The DIRECT project leadership framework includes six pillars that must be addressed during the project. Define the objective. Investigate the alternatives. Resolve to a course of action and create a project plan. Execute the project plan. Change over to the new system or solution. Transition the people to the new environment.
- Leading a project can be overwhelming, but I've come up with an easy system that can help you to do it well. In this video, we're going to simplify project leadership by breaking it down into six key principles. Whether you work in healthcare, IT, supply chain management, or any other field, leading a cross functional project team is a complicated job, especially since the odds are pretty good that your team is doing something that has never been done before, ever.
Like a film director, a project leader has to direct their team. The job of leading a project becomes much easier if you begin to think of it in terms of six responsibilities, which I call the six pillars of project leadership. And you can use DIRECT as an easy acronym to remember these six pillars. The first pillar is defining the vision for the project. The leader needs to ensure that the objective has been clearly defined and that there is sustained support for trying to reach that goal.
The second pillar is investigating the options. Your team needs to explore alternatives and to figure out the pros and cons of each. How much will they cost? How long will they take? And how well will they actually solve the problem? The third pillar is resolving to a course of action. At some point, you need to make a choice. Your team needs to decide which option you're going to pursue and build a good plan to get it done.
The fourth pillar of project leadership is executing the plan. This is where the rubber meets the road. When it comes to executing, the team gets busy doing the work of the project and the project manager tracks their progress and performance. The fifth pillar is change. No matter what the project is, there is always a change, whether that's a go live for a software upgrade or the startup of a whole new facility. For the people who aren't on the project team, this may be their first interaction with the project, so ensuring that people accept the change is an essential and often underestimated leadership responsibility.
And that brings us to the sixth pillar of project leadership, transitioning people to the new solution. While the change is about the tangible things that are different when the project is complete, the transition is about the intangibles. How are people going to react to it? Will they accept it or will they resist it? Transition is the last pillar, but it's the most important for ensuring that the seeds you and your team are planting have the chance to really take root and grow.
Leading projects can be fun and rewarding. It's both a science and an art, and you'll be successful at it if you remember your responsibilities using the six pillars of the DIRECT framework. Define the vision, investigate the options, resolve to a course of action, execute the plan, change the system, and transition the people.
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- Defining the vision
- Documenting the project scope
- Investigating potential options
- Conducting a SWOT analysis
- Selecting a course of action
- Resolving issues
- Building trust with transparency
- Managing project plans
- Identifying risks
- Changing processes
- Helping people transition