Project Management: The emotional ‘spend’ – Organizational dilemmas

June 10, 2011 at 4:31 AM 2 comments

Counter emotional erosion through effective strategy

The emotional ‘spend’ of your work force is neither quantified nor contracted.  Yet, it is an automatic consequence of any project and customer engagement and is becoming increasingly relevant to the ‘talent management’ paradigm.

Backdrop: The contemporary business environment is directing most industries into a ‘project centric’ set-up. Necessarily so!  What this entails is a play-field that demands incessant effort from project teams to achieve timelines, targets, quality expectations and the not-so-subtle customer requirements!

Core aspect: The uncanny ability of most projects to cause ‘Emotional Erosion‘ of teams, is an element of business that needs to be ‘realised’; ‘recognized’ and ‘addressed’.  ‘Emotional Erosion‘ – used here in connotation to ‘the state-of -mind of project teams who reel under project delivery pressure’.

Not for a moment is this suggestive of being negative, bad or avoidable.  The mere reiteration here is on an organizations’ deliberation to acknowledge and embrace these facts, just enough to result in a strategy around ’emotional erosion’ of teams.

3 top factors that contribute to ’emotional erosion’ of project work force:

  1. Incessant exposure of teams to the same project which has invariably demonstrated an intense delivery demand.
  2. Lack of visible and tangible acknowledgement of all the ‘good work’ (good=has met all expectations!).
  3. The diminishing hope that the assignment will ever change for the project team.
4 Primary things the organization could do to counter:
  1. Identify and rate the ‘intensity’ of projects and know these by-heart. Called ‘The Everests!’ for purposes of reference in this discussion.
  2. Rotate project assignments for staff scaling ‘The Everests’ to allow respite to ‘roles’ which are vulnerable to ’emotional erosion’
  3. Incentivize staff working on ‘The Everests’, distinctly, generously and visibly.
  4. Build a framework where staff see ‘winds of change’ through this policy of ‘project role rotations’, thus offering an avenue they may look up to.
P.S: Generic guidance to the above thoughts:
Period to consider before ‘project role rotations’ – 24 to 36 months  |  Not all roles require a rotation. Only roles that are closest to the ‘hearth’!  |  The notion of losing project knowledge and customer insight should best be countered by effective ‘knowledge management systems’.

Entry filed under: Organizational Development. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Customer engagement: 3 core elements

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jagadeesh R.  |  June 26, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Impressive blog Raj, resourceful!
    Another dimension which can take us closer to customer delight is going beyond the obvious of ‘knowing’ the customer and its to do with ‘feeling the feel of a customer’ all the time. Perhaps some fodder for brain to figure out ‘how’:-)

    Looking forward to!


    • 2. rajneeshpatil  |  June 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM

      Thanks Jaggi! It sure is getting to be more and more about the third aspect. Excellent point indeed about connecting with the ‘feel’. The ‘how’ part should keep the team right on the toes, if not the nails of the toes! 🙂


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