with their favorite songs already arranged, so everyone else in the audience didn't have to suffer through a set of dry runs before it was all listenable.
It was safe to say that some of these arrangements were more arranged than others, to put it politely, and some folks sang with the same vocal control as a cat in a shower. But now, a couple of months after the hootenannies had begun, people were beginning to get the hang of it. And people had begun coming to the hoots with new songs, arranged a cappella. One of the most popular songs at the recent hoots was â€œLet Me Drive the Tractorâ€ â€“ the tale of a colonist being taught to drive a manual tractor by a Mennonite, who, because they were the only ones who knew how to operate noncomputerized farm machinery, had been put in charge of planting crops and teaching the rest of us how to use their equipment. The song ends with the tractor going into a ditch. It was based on a true story. The Mennonites thought the song was pretty funny, even though it came at the cost of a wrecked tractor.
Songs about tractors were a long way from what any of us had been listening to before, but then, we were a long way from where any of us were before, in any sense, so maybe that fit. And to get all sociological about it, maybe what it meant was that twenty or fifty standard years down the line, whenever the Colonial Union decided to let us get in contact with the rest of the human race, Roanoke would have its own distinct musical form. Maybe they'll call it Roanokapella. Or Hootenoke. Or something.
But at this particular moment, all I was trying to do was to get the right note for Gretchen to sing so she and I could go to the next hoot with a halfway decent version of â€œDelhi Morningâ€ for the Hootenanners to pick up on. And I was failing miserably. This is what it feels like when you realize that, despite a song being your favorite of maybe all time, you don't actually know every little nook and cranny of it. And since my copy of the song was on my PDA, which I could no longer use or even had anymore, there was no way to correct this problem.
Unless. â€œI have an idea,â€ I said to Gretchen.
â€œDoes it involve you learning to sing on key?â€ Gretchen asked.
â€œEven better,â€ I said.
Ten minutes later we were on the other side of Croatoan, standing in front of the village's information center â€“ the one place on the entire planet that you'd still find a functioning piece of electronics, because the inside was designed to completely block any radio or other signals of any sort. The technology to do this, sadly, was rare enough that we only had enough of it for a converted cargo container. The good news was, they were making more. The bad news was, they were only making enough for a medical bay. Sometimes life stinks. Gretchen and I walked into the receiving area, which was pitch black because of the signal-cloaking material; you had to close the outer door to the information center before you could open the inner door. So for about a second and a half it was like being swallowed by grim, black, featureless death. Not something I'd recommend.
And then we opened the inner door and found a geek inside. He looked at the both of us, a little surprised, and then got that no look.
â€œThe answer is no,â€ he said, confirming the look.
â€œAw, Mr. Bennett,â€ I said. â€œYou don't even know what we're going to ask.â€
â€œWell, let's see,â€ said Jerry Bennett. â€œTwo teenage girls â€“ daughters of the colony leaders, incidentally â€“ just happen to walk into the only place in the colony where one could play with a PDA. Hmmm. Are they here to beg to play with a PDA? Or are they here because they enjoy the company of a chunky, middle-aged man? This is not a hard question, Miss Perry.â€
â€œWe just want to listen to one song,â€ I said. â€œWe'll be out of your hair in just a minute.â€
Bennett sighed. â€œYou know, at least a couple times a day someone just like you gets the bright idea to come in here and ask if I could just let them borrow a PDA to watch a movie, or listen to some music or read a book. And, oh, it'll just take a minute. I won't even notice they're there. And if I say yes, then other people will come in asking for the same time. Eventually I'll spend so much time helping people with their PDAs that I won't have time to do the work your parents, Miss Perry, have assigned me to do. So you tell me: What should I do?â€
â€œGet a lock?â€ said Gretchen.
Bennett glanced over to Gretchen, sourly. â€œVery amusing,â€ he said.
â€œWhat are you doing for my parents?â€ I asked.
â€œYour parents are having me slowly and painstakingly locate and print every single Colonial Union administration memo and file, so they can refer to them without having to come in here and bother me,â€ Bennett said. â€œIn one sense I appreciate that, but in a more immediate sense I've been doing it for the last three days and I'm likely to be doing it for another four. And since the printer I have to work with jams on a regular basis, it does actually require someone to pay attention to it. And that's me. So there you have it, Miss Perry: Four years of technical education and twenty years of professional work have allowed me to become a printer monkey at the very ass end of space. Truly, my life's goal has been achieved.â€
I shrugged. â€œSo let us do it,â€ I said.
â€œI beg your pardon,â€ Bennett said.
â€œIf all you're doing is making sure the printer doesn't jam, that's something we could do for you,â€ I said. â€œWe'll work for you for a couple of hours, and in exchange you let us use a couple of PDAs while we're here. And then you can do whatever else you need to do.â€
â€œOr just go have lunch,â€ Gretchen said. â€œSurprise your wife.â€
Bennett was silent for a minute, considering. â€œOffering to actually help me,â€ he said. â€œNo one's tried that tactic before. Very sneaky.â€
â€œWe try,â€ I said.
â€œAnd it is lunchtime,â€ Bennett said. â€œAnd it is just printing.â€
â€œIt is,â€ I agreed.
â€œI suppose if you mess things up horribly it won't be too bad for me,â€ Bennett said. â€œYour parents won't punish me for your incompetence.â€
â€œNepotism working for you,â€ I said.
