The Hidden Web: Inside the Organizational Networks that Drive Project Performance

No carrots, no sticks: Influencing without authority

Influencing without authority is one of the hardest skills to acquire. Yet there is a powerful tool that can help PMs understand how to influence effectively. Underneath organization charts and process maps are hidden informal networks: the webs of relationships that underlie all organization activity. People activate these webs in order to solve problems, gain expertise, and innovate. For years, we have known that these networks exist, but haven’t had the tools to leverage them properly. Today, thanks to advances in mathematics and technology, we now have the ability to scientifically identify, map, and analyze networks.

In this lively, interactive session, delivered in May 2010 to the Central Massachusetts Chapter of the PMI, PMs learned how to identify, nurture, and leverage these informal networks in order to boost project success rates. We looked at the science underlying organizational networks and influencing with authority. We reviewed recent findings that show the connections between human network management and project performance. Check out the slides.


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