- Why is authoritarian management ineffective?
- Why is collaborative management a better choice?
- How can you support a switch to collaborative project management?
Q: How can I use Change Management effectively, and what kinds of changes in project management are worthwhile?
A: Change management is best during periods of transition or anticipation. Employing change management to usher in a collaborative style of management is by far the best way to create a cohesive, flexible, and motivated workforce.
As evidenced by the recent digital boom, change is inevitable.
As a business owner, there’s nothing worse than being forced to close your doors due to external forces changing the way you operate.
In a landscape filled with these kinds of changes, it’s best to get ahead of the pack to avoid a situation where your changes are too little, too late.
In addition to general changes in the workforce, changes in project management are becoming more and more common.
In the past, authoritarian management styles were the norm. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to see one individual with complete control over policies, goals, and procedures.
Lately, however, this authoritarian style of management is fading fast from the public consciousness to make room for more collaborative environments.
Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into the problems with authoritarian management, types of changes in project management, and the best ways that you can support your team through these changes.
Read more: Managing Change Through Project Management
Keep reading to see how these new changes in project management can help you better understand your team and how flexible and remote work is more effective and enjoyable for everyone involved.
- Why is authoritarian management ineffective?
- Why is collaborative management a better choice?
- How can you support a switch to collaborative project management?
- Moving forward with changes in project management
Why is authoritarian management ineffective?
Historically, authoritarian management has been the norm. Authoritarian management relies on one individual at the forefront of the team, making all of the decisions and delegating all of the tasks.
While this top-down style of management might be effective in boarding schools or the military, it does more harm than good when trying to build a cohesive team. Businesses need project leadership that prepares them for change, and authoritarian management doesn’t prepare anyone for anything outside of day-to-day operations.
Here we will look at some of the biggest pitfalls associated with authoritarian management before explaining these issues in a bit more detail.
- Disincentivizes creativity
- Bad for team enthusiasm
- Raises turnover rate
- Gives workers no reason to stand out
Authoritarian managerial styles prevent the free flow of new ideas. Telling people exactly how to do things and leaving no room for interpretation prevents your employees from using their skills and knowledge to suggest any potential improvements.
The environment fostered by authoritarian management is stressful, intense, and unforgiving. Changes in project management can lead to environments that incentivize creativity while still fostering healthy competition between team members — leading to an increase in productivity.
Bad for team enthusiasm
Having one person in total control isn’t a bad gig – for the person in charge. For everyone else, it can be tough to get excited about slaving away for condescending project managers.
When employees aren’t given the space to be creative and take charge of topics they feel well-versed in, they lose enthusiasm and the quality of their work is diminished.
Raises turnover rate
One of the largest issues with an authoritarian management style is the high turnover rate that occurs when employees feel alienated. Allowing your employees to feel engaged is paramount to the success of your business.
Management that creates healthy lines of communication, genuinely cares about the well-being of their employees, and clearly states their expectations makes everyone feel welcome and emotionally motivated to grow your business.
Gives employees no reason to stand out
Project leadership relies on a healthy competitive spirit, but an authoritarian management style stifles this competition before it can develop. In an environment where things are either right or wrong, none of your employees can showcase their skills or prove their worth.
When people aren’t feeling stressed or unappreciated, they are naturally competitive. Making the proper changes in project management can encourage healthy competition, allowing your employees to stand out while helping your business grow.
Unfortunately, traditional businesses tend to lean towards an authoritarian management style. While changes in project management can be implemented in traditional businesses, remote work is flexible enough to make these changes easier, more effective, and more enjoyable.
That said, a collaborative management style will create a healthier and more productive environment regardless of whether you have a traditional or online business. Keep reading to see why collaborative environments are a better choice and how to implement the necessary changes in project management processes.
Why is collaborative management a better choice?
A collaborative management style helps to create a workspace that isn’t dominated by stress or fear. Employees are incentivized to bring their expertise and creativity to work, which creates a dynamic environment in which employees innovate and improve.
Make sure to avoid any constructive changes in project management. Constructive changes happen when a contract employee does more work than you were intending for them to do, forcing you to figure out payment after the work has already been done.