â€œNot that there will be a problem,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œNo,â€ I agreed. â€œWe're excellent printer monkeys.â€
â€œAll right,â€ Bennett said, and reached across his worktable to grab his PDA. â€œYou can use my PDA. You know how to use this?â€
I gave him a look.
â€œSorry. Okay.â€ He punched up a queue of files on the display. â€œThese are files that need to go through today. The printer is thereâ€ â€“ he motioned to the far end of the worktable â€“ â€œand the paper is in that bin. Feed it into the printer, stack the finished documents next to the printer. If it jams, and it will, several times, just yank out the paper and let it autofeed a new one. It'll automatically reprint the last page it was working on. While you're doing that you can sync up to the Entertainment archive. I downloaded all those files into one place.â€
â€œYou downloaded everyone's files?â€ I asked, and felt ever so slightly violated.
â€œRelax,â€ Bennett said. â€œOnly public files are accessible. As long as you encrypted your private files before you turned in your PDA, like you were told to, your secrets are safe. Now, once you access a music file the speakers will kick on. Don't turn them up too high or you won't be able to hear the printer jam.â€
â€œYou have speakers already set up?â€ Gretchen asked.
â€œYes, Miss Trujillo,â€ Bennett said. â€œBelieve it or not, even chunky middle-aged men like to listen to music.â€
â€œI know that,â€ Gretchen said. â€œMy dad loves his.â€
â€œAnd on that ego-deflating note, I'll be off,â€ Bennett said. â€œI'll be back in a couple of hours. Please don't destroy the place. And if anyone comes in asking if they can borrow a PDA, tell them the answer is no, and no exceptions.â€ He set off.
â€œI hope he was being ironic there,â€ I said.
â€œDon't care,â€ Gretchen said, and grabbed for the PDA. â€œGive me that.â€
â€œHey,â€ I said, holding it away from her. â€œFirst things first.â€ I set up the printer, queued the files, and then accessed â€œDelhi Morning.â€ The opening strains flowed out of the speakers and I soaked them in. I swear I almost cried.
â€œIt's amazing how badly you remembered this song,â€ Gretchen said, about halfway though.
â€œShhhhh,â€ I said. â€œHere's that part.â€
She saw the expression on my face and kept quiet until the song was done.
Two hours is not enough time with a PDA if you haven't had access to one in months. And that's all I'm going to say about that. But it was enough time that both Gretchen and I came out of the information center feeling just like we'd spent hours soaking in a nice hot bath â€“ which, come to think of it, was something that we hadn't done for months either.
â€œWe should keep this to ourselves,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œYes,â€ I said. â€œDon't want people to bug Mr. Bennett.â€
â€œNo, I just like having something over everyone else,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œThere aren't a lot of people who can carry off petty,â€ I said. â€œYet somehow you do.â€
Gretchen nodded. â€œThank you, madam. And now I need to get back home. I promised Dad I'd weed the vegetable garden before it got dark.â€
â€œHave fun rooting in the dirt,â€ I said.
â€œThanks,â€ Gretchen said. â€œIf you were feeling nice, you could always offer to help me.â€
â€œI'm working on my evil,â€ I said.
â€œBe that way,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œBut let's get together after dinner tonight to practice,â€ I said. â€œNow that we know how to sing that part.â€
â€œSounds good,â€ Gretchen said. â€œOr will, hopefully.â€ She waved and headed off toward home. I looked around and decided today would be a good day for a walk.
And it was. The sun was up, the day was bright, particularly after a couple of hours in the light-swallowing information center, and Roanoke was deep into spring â€“ which was really pretty, even if it turned out that all the native blooms smelled like rotten meat dipped in sewer sauce (that description courtesy of Magdy, who could string together a phrase now and then). But after a couple of months, you stop noticing the smell, or at least accept there's nothing you can do about it. When the whole planet smells, you just have to deal with it.
But what really made it a good day for a walk was how much our world has changed in just a couple of months. John and Jane let us all out of Croatoan not too long after Enzo, Gretchen, Magdy and I had our midnight jog, and the colonists had begun to move into the countryside, building homes and farms, helping and learning from the Mennonites who were in charge of our first crops, which were already now growing in the fields. They were genetically engineered to be fast-growing; we'd be having our first harvest in the not too far future. It looked like we were going to survive after all. I walked past these new houses and fields, waving to folks as I went.
Eventually I walked past the last homestead and over a small rise. On the other side of it, nothing but grass and scrub and the forest in a line to the side. This rise was destined to be part of another farm, and more farms and pastures would cut up this little valley even further. It's funny how even just a couple thousand humans could start to change a landscape. But at the moment there was no other person in it but me; it was my private spot, for as long as it lasted. Mine and mine alone. Well, and on a couple of occasions, mine and Enzo's.
I laid back, looked up at the clouds in the sky, and smiled to myself. Maybe we were in hiding at the farthest reaches of the galaxy, but right now, at this moment, things were pretty good. You can be happy anywhere, if you have the right point of view. And the ability to ignore the smell of an entire planet.
â€œZoe,â€ said a voice behind me.
I jerked up and then saw Hickory and Dickory. They had just come over the rise.
â€œDon't do that,â€ I said, and got up.
â€œWe wish to speak to you,â€ Hickory said.
â€œYou could do that at home,â€ I said.
â€œHere is better,â€ Hickory said. â€œWe have concerns.â€
â€œConcerns about what?â€ I said, and rose to look at them. Something wasn't quite right about either of them, and it took me a minute to figure out what it was. â€œWhy aren't you wearing your consciousness modules?â€ I asked.
