Empowering Project Teams: Using Project Followership to Improve Performance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Empowering Project Teams

Using Project Followership to Improve Performance, 1st Edition

By Marco Sampietro, Tiziano Villa

Auerbach Publications

300 pages | 29 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-02-25
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Although project team members play crucial roles in projects, they often do not possess the required mastery of project management methodologies. As a result, dialog between project managers and team members is not as effective as it can be and can quickly become a source of stress and tension.

Empowering Project Teams: Using Project Followership to Improve Performance improves on this situation by presenting the project environment from the perspective of project team members. Re-interpreting project management methodologies and behaviors using a bottom-up approach, it explores the application of project followership in the key stages of project management. It details the methods and techniques that all project team members need to know and outlines the behaviors they should adopt to be successful in each stage of the project. The book is divided into five sections:

  1. Introduces and explores the basic concepts of project management and project followership
  2. Examines project start-up—the all too often underestimated set of activities that make it possible to make future activities less problematic
  3. Highlights the importance of project planning
  4. Focuses on execution and control of the project
  5. Considers project closure and transfer and explains why this is an ideal time to determine if efforts invested have been rewarded

Despite an understanding that project success is directly proportional to the entire team’s ability to act as a managerial center of excellence, there has long been a need for a book dedicated to the individuals that participate in projects. Filling this need, this book is an ideal resource for anyone who regularly works as a member of a project team. Complete with case studies in each chapter, the book also includes exercises on the topics covered to facilitate understanding.

Table of Contents


Introduction to Project Management


Reader’s Guide

Projects, Projects, and More Projects!

Ten Key Characteristics of a Project

Project Life Cycle

Project Environment and the Stakeholders

The Project’s Key Stakeholders

Project Sponsor

Project Manager

Project Management Team (PMT)

Project Team


Other Project Stakeholders

Focus on the Project Management Team

Success of the Project

A Frame of Reference

The Project Evaluation System

Degree of Complexity of a Project

Project Management Strategy



Project Followership in Action


Reader’s Guide

Toward Widespread Project Management

Project Followership: A Reference Model

Project Followership Actions

Project Followership during Project Initiation

Project Followership during Project Planning

Project Followership during Project Execution and Control

Project Followership during the Project Closure

Importance of the Distinctive Features of Project Followership



The Kickoff Meeting


Reader’s Guide

Why the Kickoff?

Kickoff Objectives

Support in Preparing the Kickoff

Response to the Invitation and Receiving the Information

Presentation of the Stakeholders and the Organization of the Project

Reading the Project Charter

Discussion of the Project

Project Followership Actions for the Kickoff Meeting



The Requirements Analysis


Reader’s Guide

Why a Requirements Analysis?

Role of the Project Team Member in the Requirements Analysis

Requirements Analysis: Steps and Techniques

General Outline

Classify the Stakeholders

Collect the Expectations

Define the Requirements

Validate the Requirements



Acceptance Tests



Planning the Scope


Reader’s Guide

Why Manage the Scope?

Managing the Scope Is Not Easy

Role of the Project Follower in Planning the Project Scope

Deliverables: The Essence of the Project

WBS: Instructions for Use

Meaning of WBS

Ultimate Purpose of the WBS: To Magnetize the Team

Rules for Building the WBS

WBS Metaphors

WBS Dictionary: An Extremely Useful Compendium



Project Scheduling


Reader’s Guide

Why Scheduling?

Approach to Project Scheduling

Scheduling Steps and the Project Follower’s Contribution

In-Depth Study of the Project Scheduling Steps

Step 1: Determine the Project Work Sequence

Step 2: Estimate the Duration of the Network Elements

Step 3: Compress the Project Duration

Fast Tracking


Quality Reduction

Scope Reduction

Step 4: Allocating the Available Resources

Step 5: Optimize the Allocation of Resources and Include New Resources if Necessary

Profile of the Project Follower in Project Scheduling

Step 1: Determine the Project Work Sequence

Step 2: Estimate the Duration of the Network Elements

Step 3: Compress the Project Duration

Step 4: Allocating the Available Resources

Step 5: Optimize the Allocation of Resources and Include New Resources if Necessary



Formulation of Estimates


Reader’s Guide

Why Is Estimating So Important?

