Multi-Stakeholder and Multi-Disciplinary Projects

At the outset of any project, a project charter is sanctioned to set direction and define measures of success. The project charter describes scope, goals, and stakeholders. It’s a plan – a map for the work that will be completed, the timeframe, and the cost. However, research demonstrates that a project’s success or failure depends largely on what lies between the project milestones and between the destination points on the map. 

The success of a project depends on how leaders mobilize their people, and on how those people navigate their way through the challenges that inevitably arise. The people on a project create success. They connect the various elements of the project; their moment-by-moment choices keep a project on track against all odds. People are the ‘nexus’ of a project, and our focus as we guide you through the process of creating a Team Alignment Charter.
Issues and Challenges
The “people” issues in projects can range from personal competency to interpersonal conflict or organizational stonewalling. People issues show up in many ways on projects, such as:
  • A lack of communication across discipline leads and down to all members of the project
  • A lack of ‘project culture.’ People may be loyal to sponsoring organizations rather than the project, and pay more attention to the sponsoring organizations’ drivers (financial or other) than project-wide success
  • In multi-stakeholder projects, communication between sponsor organizations is weak
  • Team members feel they’re wasting time and money doing large amounts of rework
  • Disciplines (such as engineering and construction) or business areas are persistently in conflict about important issues
  • Lessons learned within and between project phases are not implemented; change does not occur, resulting in large amounts of waste and rework 
There will always be ‘people issues’ in a project but a focus on how teams collaborate and become aligned can capture the issues early and minimize their impact. It is particularly important to pay attention to how leadership can influence team members to care about and resolve issues.
Just as attention is paid to the goals outlined in a project charter, attention needs to be paid to the people working on the project, the nexus that holds the project together. Our experience confirms that the Boss Consulting Team Alignment Charter Process is a constructive way for the people on a project to be accountable for their choices, accept responsibility for project success, clarify issues, and uncover solutions.
Alignment isn’t a one-time event – it’s a process that occurs over time.
Alignment results when interdependent team members are clear about how they are going to work together to meet stated goals and objectives and are accountable to each other for their choices and actions. Alignment occurs when team members share common goals, work collaboratively, and communicate with each other about:
  • The big picture for the work that needs to be done;
  • The specific work that needs to be done;
  • Who is accountable for what;
  • How team members are accountable to each other;
  • How team members’ work is interdependent; 
  • Which interfaces need attention; 
  • When work needs to be done; and
  • How team members can help each other be mutually successful.
In aligned project teams, special attention is paid to:
  • The conflict resolution processes used when differences of opinion arise, and
  • The recovery process implemented if the conflict resolution process doesn’t work.
What We Do, and How We Do It
Boss Consulting Inc. are experts in the people-side of multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary projects. We help leaders and their teams navigate challenges and maximize their collective potential. Through the design and implementation of processes that enhance inter-personal and inter-organizational collaboration and alignment, our work leads to better communication, greater efficiency, less waste or rework, and enhanced innovation. We coach executives, leaders, project managers, individual contributors, and teams.
Our role in projects is to lead the development and implementation of a Team Alignment Charter. We help focus the project sponsor(s), the senior management team and all team members on becoming increasingly aligned towards meeting the project’s goals and objectives. We do this through the creation of a collaborative and aligned project culture, with the understanding that everyone on the project is responsible for alignment. 
There are two major ways we make the alignment initiative visible and ensure all members of the project team ‘own’ it. They are:
1. The implementation of a project-wide Team Alignment Charter process, and
2. The emphasis on accountability through the Leadership/Management lineage.
The implementation of these two vehicles increases the probability that a project will meet its goals, as team members move from conflict avoidance to conflict resolution and from self-interest to a focus on shared responsibility.
The Team Alignment Charter Process
The main vehicle for creating a collaborative and aligned project culture is the infusion of a project Team Alignment Charter, which clarifies the desired relationships and behaviors deemed by project leadership as essential for success.  Boss Consulting will steward the Team Alignment Charter process, which emphasizes the important impact of personal choice and responsibility, articulates a shared vision of the project as aligned, and clarifies what is expected of each team member to align themselves and their work within and between silos (various stakeholders, organizations, disciplines, areas, departments, people). The project manager champions the charter process, but everyone on the team owns it.
Accountability Through Leadership/Management Lineage
Leadership/Management Lineage refers to the line of formal accountability within a project, including any team member with formal supervisory responsibility, such as members of the project management team and discipline leads. It is our role to hold all those with formal managerial responsibility accountable for implementing the Team Alignment Charter in their areas of jurisdiction.  
Boss Consulting will provide the consulting, facilitation and coaching services to leaders, managers, and Project team members.     
Proven Results
The challenge for project leaders: to pay as much attention to the people in the project and how they communicate and work with each other as they would to the technical aspects of the project.  People will form the nexus of a project when project leadership cares about their experiences in the project, gives them direction, creates a culture of collaboration and alignment, and provides the support and resources they need.
Through our work, project teams identify which commitments are to be met and when, how work is to proceed, what productive interpersonal relationships look like, and how project achievements are recognized and celebrated. We help the team create a collaborative and aligned project culture resulting in a robust nexus that holds the project together. The implementation of this alignment process is a means to an end: it addresses the people issues that present themselves on projects, and substantially increases the probability that the project will meet its goals and objectives.
What our clients say about working with us.