â€œWe are concerned about the increasing risks you are taking with your safety,â€ Hickory said, answering the first but not the second of my questions. â€œAnd with your safety in a general sense.â€
â€œYou mean, being here?â€ I said. â€œRelax, Hickory. It's broad daylight, and the Hentosz farm is just over the hill. Nothing bad is going to happen to me.â€
â€œThere are predators here,â€ Hickory said.
â€œThere are yotes,â€ I said, naming the dog-sized carnivores that we'd found lurking around Croatoan. â€œI can handle a yote.â€
â€œThey move in packs,â€ Hickory said.
â€œNot during the day,â€ I said.
â€œYou do not only come here in the day,â€ Hickory said. â€œNor do you always come alone.â€
I reddened a bit at that, and thought about getting angry with Hickory. But it wasn't wearing its consciousness. Getting angry with it wouldn't do anything. â€œI thought I told the two of you not to follow me when I want to have some private time,â€ I said, as evenly as I could.
â€œWe do not follow you,â€ Hickory said. â€œBut neither are we stupid. We know where you go and with whom. Your lack of care is putting you at risk, and you do not always allow us to accompany you anymore. We cannot protect you as we would prefer to, and are expected to.â€
â€œWe have been here for months, guys.â€ I said. â€œThere hasn't been a single attack on anyone by anything.â€
â€œYou would have been attacked that night in the woods had Dickory and I not come to find you,â€ Hickory said. â€œThose were not yotes in the trees that night. Yotes cannot climb or move through trees.â€
â€œAnd you'll notice I'm nowhere near the forest,â€ I said, and waved in the direction of the tree line. â€œAnd whatever was in there doesn't seem to come out here, because we'd have seen them by now if they did. We've been over this before, Hickory.â€
â€œIt is not only the predators here that concern us,â€ Hickory said.
â€œI'm not following you,â€ I said.
â€œThis colony is being searched for,â€ Hickory said.
â€œIf you saw the video, you'll remember that this Conclave group blasted that colony from the sky,â€ I said. â€œIf the Conclave finds us, I don't think even you are going to be able to do much to protect me.â€
â€œIt is not the Conclave we are concerned about,â€ Hickory said.
â€œYou're the only ones, then,â€ I said.
â€œThe Conclave is not the only one who will seek this colony,â€ Hickory said. â€œOthers will search for it, to win favor from the Conclave, or to thwart it, or to take the colony for its own. They will not blast this colony from the sky. They will take it in the standard fashion. Invasion and slaughter.â€
â€œWhat is with the two of you today?â€ I said. I was trying to lighten the mood.
I failed. â€œAnd then there is the matter of who you are,â€ Hickory said.
â€œWhat does that mean?â€ I said.
â€œYou should know well,â€ Hickory said. â€œYou are not merely the daughter of the colony leaders. You are also important to us. To the Obin. That fact is not unknown, Zoe. You have been used as a bargaining chip your entire life. We Obin used you to bargain with your father to build us consciousness. You are a treaty condition between the Obin and the Colonial Union. We have no doubt that any who would attack this colony would try to take you in order to bargain with the Obin. Even the Conclave could be tempted to do this. Or they would kill you to wound us. To kill a symbol of ourselves.â€
â€œThat's crazy,â€ I said.
â€œIt has happened before,â€ Hickory said.
â€œWhat?â€ I said.
â€œWhen you lived on Huckleberry, there were no fewer than six attempts to capture or kill you,â€ Hickory said. â€œThe last just a few days before you left Huckleberry.â€
â€œAnd you never told me this?â€ I asked.
â€œIt was decided by both your government and ours that neither you nor your parents needed to know,â€ Hickory said. â€œYou were a child, and your parents wished to give you as unremarkable a life as possible. The Obin wished to be able to provide them that. None of these attempts came close to success. We stopped each long before you would have been in danger. And in each case the Obin government expressed its displeasure with the races who made such attempts on your well-being.â€
I shuddered at that. The Obin were not people to make enemies of.
â€œWe would not have told you at all â€“ and we have violated our standing orders not to do so â€“ were we not in our current situation,â€ Hickory said. â€œWe are cut off from the systems we had in place to keep you safe. And you are becoming increasingly independent in your actions and resentful of our presence in your life.â€
Those last words hit me like a slap. â€œI'm not resentful,â€ I said. â€œI just want my own time. I'm sorry if that hurts you.â€
â€œWe are not hurt,â€ Hickory said. â€œWe have responsibilities. How we fulfill those responsibilities must adapt to circumstance. We are making an adaptation now.â€
â€œI don't know what you mean,â€ I said.
â€œIt is time for you to learn how to defend yourself,â€ Hickory said. â€œYou want to be more independent from us, and we do not have all the resources we once had to keep you safe. We have always intended to teach you to fight. Now, for both of those reasons, it is necessary to begin that training.â€
â€œWhat do you mean, teach me to fight?â€ I asked.
â€œWe will teach you to defend yourself physically,â€ Hickory said. â€œTo disarm an opponent. To use weapons. To immobilize your enemy. To kill your enemy if necessary.â€
â€œYou want to teach me how to kill other people,â€ I said.
â€œIt is necessary,â€ Hickory said.
â€œI'm not sure John and Jane would approve of that,â€ I said.
