In all projects there is stress. It is up to each of us, control it and reduce it. There are people who only know how to work under stress, and that, damages his/her health, it is scientific and is well known. What to do to reduce stress? This question answers itself with two questions: What level of enlightenment have you about the project you’re involved in? And as a consequence, how much do you think you can “control” the future?
The stress comes from the lack of control of the future, and this happens for 2 reasons: The first is lack of project planning in a clear way for all team members, along with the confidence of the leader who will not “persecute his team developing members” if they cant comply with the impossible tasks times! A well developed project plan, along with a risk plan is a relief for all stakeholders of the project. I think just reading this gives psychological relief and reduces stress!
The second reason is the balance between control and energy expended for such control. A few years ago someone showed me the following drawing:
In this picture, the circle in the center indicates what we control, and the energy we spend on that control. When we move away from the center (things which aren’t in our control, such as other people decisions and acts), the less control we have and we can only hope for influence, that will vanishes the more we move away from the center.
In the center we spent little energy to control things, like our decisions, but when we try to influence, or moving away from the center, we must spend much more energy, like trying to convince others for some decision or trying to control other’s things. If we try to influence things that are very far away from the center we have to spend a huge quantity of energy, raising our stress and causing damage to our health (body and mind).
So if you are a project manager, and you really want to manage healthy your team so you can have a very successful project in every way, learn to manage well your energy and of your team, it will give you in a long run a successful personal, professional and social life. Let me say to you some Christian advice “love thy neighbor as thyself”.
If you are one of the team developers, you are not obliged to accept whatever the project manager gives to you, if there’s one thing I’ve learned is: it is harder to say “no”, and is easier to say “yes”, but it is the “no” that define your life. Do not be confrontational, present alternatives, discuss your point of view, if the project manager don’t accept it and the right its on your side, well probably the company is not for you!
This way of seeing things applies to all our life.