What Science Teaches Us About Managing A Project Team

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / May 23, 2014
managing a project team four people around table

Science is amazing. It’s systematic and objective yet at the same time very capable of tapping into a wellspring of wonder within you to show you just how wonderful the world you’re living in is. It’s not so farfetched then to think that science may just have a few project management lessons you can learn from. Practices for project management are far-ranging and though all effective are not guaranteed to work for everyone. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit in project management and sometimes some people have a harder time finding what’s suitable for them and their team.

To help you get a better grasp of task management and become a better project manager, consider these science lessons we can use in managing project team:

1.    “An object remains at rest or continues to move unless an external force is applied on it”

As the team manager, it is up to you to steer your group in the right direction. This involves ensuring that everyone is at the top of their game, which means taking it upon yourself to keep them motivated. At the other end of the spectrum though, it is also up to you to put an end to their shenanigans when it’s getting in the way of agile project management.

2.    “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”

Everything you do has consequence. From choosing collaboration tools to deciding deadlines, everything you do will have an impact on the team. This is why it is essential that you take the time to clearly assess every decision you make, allowing you at least soften blows when negative results cannot be avoided.

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3.    “No two objects can occupy the same place at the same time”

While you have every right to demand more from your team, you also have to know how to set limits to achieve as much work-life balance as possible. Sometimes it’s not possible to relax when you’re due to release collaboration software in a week, for instance, and you still have loose ends, but your team shouldn’t have to constantly feel like they’re going through a wringer. If you really need more output, maybe you should consider getting a different project management tool instead to boost your team’s productivity.

4.    Evolution through natural selection

Natural selection refers to picking out ideal traits which will eventually become the norm with the passage of time. You can apply this to your team by choosing the best practices for creating a virtual workforce and then using them so often that they become habitual and eventually second nature to you and your team. It’s evolution, virtual workforce style!

5.    “What goes up must go down”

Everything must also come to an end. You cannot do things indefinitely so it is important to set deadlines. Otherwise, it would be hard to gauge if you and your team are indeed making progress. A successful project management team thrives on flexibility but some level of structure must also be introduced to keep things in order.

6.    “All planets move in elliptical orbits, with the sun at one focus”

You are the team’s sun. What you do affects everyone in your team and it is in your guidance that they turn to in order to achieve goals that have been set. Of course, you can’t discount the fact that you also have a lot to learn from your team but this basically means you are the one in charge. But be careful, while the sun can bring warmth that fosters growth, so too it is capable of burning down anything in its path to cinders.

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7.    “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed”

The spirit that drives people to do their best in project management is generally inherent. The best you can do really is to fan the flames that are already there and to keep them burning. Sometimes this will be difficult though when it feels like there’s just nothing there. Don’t lose hope. It’s there; you just haven’t tapped into it yet. Try different tactics until you see the results you’re looking for.

8.    The Big Bang Theory

In terms of project management practices, it simply means everyone has to start somewhere. You did. It’s a humble reminder too that sometimes you have to be more patient with people. Instead of just nagging them, guide them so they can reach the destination faster.

The Science of Project Management

There are many ways to go about leading a project management team, and there will be ups and downs. Know your goals, know your team, keep the scheme that collaboration tools can improve knowledge work and you should be well on your way towards becoming the best there is in your field.

Jona Jone was a mortgage originator in Philadelphia, PA and is now a Business and Property Specialist.

Image Credit: Anna Shvets; Pexels

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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