Project Organisation & Behaviour

Traditionally, the elements of Time, Cost, Scope and/or Quality constitute the ‘Iron Triangle’ in project management. Interestingly, Marasco (2004) proposes a fifth constraint of Risk, dubbing his model “the Project Pyramid”. Given that the decisions People make represent risks within projects (humans being complex, dynamic organisms whose actions are subject to changes in mood, behaviour and energy), it is surprising that they are not typically included in the constraint model.

“The human resource is capable of directing and withdrawing its energy with regard to a project, whereas a non-human resource is not.” (Moore, 2002)

Considering People are autonomous and govern interactions between project constraints, one could perhaps envisage the Iron Triangle as more of an ‘Iron Pyramid’.

Figure 1 - ‘Iron Pyramid’ of Project Management

As such, when a Project Manager (PM) is faced with managing a project team of disengaged or antagonistic staff, they must consider techniques which aid in directing positive input towards their project whilst deflecting negative energy to manage conflict. A good PM facilitates teamwork through influential leadership and exercises emotional intelligence, adding “interpersonal skills to the technical and problem solving capabilities that already exist.” (Dalcher, 2010) They should be able to negotiate with difficult team members by ensuring that they are consistently motivated and engaged in their roles and responsibilities to achieve project success.

In order to optimise overall project performance, the APM (2010) recommends adopting a Value Management approach in “motivating people, developing skills, advancing teams and promoting innovation.” A motivated and energised team derives drive and purpose from knowing that their work provides an integral contribution towards positive change within an organisation (Dalcher, 2010). They require consistent, positive energy levels to sustain momentum (, 2006)...