â€œMajor Perry and Lieutenant Sagan both know how to kill,â€ Hickory said. â€œBoth, in their military service, have killed others when it was necessary for their survival.â€
â€œBut it doesn't mean that they want me to know,â€ I said. â€œAnd also, I don't know that I want to know. You say you need to adapt how you fulfill your responsibilities. Fine. Figure out how to adapt them. But I'm not going to learn how to kill something else so you can feel like you're doing a better job doing something I'm not even sure I want you to do anymore.â€
â€œYou do not wish us to defend you,â€ Hickory said. â€œOr learn to defend yourself.â€
â€œI don't know!â€ I said. I yelled it in exasperation. â€œOkay? I hate having my face pushed into all of this. That I'm some special thing that needs to be defended. Well, you know what? Everyone here needs to be defended, Hickory. We're all in danger. Any minute hundreds of ships could show up over our heads and kill us all. I'm sick of it. I try to forget about it a little every now and then. That's what I was doing out here before the two of you showed up to crap over it all. So thank you very much for that.â€
Hickory and Dickory said nothing to that. If they had been wearing their consciousness, they'd probably be all twitchy and overloaded at that last outburst. But they were just standing there, impassive.
I counted to five and tried to get myself back under control. â€œLook,â€ I said, in what I hoped was a more reasonable tone of voice. â€œGive me a couple of days to think about this, all right? You've dropped a lot on me all at once. Let me work it through in my head.â€
They still said nothing.
â€œFine,â€ I said. â€œI'm heading back.â€ I brushed past Hickory.
And found myself on the ground.
I rolled and looked up at Hickory, confused. â€œWhat the hell?â€ I said, and made to stand up.
Dickory, who had moved behind me, roughly pushed me back into the grass and dirt.
I scrambled backward from the two of them. â€œStop it,â€ I said.
They drew their combat knives, and came toward me.
I grunted out a scream and bolted upright, running at full speed toward the top of the hill, toward the Hentosz farm. But Obin can run faster than humans. Dickory flanked me, got in front of me, and drew back its knife. I backpedaled, falling backward as I did. Dickory lunged. I screamed and rolled again and sprinted back down the side of the hill I came up.
Hickory was waiting for me and moving to intercept me. I tried to fake going left but it was having none of it, and grabbed for me, getting a grip on my left forearm. I hit at it with my right fist. Hickory deflected it easily, and then in a quick reversal slapped me sharply on the temple, releasing me as it did so. I staggered back, stunned. Hickory looped a leg around one of mine and jerked upward, lifting me completely off the ground. I fell backward and landed on my head. A white blast of pain flooded my skull, and all I could do was lie there, dazed.
There was heavy pressure on my chest. Hickory was kneeling on me, immobilizing me. I clawed desperately at it, but it held its head away from me on its long neck and ignored everything else. I shouted for help as loudly as I could, knowing no one could hear me, and yelling anyway.
I looked over and saw Dickory, standing to the side. â€œPlease,â€ I said. Dickory said nothing. And could feel nothing. Now I knew why the two of them came to see me without their consciousness.
I grabbed at Hickory's leg, on my chest, and tried to push it off. It pushed it in harder, offered another disorienting slap with one hand, and with the other raised it and then plunged it toward my head in one terrible and fluid move. I screamed.
â€œYou are unharmed,â€ Hickory said, at some point. â€œYou may get up.â€
I stayed on the ground, not moving, eyes turned toward Hickory's knife, buried in the ground so close to my head that I couldn't actually focus on it. Then I propped myself up on my elbows, turned away from the knife, and threw up.
Hickory waited until I was done. â€œWe offer no apology for this,â€ it said. â€œAnd will accept whatever consequences for it that you may choose. Know only this: You were not physically harmed. You are unlikely even to bruise. We made sure of this. For all of that you were at our mercy in seconds. Others who will come for you will not show you such consideration. They will not hold back. They will not stop. They will have no concern for you. They will not show you mercy. They will seek to kill you. And they will succeed. We knew you would not believe us if we only told you this. We had to show you.â€
I rose to my feet, barely able to stay upright, and staggered back from the two of them as best I could. â€œGod damn you,â€ I said. â€œGod damn you both. You stay away from me from now on.â€ I headed back to Croatoan. As soon as my legs could do it, I started running.
â€œHey,â€ Gretchen said, coming into the information center and sealing the inside door behind her. â€œMr. Bennett said I could find you here.â€
â€œYeah,â€ I said. â€œI asked him if I could be his printer monkey a little more today.â€
â€œCouldn't keep away from the music?â€ Gretchen said, trying to make a little joke.
I shook my head and showed her what I was looking at.
â€œThese are classified files, Zoe,â€ she said. â€œCDF intelligence reports. You're going to get in trouble if anyone ever finds out. And Bennett definitely won't let you back in here.â€
â€œI don't care,â€ I said, and my voice cracked enough that Gretchen looked at me in alarm. â€œI have to know how bad it is. I have to know who's out there and what they want from us. From me. Look.â€ I took the PDA and pulled a file on General Gau, the leader of the Conclave, the one who ordered the destruction of the colony on the video file. â€œThis general is going to kill us all if he finds us, and we know next to nothing about him. What makes someone do this? Killing innocent people? What happened in his life that gets him to a place where wiping out entire planets seems like a good idea? Don't you think we should know? And we don't. We've got statistics on his military service and that's it.â€ I tossed the PDA back on the table, carelessly, alarming Gretchen. â€œI want to know why this general wants me to die. Why he wants us all to die. Don't you?â€ I put my hand on my forehead and slumped a little against the worktable.
