Project Management Styles

Any project no matter how big or small requires that proper steps are taken to ensure that it gets completed not only on time, under budget, and to the requirements set forth by the client. To make sure all of this remains organized, and on schedule various positions within the project team must be established before pen hits paper. One of these is the project manager. This person or groups of people are responsible for keeping the project train from derailing and on schedule. However, how they do this is in any number of different ways. Managing a project can be done in any number of different ways.

Administrative Management Style

These leaders operate by the book in regards to managing a project. They hold strictly to the rules and regulations set forth around the project in question. This style of project management is best described as “by the book.” This style of project management is best suited for projects that require a great deal of legal, political or safety concerns.

Laissez-faire Management Style

Projects managed using this style operates in a more free flowing, open fashion. The project manager lets the other team members’ work on their own part of the project on their own with minimal direction. This style of management is best suited towards more creative projects or projects that have extended deadlines.

Leader Management Style

This style of management relies on the leader keeping everyone on track and motivated. Unlike other management styles, leader management style focuses primarily on team management and moral. The team lead takes a hand off approach to the project specifically similar to a Laissez-faire style of management but unlike Laissez-faire this style has a more hands on approach with the team itself. This style is best suited for continuous projects or for projects in high stress situations.

Democratic Management Style

This style of project management operators with the project team sharing, discussing, and ultimately making decisions as a group. Like the name suggests decisions related to the project are passed though the team to decide and vote on. This style of management is best suited for more abstract project goals or those that do not have concrete solutions.

Authoritarian Management Style

Authoritarian management style requires a specific authority granted to the team lead or group leaders who are overseeing the project. Often seen within military and governmental structures this style of management focuses on achieving the goal though a specifically granted authority figure. Much like a higher ranking official or political appointee these people have proven though one way or another to be able to take charge of a project and see it through to the end. This style of management is perfect for any project that has a decent number of inexperienced personal or in situations where time is extremely critical.

Political Management Style

This form of management is often seen in all levels of politics. Political management uses various political based strategies to attain the project goals. Similar to Democratic Management, the projects that most benefit from this style are generally more abstract. The projects that most benefit from this style of management are those that seek to create, edit, or understand certain laws or court rulings.

Different Cultural Management Styles

On top of the management styles listed above they’re different management styles from other countries as well. Two of these different management styles are Japanese management style and Paternalistic management style.

Japanese Management Style

Japanese Management is best characterized by teamwork. While in many projects the specific team working on it is generally the ones that have the most input into that particular project. With a Japanese style people outside of that team are also consulted on particular matters related to that project. For example, a team working on a new product for their company would also consult with and get information back from other product teams and even other project managers. This universal approach to project management allows for quick and easy transitioning team members across projects as well as allows the team leads to have a wider perspective on the project compared to the narrower focus that is typically seen.

Paternalistic Management Style

This is often seen within Eastern Asian companies. In this form of management style the welfare and moral of employees is put into the hands of their manager. In return the employees are expected to have a strong loyalty both to their team but also to their company. Paternalistic Management is very similar to the relationship between parents and their children. For this reason many companies take the moniker family seriously when it comes to their employees.

Conclusion

There are any number of different management styles to help organize and optimize a project. No matter what kind of project or the size of the project there is a management style best suited for it.

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