Posted: May 25th, 2022
A project that I plan on doing in the future is one that focuses on transitioning our marketing to social media. The company wants to promote its brand and become more familiar to consumers because right now it is not gaining much traction in traditional marketing approaches. The company has thus decided to try to focus more on social media as a marketing approach. The project will be to develop a social media marketing campaign that would allow the company develop its brand and gain traction among the target consumer population. The 7 basic steps that will need to be followed for this project to succeed are:
1. Compose the team.
2. Define the mission that the team must embrace.
3. Establish the expectations and goals that the team will be accountable for.
4. Structure and plan the activities that will provide the pathway to the goals and allow members to meet expectations.
5. Train and develop the team.
6. Make sense of the objectives and how the plan will empower the members to achieve the objectives.
7. Give and receive feedback so that there is a constant two-way flow of communication between the leader and the followers.
This paper will describe the project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing stages.
The first step in this project management activity will be to appoint the team members. This comprises the first three steps of the basic outline provided in the introduction1) composing the team, 2) defining the mission, and 3) identifying the goals. Bringing the team together is an important step in project management because there are essential elements to this phase. Teamwork is built on mutual trust and commitment to the team. Every member has to have a sense of his value, of what he brings to the team and why he is essential to the teams success. A member who does not have this sense is essentially a dead member. He is a drag on the team instead of a help. To get all members of the team on the same page and animated by the same spirit, the leader must develop his emotional and social intelligence skills (Fredrickson, 2001) and engage in the art received during resiliency training: this will help the leader to provide the support that each team member needs to overcome personal issues and challenges and devote himself to the team and to its mission (Reivich, Seligman & McBride, 2011).
The key element in teamwork is to build trust; transparency through open communication contributes to an engaged resilient and effective team. Trust is built by developing a culture and environment of transparency. Openness and honesty are qualities a leader must possess. Followers on the team will recognize and appreciate a leaders candor, honesty, and ability to be forthright. Trust cannot be established in the dark: it needs the light, which acts as a disinfectant and serves to kill all the hidden bugs that lurk about when thoughts and feelings are covered up. Trust is built by establishing a two-way flow of communication, which allows the light to get in and positive morale to increase. As Mission Command (2012) notes, two-way communication and interaction between the commander, subordinates, and Soldiers reinforces trust. Soldiers expect to see the chain of command accomplishing the mission while taking care of their welfare and sharing hardships and danger (p. 19). Nothing creates a better environment for teamwork than the ability of all members to recognize that their leader is sharing their burdens and struggles with them and leading by example in an open, honest and transparent manner.
Trust and cohesion are measures of climate; leaders must understand the dimensions of trust and its impact on its own team members. Leaders are the ones who are responsible for the team building process. It is not up to the individual members of the team to organize themselves but rather the leader to organize the team. The leader is the most visible and vocal person on the team. All eyes are on him and all follow his lead. The leader must be able to demonstrate patience and interpersonal skills (emotional and social intelligence) to earn the trust of his followers.
Recognizing the unique assets that each member brings to the table, as well as working collectively to capitalize on one anothers strengths is a defining key tenet. Every person will have strengths and weaknesses. It is up to the leader to identify the strengths and see how they can best be leveraged to enable the team to be as efficient and effective as possible. The team leader has to get the team members to buy in to the doctrines they are setting upi.e., the need for members to be adaptive and reactive leaders themselves (Koester, 2013). Everyone has to come to the team ready to act like a leader even if he is still following orders from the team leader: leadership starts from within and one must lead oneself in overcoming personal weakness.
In the project planning phase, the vision of what is to be accomplished and the goals have to be defined. This consists of the fourth, fifth and sixth steps of the basic plan outlined in the introduction4) structuring activities, 5) training the team, and 6) making sense of objectives. If the goals are not adequately defined, the team will not know what to do to succeed. For this project, the goals will be to obtain 25,000 followers within one month. This is a high goal but one worth shooting for because it will allow the team to grow from there. The secondary goal will be to create a series videos for social media that can effectively promote the products the company wants to introduce. These goals are defined and measurable, which is why they will work.
The project will have to be unified under one vision, however. All leaders must actively build and maintain a shared understanding in all facets. No project can be accomplished without understanding of how that project will be accomplished. Knowledge, training, educationall of this plays a part in the ability of the leader to drive success. Understanding is the basis of trust (Mission Command, 2012). Shared understanding of the operational environment, the purpose of the operation, potential and practical problems that may crop up, and the various options and approaches that can be used to solve them are all aspects of the shared understanding that all must possess.