â€œOkay,â€ Gretchen said, after a minute. â€œI think you need to tell me what happened to you today. Because this is not how you were when I left you this afternoon.â€
I glanced over at Gretchen, stifled a laugh, and then broke down and started crying. Gretchen came over to give me a hug, and after a good long while, I told her everything. And I do mean everything.
She was quiet after I had unloaded. â€œTell me what you're thinking,â€ I said.
â€œIf I tell you, you're going to hate me,â€ she said.
â€œDon't be silly,â€ I said. â€œI'm not going to hate you.â€
â€œI think they're right,â€ she said. â€œHickory and Dickory.â€
â€œI hate you,â€ I said.
She pushed me lightly. â€œStop that,â€ she said. â€œI don't mean they were right to attack you. That was just over the line. But, and don't take this the wrong way, you're not an ordinary girl.â€
â€œThat's not true,â€ I said. â€œDo you see me acting any different than anyone else? Ever? Do I hold myself out as someone special? Have you ever once heard me talk about any of this to people?â€
â€œThey know anyway,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œI know that,â€ I said. â€œBut it doesn't come from me. I work at being normal.â€
â€œOkay, you're a perfectly normal girl,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œThank you,â€ I said.
â€œA perfectly normal girl who's had six attempted assassinations,â€ Gretchen said.
â€œBut that's not me,â€ I said, poking myself in the chest. â€œIt's about me. About someone else's idea of who I am. And that doesn't matter to me.â€
â€œIt would matter to you if you were dead,â€ Gretchen said, and then held her hand up before I could respond. â€œAnd it would matter to your parents. It would matter to me. I'm pretty sure it would matter to Enzo. And it seems like it would matter a whole lot to a couple billion aliens. Think about that. Someone even thinks about coming after you, they bomb a planet.â€
â€œI don't want to think about it,â€ I said.
â€œI know,â€ Gretchen said. â€œBut I don't think you have a choice anymore. No matter what you do, you're still who you are, whether you want to be or not. You can't change it. You've got to work with it.â€
â€œThanks for that uplifting message,â€ I said.
â€œI'm trying to help,â€ Gretchen said.
I sighed. â€œI know, Gretchen. I'm sorry. I don't mean to bite your head off. I'm just getting tired of having my life be about other people's choices for me.â€
â€œThis makes you different than any of the rest of us how, exactly?â€ Gretchen asked.
â€œMy point,â€ I said. â€œI'm a perfectly normal girl. Thank you for finally noticing.â€
â€œPerfectly normal,â€ Gretchen agreed. â€œExcept for being Queen of the Obin.â€
â€œHate you,â€ I said.
â€œMiss Trujillo said that you wanted to see us,â€ Hickory said. Dickory and Gretchen, who had gotten the two Obin for me, stood to its side. We were standing on the hill where my bodyguards had attacked me a few days earlier.
â€œBefore I say anything else, you should know I am still incredibly angry at you,â€ I said. â€œI don't know that I will ever forgive you for attacking me, even if I understand why you did it, and why you thought you had to. I want to make sure you know that. And I want to make sure you feel it.â€ I pointed to Hickory's consciousness collar, secure around its neck.
â€œWe feel it,â€ Hickory said, its voice quivering. â€œWe feel it enough that we debated whether we could turn our consciousness back on. The memory is almost too painful to bear.â€
I nodded. I wanted to say good, but I knew it was the wrong thing to say, and that I would regret saying it. Didn't mean I couldn't think it, though, for the moment, anyway.
â€œI'm not going to ask you to apologize,â€ I said. â€œI know you won't. But I want your word you will never do something like that again,â€ I said.
â€œYou have our word,â€ Hickory said.
â€œThank you,â€ I said. I didn't expect they would do something like that again. That sort of thing works once if it works at all. But that wasn't the point. What I wanted was to feel like I could trust the two of them again. I wasn't there yet.
â€œWill you train?â€ Hickory asked.
â€œYes,â€ I said. â€œBut I have two conditions.â€ Hickory waited. â€œThe first is that Gretchen trains with me.â€
â€œWe had not prepared to train anyone other than you,â€ Hickory said.
â€œI don't care,â€ I said. â€œGretchen is my best friend. I'm not going to learn how to save myself and not share that with her. And besides, I don't know if you've noticed, but the two of you aren't exactly human shaped. I think it will help to practice with another human as well as with you. But this is nonnegotiable. If you won't train Gretchen, I won't train. This is my choice. This is my condition.â€
Hickory turned to Gretchen. â€œWill you train?â€
â€œOnly if Zoe does,â€ she said. â€œShe's my best friend, after all.â€
Hickory looked over to me. â€œShe has your sense of humor,â€ it said.
â€œI hadn't noticed,â€ I said.
Hickory turned back to Gretchen. â€œIt will be very difficult,â€ it said.
â€œI know,â€ Gretchen said. â€œCount me in anyway.â€
â€œWhat is the other condition?â€ Hickory asked me.
â€œI'm doing this for the two of you,â€ I said. â€œThis learning to fight. I don't want it for myself. I don't think I need it. But you think I need it, and you've never asked me to do something you didn't know was important. So I'll do it. But now you have to do something for me. Something I want.â€
â€œWhat is it that you want?â€ Hickory asked.
