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Fear encourages short-term thinking. Deming’s classic story was about a foreman who refused to stop production to fix a worn-out piece. He feared that stopping production would lead him to miss his daily quota. Instead, he allowed production to continue. The line was forced to stop for four days after the machine crashed.
Fear manifests in many ways
* Fear of reprisal* Fear failure* Fear fear of the unknown* Fear relinquishing control* Fears of change* More ….
According to some management theories, a certain amount of fear is healthy. Deming is correct in my opinion. Fear is so harmful and unproductive that it should be eliminated as soon as possible.
Fear can lead to project managers withholding negative information or delaying it for fear of reprisal. The best scenario is for problems to be identified and addressed as soon possible. Fearful project managers can manipulate EVM reporting and other status reports easily.
Project managers who fear failure because of the environment in which they work will not try new things. You can’t make progress if you don’t try something new and take educated risks. It won’t.
Project managers, sponsors, stakeholders, and others can be paralyzed by fear of the unknown. Project management is about managing uncertainty and making the unknowns clear. A good project management can reduce fear associated with unknowns.
Ah, the art of letting go. This is a huge one. Project managers feel they have to micro-manage their projects or they will fail. They may be afraid of failing, but they are more likely to be control freaks. To be able to lead effectively and achieve the best results, project managers must be able give direction and guidance, and then get out of their way. This fear can be detected when a project manager talks in PM jargon and tries to impress customers. This is a sign of the “it’s all just about me” syndrome.
Fear of change can be a major problem. My biggest challenge in managing change is the one I have had to face on my projects. People resist change by their very nature unless they are the ones initiating it. It is best to make the WIIFM (what’s it in it for me), painfully clear, and to involve experts from all stakeholders when working on the project. The higher the number of people you can include at the lowest level of the end-users, the better. Don’t limit your involvement to the managers of these people that is a surefire way to ensure end-users fear the change when it arrives.

By Delilah