To plan the project effectively, it is also necessary to identify potential obstacles or places of resistance. This means identifying where workers might struggle with meeting objectives. For this project, team members are going to have to collaborate. However, some team members might not want to collaborate if they are not used to one another. Fostering an environment of collaboration may be met with resistance but is necessary. Resistance typically occurs when stakeholders are not informed. Resistance is motivated by a number of factors, from fear to a sense of not having been given the ability to offer input to ignorance about the purpose of and approaches to mission accomplishment. To counter resistance, leaders have to be engaged enough to identify that soldiers will want to have the opportunity to provide feedback. They are on the ground, they have experiences, they want to make sure their leaders recognize their time and thoughts and use that information when formulating a plan. Simply giving soldiers the opportunity to speak can be enough to break down barriers of resistance. However, leaders still need to be able to articulate the plan, the vision, the purpose and provide motivation so that a true spirit of collaboration can be fostered.
Thorough and proper communication is vital in order to stay on task, capable and functional. Communication is the process by which understanding is achieved. Vital information is passed from leaders to followers and back again as leaders await feedback from followers that can be used to assess the development of the mission. Communication has to be two-way and not one-way. If communication is only going in one direction it means one half of the equation is hearing everything while the other half is hearing nothing back. When one half of the team is deaf, comprehensive understanding will not be obtained. Communication must be constant and flowing in both directions. For this project plan to succeed, the team leader will have to establish clear channels of communication with the team members.
The basis for unity of effort and trust amongst a team is a shared understanding and purpose. Purpose is what shines the light on the way forward and shared understanding is what enables the team to take the necessary steps to reach the destination. Purpose motivates and inspires. Shared understanding empowers and projects. The leader must know how to cultivate understanding and communicate purpose to move the project along. This will be accomplished in this project by keeping a visible chart so that everyone can see the progress that is being made and when goals are hit the team will be rewarded. This will help ensure that morale stays high.
This phase of the plan focuses on the seventh step in the outline provided in the introduction: 7) give and receive feedback. Feedback and communication are absolutely essential in project management. For this project, the leader will need to see that the social media campaign is being implemented well and that will required team members to provide feedback. But they will also have to obtain feedback from social media users online, which means they will have to conduct surveys and polling as well as engage in qualitative analysis of comments, likes, posts, and so on to determine how well the campaign is gaining traction. Proper utilization of the leaders intent to plan, prepare, and execute tasks with their workers will be critical for the project to be executed according to the plan. The plan is the blueprint by which the team acts. It will have been determined ahead of time by taking into consideration the various components of the field, the assets allocated to the task, risks, opportunities and so on. The plan is what helps the team leaders clear intent to be given.
It is important to remember, however , that the team leaders intent for the project could result in loss of legitimacy, trust, purpose, cohesion, and tendency without the buy-in of team members and all the workers and stakeholders of the project. Thus, the plan has to be communicated in an effective manner so that team members understand the necessity of the plan and adhere to the vision for the plan. The leader must provide followers with the reason for the plan so that there is no second guessing among followers who may think there is a better way to handle a certain situation or obstacle. While this may seem unnecessary to the leader, the leader must be mindful of the morale and anxieties of followers: the more they are brought into the loop the more comfortable and committed they will be about buying in (Mission Command, 2012).
Still, some of the best lessons are learned through mistakes; leaders should encourage initiative and sanction failures. Leaders on this team will want to see their followers acting like leaders even if they are not in a position to make as many decisions as the commander. There are still numerous situations and examples in which soldiers can make decisions that will impact the outcome of the projectand the leader has to encourage that type of decision-making as it instills responsibility, accountability and mindfulness.
A well-crafted leaders intent conveys a clear image of the projects purpose, key tasks, and the desired outcome. The purpose will be plain, the key tasks will be understood and achievable, and the desired outcome will be properly envisioned so that all recognize it and want it. The freedom to act while adhering to the purpose, key tasks and staying in pursuit of the desired outcome will all work to make the project that much more meaningful for team members. Leaders who can give followers the space they need to become decision-makers will adequately prepare the team for increased levels of success.
For this project, the team will have to make decisions on the fly, including when and in what manner to reach out to followers on the social media platforms, respond to questions, give advice, and push the product. The team will not be able to consult the leader at all times, so the team will have to be motivated to work together, communicate, collaborate and feel empowered to take the initiative.
Project Monitoring and Controlling
The monitoring and controlling of this project will require the team to focus on the following specific points:
1. Monitor the team to ensure that the members are staying on path and on target to accomplish the stated goals.
2. Manage team boundaries by keeping workers from deviating onto alternate paths that do not follow to the same goal, and also prevent others from intruding on the team and taking their attention away.
