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Building Effective Project Teams

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Building Effective Project Teams

A project team comprises of a group that works together for the successful execution of a particular project which helps in meeting a customer’s requirements. The success of a project depends on the effectiveness of its team members. Therefore, it is important that due care is taken in building an effective project team.

Depending on the situation, a project manager is appointed before the development of the team and he gets to appoint his team members. In another scenario, the team members are first appointed and they choose a project manager from amongst them.

A project manager has to plan the following for successful team development. Let’s look at them in brief.

  • a) Creating a resource plan: A resource plan needs to be developed. This is a pre-requisite to building an effective project team. A resource plan helps to identify and understand the tasks that are needed to be done and the human resources required for the completion of the required tasks. It gives an outline of the total tasks included in the project.
  • b) Defining the project objectives and goals: Defining the objective of the project is another important step where the goals that the project expects to meet will be defined. This also defines the scope of the project and forms the backbone for the entire project activities.
  • c) Getting the right people for the team: For a particular project to succeed, the best possible team needs to be chosen from a group. Selecting the potential team members does not always seem as easy as it sounds. You need to consider the following:

    • i) The skills required for the completion of project tasks
    • ii) The level of influence the individual exercises in the group as well as in the organization
    • iii) The capability of the team members to work in synergy and to contribute positively

Thus, pulling together a group of effective team players for a particular project helps in smooth functioning of the team.

  • d) Roles and responsibilities: After selecting the appropriate group members, the roles and responsibilities of each member within a group is fixed. Once, the group tasks are assigned, it becomes easier for the entire team to focus on their individual responsibility.
  • e) The team operating agreement: The team operating agreement document contains the guidelines and various rules and regulations that need to be followed for the successful completion of the project. It includes the following processes:

    • i) Team communication – What is the information that needs to be shared and with whom?
    • ii) Decision making – How does the team define consensus and what can be done when the team is not able to come to an agreement?
    • iii) Meetings – Where, when and who will lead meetings?

These are a few agreements which are made beforehand so as to avoid any differences among team members later.

So, these are a few criteria that need to be observed to develop an effective project team. Do share your thoughts on the same.

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