â€œI want you to learn how to sing,â€ I said, and gestured to Gretchen. â€œYou teach us to fight, we teach you to sing. For the hootenannies.â€
â€œSing,â€ Hickory said.
â€œYes, sing,â€ I said. â€œPeople are still frightened of the two of you. And no offense, but you're not brimming with personality. But if we can get the four of us to do a song or two at the hootenannies, it could go a long way to making people comfortable with you.â€
â€œWe have never sung,â€ Hickory said.
â€œWell, you never wrote stories before either,â€ I said. â€œAnd you wrote one of those. It's just like that. Except with singing. And then people wouldn't wonder why Gretchen and I are off with the two of you. Come on, Hickory, it'll be fun.â€
Hickory looked doubtful, and a funny thought came to me: Maybe Hickory is shy. Which seemed almost ridiculous; someone about to teach another person sixteen different ways to kill getting stage fright singing.
â€œI would like to sing,â€ Dickory said. We all turned to Dickory in amazement.
â€œIt speaks!â€ Gretchen said.
Hickory clicked something to Dickory in their native tongue; Dickory clicked back. Hickory responded, and Dickory replied, it seemed a bit forcefully. And then, God help me, Hickory actually sighed.
â€œWe will sing,â€ Hickory said.
â€œExcellent,â€ I said.
â€œWe will begin training tomorrow,â€ Hickory said.
â€œOkay,â€ I said. â€œBut let's start singing practice today. Now.â€
â€œNow?â€ Hickory said.
â€œSure,â€ I said. â€œWe're all here. And Gretchen and I have just the song for you.â€
Organizational culture can influence the overall success of a project. Unfortunately, in the given scenario the project is both behind schedule and over budget. Several key team members left in disgust and the morale of the remaining team is low and they fear they will be doing extra work without compensation. In this scenario project leadership is essential to the projects success. This project team needs a leader who can not only get this project back on track but can also build the morale of this demoralized team. This project cannot be managed in a routine fashion. Already behind schedule and over budget, this project will require innovation, skill and a highly competent project manager in order to proceed.
1. How does organizational culture influence the selection, sponsorship, prioritization, and ultimate success of projects?One of the most critical factors for project success is organizational culture and behavior to support project management process. As a result, it is highly important for organizations and managers to understand the influence of organizational behavior and culture in order to meet ultimate success of projects. In this case, we should first know the definition of organizational culture.
Organizational culture is made up of attitudes, beliefs, values and behavior of its employees. It is the workplace environment formulated from the interaction of the employees in the workplace. Organizational culture is defined by all of the life experiences, strengths, weaknesses, education, upbringing, and so forth of the employees. While executive leaders play a large role in defining organizational culture by their actions and leadership, all employees contribute to the organizational culture. (1)(2)Organizational culture is important to a project success for several reasons. They are also an important source of stability and continuity to the organization, which provides a sense of security to its members.
2. In what ways could organizational culture create conditions that could lead to the scenario described above?Failing to initiate â€œcrucial conversationsâ€ may be the single biggest cause of project failure, according to preliminary findings of an ongoing study on project management. Thus, project managersâ€™ inability to talk to people about five often-occurringÂ negative situations frequently leads to failure.
Setting arbitrary deadlines and inadequate resources that â€œset up a project to failâ€.
Failing to provide the necessary leadership, political clout or energy for a project.
Skirting or manipulating the project priority-setting process.
An unwillingness by team members to support projects as required.
Failing to acknowledge project problems until it is too late for remedial action. (6)A failure to clearly and completely define the requirements results in building the wrong features or leaving gaps in the features needed.
New or state-of-the-art technology is causing unanticipated problems.
A poor technical design doesnâ€™t allow the solution to be easily modified or is not scalable.
Requirements are not frozen late in the project, and continued change requests start to cause the project to drift.
Technology components do not fit together as designed.
Poor initial testing techniques cause repeated errors and rework in later tests. (7)3. What role does project leadership play in the success of projects?Project managers have a wide range of responsibilities and face a number of challenges (challenges relate to fundamental functions: planning, organizing, hiring, coordinating, and monitoring) in a variety of areas, on a daily basis. A project managerâ€™s role is a challenging one and requires equal measures of good organizational ability, good people skills, and the technical capacity to judge both individual performance and projectÂ milestones.
Project leaders play a significant role in the success of a project. With poor leadership, a sophisticated tool or technique only gives a bad leader the opportunity to do more damage. The person may be a better project manager, but he or she may not be a better project leader. (8) A project leader might contribute different roles in the success of a project. The new role of the project manager requires an ultimate knowledge of the strategy of the project. The PL is responsible for observing and analyzing project process and project structure. (14)A project leader must possess a certain set of combination skills and characteristics that can be used to manage projects successfully including:The diplomatic skills to solicit input and negotiate compromises, having the ability to ask penetrating questions, identifies unstated assumptions, flexible enough to roll with the changes, and resolve personnel conflicts along with more systematic management skills. (12)(13)(15)
Also,Developing a grand visionBuilding, leading and mentoring the project management teamLeadership, Facilitation, communicative, Selling (promote and sell the project both within and outside the organization), Presentation skillsPeople-management skills such as constructive feedback, conflict resolution, managing individual styles and personalitiesSkills at interfacing across the organization and removing obstacles for the teamAbility to accept criticism, feedback, and input from othersSkills in using team-based tools such as brainstorming, organizing, decision-making, Project management, conflict resolution, and so on (14)(10)4. Does this role change under the conditions described in the scenario? If so, how and why? If not, why not?
To overcome with this scenario, organization should hire a skilled and innovated PM who is able to lead perfectly and solve the above scenario and get the project back on track. (16)In this situation, the new leader must be able to analyze what resources were lost, when key team members left, create a new organizational culture according to the project, and create an inspiring corporate culture that inspires, empowers and energizes project team members. Generally, the project in this situation needs a leader to have enough power to make him/her able for changing the organizational culture, hiring new staffs, offering project members a sense of common purpose beyond the day-to-dayÂ tasks, making work exciting, moving people with a compelling vision, inspiring and encouraging team members to act perfectly for achieving performance. The other important thing which is so vital in any relationship and the new leader must pay attention is building up the morale and trust among team members. The new leader can help build trust faster by following these 10 practical steps:Know the players.
Confirm leader role.
Involve the team in decisions.
Do what you said you were going to do.
Deliver informative status reports.
(17)(18)By bringing a new PM to the project according to case scenario, the role of Project leader would not change. Only, the new leader duties will increase since key member of the project left while the rest of team has lost their trust and motive and feel frustrated and stressed. As a result, it would be much harder for the new leader to reorganize the project progress, project members, build up and improve morale and trust within the project team-members, and let the team members know how important they are for the organization and project. In this case, leader will identify and recognize each memberâ€™s duty, skills and their job within this project process and it would be easier for the leader to define tasks.
Thus, defining an effective communication plan is critical success through the course of a project. Leader must describe the project in a clear way to ensure that all tasks and responsibilities are going to be done on time and meet the schedules and deadlines. At this time itâ€™s become highly importantÂ for a project manager to decide whether he needs to hire some people to replace the key people or he needs to compensate the people that around in rough time with the project with the salary he would pay to new people because project is already running behind schedule.
In such case the second option is more suitable, assuming the current group has the capabilities to complete the project, since project is already over budget.
5) How can a project manager build and manage a successful project team?Building a good team is extremely challenging and rewarding at the same time. It calls for some astute planning. The three most important lessons are: be true to the teamâ€™s vision, give people space to operate and develop as leaders and remain intellectually sharp as a team. The first will give the team purpose and direction, the second will give them the ability to deliver and the last will keep the team young and jumping out of their beds on Mondays.
Team building in this context is a prized skill that managers are willing to invest in. It has become critical to find â€œteam playersâ€ when selecting people for a job or business project. An organizationâ€™s potential will end where the imagination of a sharp team does. There is a lot more involved than simple complimentary skills when building an elite team. Here are seven practices at the heart of building a first-rate team.
1- Get the best on boardA PM should get only those people on board his bus who really understand and value the vision of the project. Also he should make sure and inform those people that it might be a rough or smooth ride so they donâ€™t have any surprises2- Align tasks to skillsIf you allow your team members to progress into the areas where they excel and are interested in, you will effectively keep them engaged and free yourself from the risk of having disgruntled and frustrated team members.
3- Strike the right balanceMost projects require a mix of activities. A team needs to have a balanced set of skills, especially if the majority of theÂ members are specialists in their field (consultants, analysts, IT experts). All skills will come into play while the team carries out its task, and any lack can result in the hampering of the project.
4- Manage the team mixIt is difficult to predict whether the team mix is correct and if it facilitates success; therefore, constant monitoring is indispensable. Allowing someone to remain on the team when they are a mismatch can prove counter productive. Other members may become resentful when no action is taken and they are obligated to cover for a non-productive member.
5- Give the credit and take the blameDo not indulge in fault-finding or blame games. Pigeonholing a particular member of the team may spread negative vibes within the team and cost you time and quality. Celebrating every small success and appreciating team members will build a sense of camaraderie between team members.
6- Be hard on tasks and soft on peopleThe focus should be on getting the job done. Giving space to every member of the team would allow them to develop their true potential as leaders. A good player always passes the ball. Even superstars need to work as a team player. Individual accomplishments mean little if they donâ€™t enable the team to succeed.
Q 6If the new Project manager is able to apply the effective leadership style, and create a team harmony between old team members and new comers, that will certainly revitalize the project Effectiveness. Together with project management discipline, addressing these items will dramatically increase the probability of project success. As we know that just as the main reasons that projects fail are related to human nature and interaction, so are our keys to project management effectiveness. We find that oÂ¬nly when the appropriate culture, mindset and behaviors are in place are the project management processes able to drive value.
If the project manager is able to insert these changes the organizational culture will change to one of high morale, employee satisfaction, employee involvement, formation of groups, open communication lines, and higher employee motivation, employeesÂ embracing the change process, understanding both the ups and downs of the project, like the schedule and budget issues mentioned in the scenario, etc.)Selection & rejuvenating the team: As the project is already behind schedule and over budget, so the Project Manager should focus on selection process more seriously. There are old team members who are already working on the project with lack of resources and guidelines. To relieve these work forces from work overload, there are needs of new workforces to join as team and work together effectively. If the project manager is able to spend more time in selection process that will bring the best into the project board/team, which will certainly save, time and cost.
Assign and align task as per the expertise: Once the selection is done, Project manger should categorize the tasks and subtasks as per the critical and non critical path and empower the team members as per their expertise, so they donâ€™t caught up with authentication. This process will enable the project team to work at their best with self-motivation and develop a high degree of morale. Optimum uses of human resources at their synergy will help the project to run smoothly and reduce the project delay.
