Alternative name(s)

-Project authority (
-Project directorship (

15-3-2011-18-16-50832.jpg [Accessed by: 9th March 2013]


According to Cleland (1995), leadership can be considered as not only a property, but also a process. It is a process that leaders within the project use their influences to conduct and coordinate the activities of the group members toward the completion of their project objectives. Besides, it also can be defined as a series of characteristics or traits attributed to those who are deemed to use such influence successfully (Cleland, 1995). It is part of the project management, but not all of it.

Besides, Briner et al (1997) indicated that leadership is not all about inspiring or motivating the teams, it more concerns with making expeditious but high-quality decisions (Briner et al, 1997).

Agile values

--Communication (XP VALUES). Communication is central to the management competencies (Bennis, 1985). Therefore, communication is relevant to Project Leadership because the project manager/team leader choose to encourage their team members by communications, and also communicate problems or issues come up in the process of agile project.

--Respect (XP VALUES). Respect is relevant to project leadership because leadership is supposed to be caring about team members and to respect the cultural of their different backgrounds and project.

--Responding to change over following a plan(Agile Manifesto). Project leadership in agile projects is supposed to let project managers and employees alike to adapt to the changing environment rather than rigid and formal control (Augustine et al, 2005). Also, The agile project is considered to understand the effects and benefits that interactions brought to different parts of projects and steer them to adapt changing environment and continuous improvement (Augustine et al, 2005).

‍‍‍‍‍Agile principles‍‍‍‍‍

‍‍‍‍‍The most efficient way to convey information in a team is to develop face-to-face communication (Agile Manifesto, 2013).‍‍‍‍‍ This principle within Agile Management can be applied during the leadership process. Because face-to-face communication could help leaders to inspire members through body language or tone of voice directly, they could interact with their members efficiently, such as they could tell them what exactly should be done, and the members also could respond once what they think about the work. This contributes to effective leadership of leaders.

Moreover, one of Agile Principles encourages ‍‍‍‍‍motivating team members through providing comfortable environment and other support(Agile Manifesto, 2013),‍‍‍‍‍ which can be employed by leaders for leading teams as well. Motivated individuals can help leaders to direct team to achieve the goal much more efficient and effective, and make the leadership style much easier and simpler.

CAS (Complex adaptive systems)-- This is a new management framework which is an open system. Project leader shares informtion and exchange energy with their surroundings, like clients, team members, and supordinates.

Agile practices

“Constant Feedback” ‍‍‍‍‍A good project leader must give both positive and negative feedback to his team on work done. If he believes a team member is doing a great job, he must not hesitate to praise him/her as this can encourage the individual and other team members to succeed. Also, pointing out negative aspects of the project and where team members are not productive leaves room for improvements on their parts and drive the project to success.‍‍(Mathis, 2013)‍‍‍

‍‍‍‍‍“Agile Vigilance and Open Information”‍‍‍‍‍ With the pressure of completing a project, project leaders can forget the importance of monitoring project deadlines. The team may lose track of time and may result in missing deadlines. This incompetency can delay the project as work piles up and create a massive ripple effect, causing the project and other projects to suffer. So a good leader must be focused and retain the project’s end-goal in mind. An easy way to do this is to keep an open ‍‍‍‍‍access of information‍‍‍‍‍ in the project; this makes the project more efficient and productive. A channel of communication must involve everyone working on the project. One-way communication to project members should be avoided as it may cause confusion and lose of information.


The key skills a project leader must have are power (to make or/and accept changes)‍‍, supportive, directing, consultative, coaching and facilitative. Every successful project must be based on trust. Trust is vital to the team’s push for achievements. As a project manager must earn the trust of the stakeholders involved in the project, he/she must also trust his team members to deliver tasks (Hutchings, 2011).

A strong project leader must put together the right team to carry out the project. He/she must realise when the team is incompatible. This involves arguments and disagreements between individuals as poor communication in the team can result to the project suffering. A project leader must then quickly decide on the further actions to be taken to avoid unnecessarily disruption to the project.

A project manager who is deemed a leader must approach every aspect of the project in an outspoken manner to motivate the team at all times. For example, informing the team that the project will ‘not take long to complete and they do not need to work hard’, is a poor leadership skill as the team might relax on work pressure and see the project as being easy. This can result in the project failing and the project manager losing his/her reputation.

Projects involving IT software components, an agile project leader must utilise the flexibility an agile type of project management offers to work actively with developers and other project stakeholders to understand, prioritise and make changes to a project. But for a traditional project leader, this can be a daunting task as the flexibility to manage the project is limited to him. Since the requirements for this sort of projects are subject to change and volatile. A traditional project leader can be left with little or no methods of governing the project (Hass, 2007).

Links from this KA to other KAs

Project leadership can be linked to project communication management and Conflict Resolution. As leadership within a project is mainly expressed by communication no matter in written documents or spoken languages, project communication management is supposed to link closely with project leadership.‍‍‍‍‍ In addition, project leadership is more about as a leader within a project, how does he or she impact others to achieve the same goals of the project. As project managers, they are supposed to deal with conflicts all the time. Project managers have to find effective ways to solve problems effeciently.‍‍‍‍‍


Agile Manifesto (2013) Agile Manifesto, Available at: [Accessed: 9/4/2013]

Augustine, S., Scencidiver, F., Payne, B., and Woodcock, S., (2005) Agile project management: steering from the edges, [Online] available at: ‍‍‍‍‍ [Accessed by: 10th March 2013]. ‍‍‍‍‍

Bennis, W. & Nanus, B. (1985) ‘Leaders’ Harper & Row, New York.

Briner, W. Hastings, C. & Geddes, M (1997) ‘Project Leadership’. International Journal of Project Management, 15(4), pp. 272-290.

Cleland, D.I. (1995) ‘Leadership and the project- management body of knowledge’. International Journal of Project Management, 13(2), pp. 83-88.

Hass B.K. (2007)., The Blending of Traditional and Agile Project Management. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on: 11/04/13] [e-Journal] 9(5) pp. 3-4

Hutchings R. (2011) PMBOK – Human Resource Management – Leadership [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on: 14/03/13]

Theasure.COM (2013), Leadership synonyms. [Online] Available at: [Accessed by: 9th March 2013].

Toth P.A. (2011) Project Leadership and the PMBOK Guide [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on: 14/03/13].

Mathis K. (2013) Six Ways to Give Proper Project Leadership [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on: 14/03/13]

‍‍‍‍‍External links‍‍‍‍‍ Wikipedia entry on project leadership -- Leadership counsel --- Leadership Styles ---- Leadership blending of traditional and agile project management