According to the Mckinsey & Company report titled: The Art of Project Leadership Mindsets play a critical role in the development of ultra-large projects. Good systems and processes will positively influence team behaviour to a certain extent, but success or failure is largely determined by how well a team works together.
Team mindsets inform the multitude of decisions and interpersonal interactions that occur on a project. Constructive mindsets lead to good decisions and strong trust-based relationships, which in turn lead to high team morale and excellent performance.
Four mindsets that underpin the development of the project from start to finish:
- Lead as a business, not as a project
An ultra-large project is more akin to building a business than executing a construction project, requiring CEO-level leadership and judgment to address a broad range of organisational issues.
- Take full ownership of outcomes
The project owner needs to maintain full accountability for delivery. They must remain well informed throughout and be ready to step in to make tough decisions in a timely manner.
- Make your contractor successful
Owners and contractors work best as a business partnership with a mindset of “we win together or lose together”. Productive contractor-owner relationships are based on mutual trust and joint problem solving.
- Trust your processes, but know that leadership is required
Processes alone will not resolve every challenge on an ultra-large project. Leaders should trust and enforce the appropriate process, but recognise their benefits and limitations.
These four mindsets need to be adopted by most people in the project organisation and the broader owners’ team, not just the top management of the project itself. Owners and project directors need to create an environment where these mindsets are aligned with the natural way the team approaches their day-to-day work and how they interact with each other, contractors, and other stakeholders.
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