Team synchronization and acculturation: A balance in terms of personality and temperament also needs to be achieved, which will promote better relationships between members of the team. Closely watching the interpersonal dynamics within the team. So by bringing the people together who have the skill sets along with the adaptability and flexibility to work with different people. Synchronized and organizational acculturation enable the project too speed up the scheduled task without any constraints and develop team satisfaction.
Communication and collaboration: The concurrent changes within the team rejuvenation and synchronization will enable the project team to communicate effectively and bring the sense of collaboration with in the players. As the project is already behind the schedule, so open line communication and collaborative measures will be developed.
Effective measurements: Once the organizational culture is set and adapted byÂ the project team, there will be an easy access for Project manager to evaluate the project success. Evaluation is very critical at this point of time, as project being behind the schedule and over the budget; project manager should imply the every allocated resource at their optimum use and assessment of every activities and achievements within the due time.
Q7)An effective project team leader is a â€œsocial architectâ€ who understands the interaction of organizational and behavioral variables can foster a climate of active participation and can minimize dysfunctional conflict. To be effective and to make better relationship among team members, the team leader must identify major issues associated with three dimensions. These are team related with emphasis on behavioral aspects such as team structure, trust and respect, or barriers to team development and so on also project tasks and resource related to it such as goals and objectives, planning and scope management are essential. What if the other essential ingredient, the team, the followers? Ideally, the more the team can be motivated and empowered to â€œtake the bull by the hornsâ€, the more productive they become and the less direction and control is required. This has led to the concept of Self Directed Work Teams (Swats).
According to Batten, there are 6 things that members of a successful team need from their leader to built better relationship:Expectation (Tell me what you expect of me)Opportunity (Give me an opportunity to perform)Feedback (Let me know how I am doing)Guidance (Give me guidance when and where I need it)Reward (Reward me according to my contribution)Friendly environment (give me open working-environment)Given these prerequisites, both the members of a project team, the followers, and their leader can be expected to progress and develop interactively. The leader focuses successively on telling, selling, gelling and producing project activities, in which the idea is for the team to become an SDWT. However, this only occurs as a result of careful team development and typically advances interactively through four distinct phases of team leadership and â€œfollower shipâ€ evolution. The four phases of team development have been characterized as â€œforming, storming, norming and performingâ€.
Relationship among Team Members and External resources:Building relationship among the project team and the external resources is the main part for the project to serve the project of the company. We have to identify their level of involvement and work with them accordingly. The key to getting the most out of the outsourcing relationship with the internal project team is to have a good plan in place before hand and to work that plan, but remain flexible. The company must have a clear business goal and an understanding of the role the outsourcing partner which they will play in helping attain that goal.
Performance metrics for the outsourced engagement must be in place so that the client company knows weather or not the outsourcing, train and educate the staff in the project management model. And, most importantly, manage communication effectively. Again and effective communication among team members and any outsourced contractor is probably the most critical outsourcing success factor. In fact, it is so critical in a situation where professional services are being provided and contracted for creating a maintaining sound relationship with external resourcesQ8) how would these strategies differ under the conditions described in the scenario.
The team is in bad situation, and the previous team has been totally scattered. For this instance the strategies we have defined for the relationship among team members and with external resources will not be the same. So the managing change strategy will be good to handle the situation. So what I believe and also depending upon my finding a project manager should comply with certain strategies which will be helpful according to the current situation. First of all PM will find out that what the reason behind the old situation was? And why the previous manager left also why the team members are scattered and having low moral.
Communication with the team members will be the key tool to identify the problem and emotion individually. After identifying the all the key problems in points the role of the PM will to point our the points to coach the employees or team players and to make their moral high, so the PM should inspire people to move forward and make objectives real and relevant. It will also be helpful for the team members to built and maintain the external relationship. Also encourage the team members continue to achieve the final goal according to their task with responsibility on time is the one of the important strategyÂ too. Although several key team members have quit in disgust, the PM should design the team again, get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.
As the project is behind schedule and over budget, the PM should review the post vision, get the team to establish a simple and right vision, and then focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive the team effectively by building cohesion in between them also with external resources. The project is behind schedule and over budget, the PM should review the post vision, get the team to establish a simple and right vision, and then focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive the team effectively. Now to let the work done properly PM has to take an empowerment action by removing obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support, also PM should reward and recognize progress and achievements. PM also has to highlight achieved milestones time by time.
CONCLUSION:In this paper we have addressed the influence organizational culture can have on successful project management. The organizational mission, vision, and value statements shape the expected ethical behavior of individuals. Leadership is an integral part of successful project completion. Effective leadership can influence the moral of a dysfunctional team by building trust within a team. In building an effective project team, the project manager needs to set established principles and hold team members accountable for performance and behavior that is consistent with the organizational culture.
Different strategies are needed to successfully manage relationships among team members and the relationship between the team and external resources. Establishing achievable outcomes and linking performance to those outcomes allows team members to recognize achievements. Individual success leads to team success and ultimately organizational success. A culture that supports these strategies will have a competitive edge in the area of successful project management
1.Human Resources, Change Management, http://humanresources.about.com/od/organizationalculture/Organizational_Culture_Corporate_Culture_in_Organizations.htm2.Organizational culture, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_culture3.Strategic Leadership and Decision Making (ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE) ,aa
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