Seshadri Ramkumar, Professor, Texas Tech University, USA
On the eve of Thanksgiving celebration, unique and a major festivity in the United States of America, a tête-à-tête with a successful project management expert highlighted the importance of acknowledging people and team effort towards successful project implementation.
TowelieTM cotton wipe project is a good example of successful team building, acknowledging expertise and efforts of each team member, say the innovator, the manufacturer and the marketing team. As a way of expressing Thanksgiving, to my many collaborators in the textile industry, academia and other cultural and social organizations, I have been involved; it is such a relish to talk with Lakshmikumar Narayanan of McLean-based Acumen Solutions, Inc.
A project involves three pillars: 1) People, 2) Process and 3) Technology/tools. Team is the lifeline of any project stated Lakshmikumar Narayanan. He emphasized the need to motivate the group members of the team and bring them along. It is leader vis-à-vis manager, stated Narayanan. It was clear in the discussion that Narayanan is thankful to many for the opportunities provided to him, who migrated to the United States from India in 2003.
In his 21-years as a project leader, his efforts in acknowledging his team members have given rich rewards, professionally and personally, admitted Narayanan. In managing a US$18 million per year project for an insurance company, he practiced several team-building tricks and has always shown appreciation to his members. He said, “gamification,” helps, a term that is getting popular in IT and service sectors. Encouraging people to get quality output is the mantra. In response to this scribe on how to maximize team’s deliverables, Narayanan stated, “appreciate people.” Having monthly talent recognition programs, providing platforms to enhance talents and more importantly reassuring the existence of shielded and safe environment are some tips, which should work. A leader should be upfront in resolving conflicts among team members, emphasized Narayanan.