Estimation Techniques



The Experts’ Judgment


Historic Series


Pitfalls in the Estimation Process

Different Degrees of Tolerable Approximation

Optimistic Estimates

Pessimistic Estimates

Temporal Distance of the Activities to Be Performed

Parkinson’s Law

Student Syndrome

Main Activity

Measuring Time

Availability of Information

Actual Time Available for the Project

Forecasts for Others

Closeness of Temporal Phenomena

Project Followership Actions to Improve Estimates



Project Risk Management


Reader’s Guide

Why Project Risk Should Be Managed

Project Risk Management Process

Planning the Risk Management Process

Risk Identification

Analysis of Risks

Planning the Risk Response

Risk Monitoring and Controlling

Project Followership Actions for Project Risk Management



Change as a Natural Factor in Projects


Reader’s Guide

Why Are Projects Constantly Changing?

Partial Vision of the Project as a Contribution to Its Perceived Instability

Contributing to the Reduction of Changes

Proximity of Temporal Phenomena

Pressure over Results

A Project Environment That Is Very Different from How Operational Activities Are Carried Out

How to Effectively Communicate Changes

When Change Is Beneficial and When It Is Negative

Project Followership Actions for Change Management



Controlling the Project


Reader’s Guide

Projects and Control

Project Control: Comparing Meanings

Project Control Cycle

Plan the Project Baseline

Measure the Project Performance

Evaluate Variances, Trends, and Forecasts

Define Corrective Actions, as Needed

Project Control in Action

General Considerations

Techniques for Monitoring Project Progress


Criteria for Measuring the Work Carried Out

Comparison of the Progress Observed with Respect to the Baseline

Techniques for Assessing Project Progress

Techniques to Identify Corrective Actions

Project Status

Personal Reflections on Project Control

Project Followership Actions for Project Control



Projects Never Finish: The Importance of the Lessons Learned


Reader’s Guide

Why the Lessons Learned Are Important

Some Clarifications on the Concept of Lessons Learned

Value of the Lessons Learned

Factors Hindering Systematization of the Lessons Learned

What Contributing to Writing the Lessons Learned Means

Time Dimension


Support Questions

Discussion during a Meeting

The Follow-Up

Informational Sources for the Lessons Learned

Project Followership Actions for Project Closure



Personal Assessment

Why You Should Participate in Projects

Why You Should Adopt a Project Followership Approach



About the Authors

Marco Sampietro received a MSC in Economics at the Insubria University in Italy and a PhD at the University of Bremen, Germany. Since 2000 he has been a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top 100 Business Schools in the world (Financial Times Rankings).

He is a Core Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management in the following programs: MBA – Master of Business Administration, EMBA – Executive Master of Business Administration, GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration. He is also responsible of the executive education course: IT Project Management. He is also a Faculty Member at MISB Bocconi – Mumbai International School of Business Bocconi, the Indian subsidiary of SDA Bocconi School of Management.

Since 2001 he has been a contract professor at Bocconi University where he teaches Project Management, IT Management, and Computer Skills for Economics. In 2008 and 2009 he has been Vice-Director of a Master Degree in IT Management at Bocconi University. He is also Contract Professor at the Milano Fashion Institute where he teaches Project Management. Finally, in 2010 he has co-founded The Base Project Management Consultancy. Some of his international experiences are: speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, USA; speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, 2010; speaker at the IPMA-GPM Young Crew Conference, 2008, Germany; visiting instructor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

He is co-author of 5 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Finally he is author of internationally published articles and case studies.

Tiziano Villa, PMP® CMC® started his career at IBM as organizational analyst in the manufacturing plant of Vimercate, Italy. Subsequently he worked in the IT area of insurance companies, first as a Project Manager and later as PMO Coordinator. Since 1989 Tiziano Villa has been working in the management consultancy field, mainly on project management-related topics as a trainer and consultant.

In 2002 he founded "the Project Management LAB®", an Italian consulting and training company which is also a PMI® REP. From 2003 to 2007 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the PMI®–NIC Northern Italy Chapter. He is a past director of PMI®-NIC. In this role he coordinated PMI®-NIC research, workshops, and events. He is project management Contract Professor at the "Master IT Governance & Compliance", University of Turin – SAA – School of Business Administration.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Management Science
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology