The need for better leadership has never been greater. New research by the Australian Institute of Management has identified communication skills and emotional intelligence as the key skill gaps that Australian leaders are facing.
The foundation of good project leadership isn’t about telling others how you want things done – it’s about paving a path for your team, and then empowering and supporting every member along their journey.
While it’s important to understand project management techniques, the most valuable skills for an amazing project leader are the soft skills – the ability to understand the people on the project, to use techniques like active listening to get the best results from them, and to motivate and build them up when they are down.
What project leadership looks like at ELMO
At ELMO, we’ve set up numerous initiatives to establish a strong culture of employee engagement across all projects. First and foremost, we ensure that our teams understand the reason why they are doing what they’re doing. We also involve them in defining the scope of what they are working on and how it will be done.
And most importantly, we’ve created a space that encourages experimentation. If there is scope for improvement in the product or process, we let our teams try new ways of working to improve their day to day lives.
A huge part of a project’s success is being able to keep quality up under difficult deadlines. We ensure that there is a strong process of code reviews and level of unit testing. For legacy applications that are either not testable or don’t have enough unit tests, there is a black box focus to cover as many scenarios from the outside as automated tests. Quality is also something that everyone needs to agree on as a measure. If the team believes in this as a rule, then they will be the ones that will keep each other honest.
Ultimately, our focus is on people and learning. We encourage people to own the projects they work on. This allows people to take lead roles for larger projects that might require domain experts.
We also have a very large team and product suite, which empowers our people to step up and take ownership of a core piece of the puzzle. And most importantly, we encourage knowledge sharing. Ideas breed ideas, after all.
Interested in tackling some of the challenges we’re working on as part of an awesome project team? Check out our jobs or get in touch with ELMO’s talent acquisition team via email on [email protected].