Although this is frustrating, it’s important to note that clearly defining expectations will always prevent this.
It’s worth noting that all of these changes in project management examples are made easier by working remotely. Although collaborative management styles make a big difference in a traditional office, the flexibility of a virtual office and the general scalability of remote work allows your employees’ skills and dedication to shine through.
Below, we’ll look at how collaborative management can benefit your business, and how these changes in project management affect your team:
- Gets the most out of your team
- Incentivizes creativity
- Allows for change management
- Attracts talent and retains employees
Gets the most out of your team
Creating a team out of the individuals you have on hand is no easy task. A collaborative approach to management allows these individuals to feel comfortable with their manager and each other, and this creates a sense of community and pride in the work being done.
Collaborative management doesn’t put one person on a pedestal and label them infallible. If you’re doing something that’s hurting the profitability of your business, you now have an entire team of people looking to help you do things in the most effective way.
Creativity is a trait that was ignored for years in the business world but has become far more valuable as businesses transition to a virtual environment. In a collaborative environment, creative employees aren’t afraid to showcase their skills.
This creativity leads to more impactful and efficient projects, and in some instances, it can even help your business rake in profits.
Attracts talent and retains employees
People want to work in environments where their skills are valued, giving them the flexibility they need to work comfortably. As a result, workers are usually happier in these kinds of environments.
Finding top talent for your business is a complicated process. You need to find people you can trust, you have to pour through countless applications, and — if you’re operating traditionally — your applicant pool is limited to the individuals in your local vicinity.
In contrast, a combination of both collaborative management and remote work allows you to recruit applicants from anywhere in the country. The management style puts you on the radar, letting high-quality talent know that you value their skills and ideas. Remote work capabilities also give you access to as many applicants as you can find.
Allows for change management
Change management occurs during transitional periods for your business. For example, if you’re hoping to make changes in project management or hoping to switch from a traditional office to a virtual one, you’d use change management to help make these changes as seamless as possible.
Because collaborative environment thrives on meeting new challenges head-on, change management becomes much easier compared to an authoritarian approach.
What is Change Management?
Before we get any further with collaborative management, let’s take a closer look at what exactly change management is and how you can use it to your advantage.
The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting and controlling changes in an organization’s goals, processes or technologies. The key to this process is helping workers adapt to new processes so they can continue performing their duties effectively even while major transformations are happening around them.
There are three distinct situations in which change management is most effective, and we’ll take a closer look at each of them below:
Developmental change management is used when your business doesn’t make any large sweeping changes but instead improves upon an existing process, skill, or method.
Here are some developmental changes you might experience:
- Changing the basic orders of operations
- Implementing and testing a new payroll platform
- Updating policies
These changes aren’t too uncomfortable and can be a great way to slowly introduce your employees to new transitions without risking any capital.
Used for more profound developments, transitional change management is used to replace considerable parts of your business. The larger the change is, the more difficult it can be for your employees.
Some situations where transitional change management might be useful are listed below:
- Changing the platform your team uses for collaboration
- New product launches
- Making large changes to existing products
Thankfully, proper collaborative management can prepare your employees for these profound changes better than authoritarian approaches.
These are vast changes that affect the very foundations of your business. A transformational change isn’t all that common because of how much work it requires.
Here you can see some examples of when to use transformational change management:
- Switching from a traditional office to a virtual office
- Completely changing the cultural dynamic in the workspace
- Making large changes to the orders of operations/changing the way you go to market
You won’t run into these kinds of changes too often — and if you do, you likely won’t have to deal with them again for the foreseeable future. By preparing your workers for these kinds of massive changes with collaborative management, you can make the overall process as easy as possible.
Making the switch to a virtual office takes some time and effort, but the flexibility, cost-efficiency, and freedom are well worth it.
How can you support a switch to collaborative project management?
Implementing these changes in project management is sometimes a difficult process, but it’s well worth your effort. Follow this actionable guide to supporting your team through changes in project management for a truly collaborative workspace:
1. Make good hires
Give your employees the trust and flexibility necessary to meet deadlines and keep things on schedule. Hiring individuals that you can trust to get their work done without too much oversight makes the process very easy.