3. Challenge the team to face obstacles with alacrity and to be innovative and constructive in how they approach issues.
4. Perform team tasking by working with the members to understand their roles, their tasks, and how they can achieve their objectives.
5. Solve problems by working with team members to identify the root causes of a problem, identify options and select the best option for the team.
6. Provide resources to ensure that every member of the team has everything he needs to succeed; this includes managing any budgetary issues or human capital issues
7. Encourage team self-management, which means to fulfill the teams individual needs so that it can reach the level of self-actualization that Maslow identifies in his theory of motivation.
8. Support the social climate so that the team members are happy to communicate with one another, are supportive of one another, listen, give feedback and provide assistance when needed.
Monitoring and controlling the process are really about the following two points more than anything, however:
1. Control the processi.e., maximize the potential of all members of the team by giving them what they need to succeed.
2. Evaluate outcomesi.e., use metrics to measure performance and to see how effectively goals are being met.
This means the project leader will have to make sure the team is doing what it is capable of doing, and the performance will have to be measured. Setting SMART goals is very important for this point. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
The goals for this project will be to have 25,000 followers within one month and to have at least three campaigns gaining traction on three social media platforms by the same time. This makes these goals SMART as they are all specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. The progress towards the goals can be monitored and controlled.
Controlling the process will require the team leader to stay on the team members in order to keep them focused and motivated. House (1996) argued, though, that the leader has to be flexible and able to adopt different leadership styles when necessary. In some environments, one type of leadership style will be suited, while in another or when dealing with certain types of followers a separate style will be required. Thus, follower characteristics have to be considered so that the leader can maximize the potential of the follower. The theory has resonated well among leaders since its final articulation by House (1996) because it serves to remind leaders that they play a central part in the formation and development of followers and that the essence of leadership is to serve followers so that they can fulfill their individual potential and maximize their service to the organization.
One of the main ideas presented by House (1996) is that every worker is likely to have a unique pathway to his or her goals as well as to the goals of the organization. To help the individual identify the right path to those goals, the leader may have to adopt various styles of leadershipsuch as transformational leadership to inspire and communicate vision, or servant leadership to provide support and encouragement, or autocratic leadership for individuals who function best when told explicitly and clearly what they should do. The leader has to identify what approaches are going to work best for the individual and adopt those approaches. The leader also has to be able to ensure that the goals of the individual are in alignment with the goals of the organization (House, 1996).
The project closing is important because it is when the teams performance is recognized and appreciation and thanks are shown to every member of the team who helped make the project a success. The team has to expressed its gratitude and the leader has to show that he would be happy to work with every member again once more. This is why it is important for the team project to close on a positive note: it is very possible that all the members will be working together again in the future and they should leave this project with a good feeling towards one another and knowing that they did well to work together to help the organization. The project closing is one of the most important parts of the project and every member should leave feeling like their work was appreciated.
The basics of managing a project include composing the team, defining the mission that the team must embrace, establishing the expectations and goals that the team will be accountable for, structuring and planning the activities that will provide the pathway to the goals and allow members to meet expectations; training and developing the team; making sense of the objectives and how the plan will empower the members to achieve the objectives; and giving and receiving feedback so that there is a constant two-way flow of communication between the leader and the followers. For this project of managing a social media marketing campaign to help the organization gain traction among consumers, the project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing phases all have to be carefully thought out.
The most important aspects for this project will be to identify the vision and goals for the project so that all the team members know what is expected of them. This will mean that they must know what to do and how to do it. The goal will be for the team to get 25,000 followers for the social media campaign and to have three campaigns across three different social media platforms successfully gaining traction with followers. The team will have to be shown how it can achieve these goals and the leader will have to support them in overcoming obstacles and in dealing with resistance.
For this reason, communication will be very necessary and the leader will have to know how to open up two-communication flows so that feedback can be obtained at all times. The goals should be SMART so that they can be measured and reached and that is the case with this project. In the end, the project should close out well with all team members being acknowledged for their hard work and effort so that they will want to return in the future to work with one another again.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The
broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American psychologist, 56(3), 218.
House, R. J. (1996). Path-goal theory of leadership: Lessons, legacy, and a reformulated
theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 7(3), 323-352.
Koester, J. (2013). NCOs have important roles in mission command | NCO Journal.
Retrieved from http://ncojournal.dodlive.mil/2013/09/17/1932/
Mission Command (Army Doctrine Publication 6-0 [ADP] , 2012, p. 2-4).
Reivich, K. J., Seligman, M. E., & McBride, S. (2011). Master resilience training in the
US Army. American Psychologist, 66(1), 25.
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