The 4 key principles to ensuring justice is present in your projects

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Project management can at times be a chaotic process. With varying phases, complicated steps, and many people involved, it’s sometimes hard to keep everything on track. Some of us thrive in this type of environment and others crumble.

At times we can make decisions that aren’t considering everyone involved and as a result can leave people with a feeling of a lack of justice for their point of view. 

I think this is due to the fact that a lot of the tools and methodologies used by project management and continuous improvement professionals are designed to deliver an optimized plan. Unfortunately, this focus often results in a stressed workforce and unhappy customers.

The Oxford Dictionary defines justice as “the quality of being fair and reasonable.” As project leaders, I believe that our definition of justice should include accountability for our work and remaining open to feedback in order to continuously improve upon our performance as we are working to becoming more fair and reasonable.

We need to be better

There are many ways in which projects can go wrong and many reasons why they fail. If you’re not careful, your project could cost you more than just time & money – it could cost you friendships, relationships with co-workers, trust with clients and more.

I’m not saying that there is absolutely no justice in continuous improvement project management. There is justice, but at least for me and my experience, there’s a lack of it. And based on some conversations I have had with some of you I know I’m not alone in this feeling.

The funny thing is the problem isn’t *that* hard to fix. Nothing crazy needs to happen. We just need a little bit of courage. Courage to lead in a way that is more inclusive and fair.

What would that look like?

Leading with Justice provides a better way to manage projects through four key principles: transparency, ownership, responsible self-care, and shared success. When these principles are applied to your project management workflows you will be able to achieve greater success in my opinion.

#1 Transparency: How have I shown justice to those around me?

#2 Ownership: How have I created more opportunities for others that need it in the projects I lead? Have I truly sought to understand before trying to be understood?

#3 Responsible Self-Care: How have I been intentional with my self care to ensure that I am able to lead with Justice?

#4 Shared Success: How am I sharing the success of the work I am doing with those that have helped me?

Sometimes as leaders we need to do something that we know is right but not necessarily widely accepted. If I could leave you with a quote that sums this up really well it would be this:

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

#kokorozashi #justiceinprojects #projectmanagement #continuousimprovement #kaizen

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