2. Work with your team
Don’t let technical difficulties interfere with a project’s completion. Work with the team and educate them on the software they’ll be using. This saves you precious time down the road.
Open lines of communication with your team. Inform them of your availability and make yourself easy to connect with — especially while new hires are getting into the swing of things.
3. Don’t micromanage
Micromanagement is a toxic management style. You want to be available, but you also don’t want to be breathing down anyone’s neck.
Give your team the chance to complete assignments before offering criticism, and always be constructive.
4. Set reasonable expectations
Your team must know exactly what is expected of them. Giving firm deadlines and sticking to them sets clear expectations.
Avoiding micromanagement is easier when you know exactly when deadlines are approaching. If you’d like to go through the work yourself, make sure you have enough time for yourself to go through what they’ve turned in.
5. Provide a flexible environment
Remote work or flexible workspaces allow you to take full advantage of a team you feel confident in. Giving your employees the freedom to work when and where they want — as long as deadlines are met — motivates them to bring their best to the project.
Virtual offices are the best way to make this switch. A virtual office gives you access to a physical workspace that you can use as a base of operations while still accessing a nationwide talent pool.
6. Automate what you can
Automation makes hitting deadlines and project leadership very simple. Platforms like Asana, Microsoft Teams, and Slack can automate workflow and connect collaborators. You can also host virtual meetings and connect with other vendors, buyers, or investors much more easily.
This lets you focus on core aspects of your business while waiting for deadlines to be met.
7. Shared accountability
For a team to work efficiently, everyone needs to be on the same page. If one person is consistently missing due dates, speak with them and let them know the impact they are having on the team.
If you’re automating the right things, different pieces of the project should move to each collaborator seamlessly as they turn them in, this also makes it very easy to identify any areas of issue.
As you experiment more with a collaborative approach, you need to keep in mind scope, time, and cost — the three elements of project management.
The scope of the project is simply a list of everything going on within the project. This includes all deadlines for each team member and the metrics by which the project would be considered a success. Scope changes in project management could include updating the budget or success metrics.
This is the schedule you’re adhering to. Although the timeline will occasionally be updated, you need to keep your team on schedule no matter what.
The cost of the project is the risk/reward ratio combined with the return on investment. Changes in cost are often referred to as baseline changes in project management. Keeping a close eye on costs and knowing exactly where the money is going makes it easier to keep a reasonable budget.
These elements are difficult to juggle perfectly. Balancing all three while fulfilling your project leadership role is imperative to the success of your business and any other changes in project management.
Moving forward with changes in project management
Changes in project management are quickly sweeping the nation, while authoritarian project management styles are all but extinct.
Collaborative approaches produce much better results while keeping the entire team happier and less stressed.
One of the best ways to support collaboration is by making the switch to a virtual office or a flexible workspace, as this gives your team the freedom they need to work in any environment that suits them.
Not only does remote work make project management easier for you, but it also makes the experience easier and more flexible for your employees as well.
- Managing Change Through Project Management
- The Rise Of The Emotionally Intelligent Boss: The Age Of Authoritarian Leadership Is Over
- Foster Strong Team Collaboration Using These 4 Project Management Techniques
- How to Find a Business Partner – Don’t Miss These Crucial Steps
- Understanding Collaborative Project Management
Alliance Virtual Offices offers several virtual solutions for established entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking to transition your entire traditional business to a digital space or you’re just looking into specific remote work solutions, Alliance Virtual Offices has you covered.
Our virtual offices allow you to establish a professional presence anywhere imaginable while giving you the resources necessary to foster a collaborative environment for your team. Offices come complete with access to a professional physical space, onsite staff, and robust mail-forwarding services.
In addition to helping you create a hub for all of your virtual business operations, plans are incredibly cheap and you don’t have to worry about signing a traditional lease.
As we continue to see widespread changes in project management, it becomes obvious why so many people are moving past the older authoritarian styles. Collaborative management is better for productivity, employee retention, building a team-first environment, and creating a happy place to work.
If you’re hoping to start making these changes or you wish to learn how to grow your business further, contact us today. Alliance Virtual Offices has a solution for any of your business’s virtual needs.