EI: It’s what’s next in Project Management.

By: Prashant Kukde, Founder & CEO of SeerNet

Build high performing project teams with increased collaboration and improved communication using EI Analytics

We all want to be successful. We crave to be the best and work with the best. Technology transforms and teaches us new ways to work together with tools and techniques for managing people and projects. However, tools and techniques alone are not enough. We need to employ collaboration and communication practices to build high performing teams for sustainable results. But how do we go about practicing better collaboration and communication? Here enters EI (Emotional Intelligence) Analytics for Project Management.

Projects are Emotional

Think back to a project you worked on with a team, with well-defined schedules, budgets, detailed customer requirements, milestones, deadlines, etc. Most likely you’ll remember not just the part you played, but the roles and responsibilities of other team members as well. You’ll remember the experience you had with them on this project and past ones as well.

You recall negative experiences weighted with negative emotions of anger, fear and disgust when you were blamed for the failure of tasks (while not your fault or maybe it was). Your work was not appreciated by other team members. You warned the team about delays and associated risks of failure, but they didn't listen.

You recollect positive experiences supported by positive emotions of joy, trust and anticipation, where you lead the charge against all odds and delivered the project on time, in budget and with the praise from both the customer and management.

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Ok. Fast forward to the present. All of those emotions, both positive and negative, that you experienced in the past will affect new projects now and in the future. These emotions embedded in past experiences will shape your engagement with others moving forward. In addition, new goals will also introduce new emotions and suppresses some of the old ones. The summation of sentiment from past experiences and future expectations will calibrate how you communicate and collaborate in projects.

Because we are human, our emotional response to experiences is a subconscious element that informs a preference for communication and collaboration with others. For example, based on your past experiences, you may choose to work closely with some and try to stay away from others. You may elect to share your views in private or express your opinions in public. You may report your work with progress frequently or delays rarely.

The point of all of this is that projects are emotional, and the ability to understand your own emotions and those of others can change your both personal experiences and the project outcomes. For this reason, it is EI (Emotional Intelligence) that is ‘what’s next’ in Project Management. And just how is EI applied to Project Management? Stay tuned for a series of articles that will explain more about AI for EI. For now, we invite you to download our Emotion Analytics for JIRA at no cost from the Atlassian Marketplace.

Allié Merrick