Project management is essential to our team, which gives essential administrative support for our program within Oxfam. We need to build ways of influencing others, and increasing our effectiveness — especially when asking managers of other teams or organisations to meet deadlines. We often work under time-pressure, and this can make it harder to achieve necessary outcomes.
Our two-day course covered key factors in Project Management, drawing on many of our interactive and hands-on approaches to keep this intensive course fresh, relevant and engaging. We looked at the ways in which the officers in the team might unwittingly lose influence in their interactions — and then showed how influence can be re-gained, building on the willingness of those they depend upon in order to achieve their own outcomes. A typical challenge for the team was how to ask for information from someone reluctant (for whatever reason) to commit to responding within the necessary time-frame. The solutions included building stronger upward management skills, and working on effective communication to tackle difficult or vital conversations. Asking others to complete tasks forms a large part of this team’s remit, and they are often the lynchpins in their respective teams, ensuring action for multiple processes. For this reason, we also looked at how to be effective in prioritising tasks, and how to understand and work with stress most effectively. We introduced our new Stressometer tool, thus giving people a simple but effective method of judging when to agree to, negotiate or reassess the tasks they take on, on a job-by-job basis.
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