Create a high-performance team for high performing projects
While all projects are different, there is one thread that I’ve found is a constant in successful projects: they benefit from great teamwork. If your organization is serous about its projects, you will ensure that you create high-performance project teams to manage, control, and work on them. The question is, how do you build a project team for success?
These project team building strategies will help you build an incredible project team – one that should help your project flow more smoothly from inception to a successful conclusion.
1. Choosing your project team members
There are seven roles in PRINCE2 projects:
- The Customer
- The Senior User
- The Senior Supplier
- The Project Manager
- The Team Manager
- Change Authority
- Project Assurance
When you are building your team, you should select the Project Manager, Team Managers, Change Authority, and Project Assurance based on the criteria of skills and abilities. It’s not always the case that the most highly qualified people are the best people for the job. You should consider the project itself, and the scope of experience that people have in similar project work.
2. Seek diversity and people skills
The best project teams are created when they include a range of people with different skillsets and from different backgrounds. It’s this mix that will ensure your project benefits from being viewed from all angles, and that the project team will be best prepared to expect the unexpected. The different abilities that your team members bring will help you plan for project risks, eliminate threats, and take advantage of opportunities.
High-performance teams always have people who, between them, offer all the skills and abilities needed to see the project to a successful conclusion.
3. Don’t neglect the ‘people factor’
The people you choose to form your team should also get on with each other. This doesn’t mean they must always agree with each other, but any conflict should be healthy in the context of a shared vision and common goals.
4. Set the ground rules
In the first team meeting, you should set the ground rules. Let people know how project management will work on the project, and the behaviours expected of the whole team. Uncover and deal with unhealthy conflicts. Discuss individual responsibilities and delegate tasks. Ensure that everyone understands their role, and how they dovetail into the team.
5. Set project goals
Be clear about the aims of the project, and set individual and team goals. Ensure that all team members know how progress will be monitored, and the metrics by which that progress will be measured. Match milestone goals to individual skillsets, delegating tasks accordingly.
6. Make milestones achievable
Consider the steps needed to move your project forward. Create milestone goals. Pay great attention to the early stages. You’ll want early successes to help your team bed in. These early-stage achievements will help to boost morale and create momentum in the project. They will create focus and teamwork to carry the team through as goals get tougher.
7. Use appropriate communication channels
Communication is a key ingredient for project success. You must ensure that communication is made appropriately. This means using the right channels to communicate (in person, email, etc.), and communicating to the right people. When you set out individual and team responsibilities, you should also discuss how and when communications will be made, to who, and by who.
Communication is especially important in more complex projects, where a delay or issue in one area or work stage will impact another (and perhaps the whole project). Early and effective communication is essential to maintaining momentum and moving towards a successful project close.
Cooperation, not competition
Members of a successful project team cooperate. They don’t see the process as a competition between each other. With such a team dynamic, you’ll find that innovation and creativity improve. This can only be good for the project, as lessons are learned and shared and solutions to issues are created in a framework of common goals.
If you want your project to be successful and produce the results you anticipate, you must create a high-performance project team. For more tips on how to do so, contact Your Project Manager today: