The success of any project is directly tied to the team behind it. In other words, a project is as successful as its team’s weakest link.
So how do you make sure that you have the strongest project management team possible? We go over all the factors to take into account.
How to Create an Effective Project Management Team
Successful project management begins with creating an effective project team. Here’s what you need to focus on when putting together your team.
Establish your objectives
Begin by establishing your project objectives. These objectives will guide you on the type of demographics to choose from. You’ll be able to tell the skills and capabilities required to accomplish the project successfully.
Select your team
Once you’ve established what needs to be done and the skills necessary to get it done, choose the right people. Select your team members according to their skills and competencies related to your project. Pay more attention to the skills and abilities that you need for that particular project. Don’t be seduced by paper qualifications that you will never use for your project.
Clearly define your expectations
Once you put your team together, clearly define expectations. To set your team up for success, lay down ground rules and define expectations from the get-go. Do this during your first team meeting.
Let your team members know who is in charge by restating the team hierarchies and reporting structures. Make sure that everybody is clear about their individual roles and responsibilities. Put down your expectations and ground rules in writing for future reference.
Create communication practices
Fluid communication is paramount for a successful team and business. Implement efficient communication practices that ensure everyone knows what’s happening at any particular time.
To keep communication flowing within your team, create a communication plan. Your communication plan should clearly outline who should be informed about the project progress, by whom, when, and how often. It also shows which communication channels team members should use to communicate various types of information.
What Makes a Successful Team?
Successful teams tend to share a range of characteristics and attributes.
Team members understand the vision
When the project manager clearly articulates the vision the team needs to be aiming for, an effective team should be able to focus on that.
Make sure your vision resonates with the team and is achievable. This way, every team member will see the benefit of achieving the goal and do everything they can to achieve it.
There’s open communication
No team will thrive without proper communication. Open and clear communication enables team members to express their thoughts and ideas to one another openly. This kind of communication can significantly improve collaboration between team members and increase project success.
A team that communicates openly is more likely to be accountable and understand that their work is essential for the success of their project.
Clear communication also prevents misunderstandings between team members. It also makes sure that everyone is on the same page regarding the next actions to move a project forward.
Teams possess unique knowledge
Successful team members typically bring unique knowledge and expertise to a project. The more experience each team member has in their field, the more the team stands to achieve.
People are accountable
Team members clearly understand what they’re supposed to do and can take responsibility for those tasks. This means they take individual initiative to do the work assigned to them.
The work atmosphere is positive
A highly successful team is motivated, engaged, and has a positive attitude towards its work. This can only happen if the work environment is conducive and creates a positive atmosphere.
5 Habits of Effective Project Teams
Here are five essential habits that effective teams often have.
1. They focus on goals and results
A team without goals has no direction, drive, or impact. Effective teams, therefore, have set goals and well-defined outcomes and results. They also have a clear plan for achieving these objectives as a group and as individuals.
2. They have a problem-solving mindset
No matter how great the work environment is or how positive the atmosphere is, project management teams will always face one challenge or another. What makes the team effective is how they handle these challenges. A team with a problem-solving mindset is poised to deal with challenges better.
Such a team has an optimistic outlook when something terrible happens and can quickly develop possible solutions to resolve the issue. A problem-solving mindset makes the team resilient when failure occurs. They’re more open to feedback.
3. Everyone contributes their fair share and supports each other
Each team member understands where they fit in with the project’s success and contributes their fair share of the workload. They’re committed to their work and truly care about the project’s success.
Further, as the saying goes, there’s no “I” in “team.” Highly-effective teams embrace collaboration and are always happy to assist each other when they need a helping hand.
4. They’re organized
Teams understand that organization is essential for the smooth running of the project. Each individual is responsible for organizing their workload. The project manager keeps an eye on the overall schedule to make sure everything is running to plan.
5. They have fun
All work and no play makes unmotivated teams! Efficient teams inject a bit of enjoyment into their working life to avoid burnout and increase productivity. They get together from time to time to socialize and bond outside of work. Such moments are great for building a positive relationship between team members, which leads to reduced conflict.
How to Develop a Structure for Your Project Team
The project management team structure is essential to leading your projects to success. It takes more than finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills to create an effective and productive team.
Let’s look at how to develop your project team structure and manage it to perform and become a dream team.
Define your project objectives
Begin by defining your project objectives in detail. Your objectives should be accompanied by clear milestones.
Once your objectives are in place, you can start building a precise roadmap that clearly outlines each team member’s mission and tasks.
Select team members
The next step is to form your team. The steering committee selects the team members best suited for the project.
Once you’ve established your team, move on to the five phases of project team development.
Phase 1: Forming
The forming phase is when the team members meet. It’s considered the period of orientation when everyone gets acquainted.
In this phase, everyone is exploring where they fit into the project and look up to the project manager for clarity and direction—similar to the first day of school or work.
As the project manager, this phase requires you to communicate team and project goals and provide clear direction on the project. Work with your team to establish ground rules.
Phase 2: Storming
The storming phase is the most complex and critical in team development. Individual personalities are beginning to emerge, making differences of opinion an everyday thing. Each team member is competing for their ideas to be heard and implemented.
Here, your role is to help the team learn how to listen to and understand each other’s opinions and respect their differences. Encourage conversations during team meetings to reduce conflicts and enhance team cohesion.
Phase 3: Norming
Once you’ve weathered the storm, your team can move into the norming phase. Things are now getting more manageable. Teams have figured out how to work cohesively and even have rules and group norms to work by.
They’ve learned how to resolve interpersonal differences and have established a sense of cohesion.
In this phase, the project manager is less involved in everyday team decision-making and problem-solving. You only need to step in as necessary to ensure the team resolves conflicts quickly and continues to work collaboratively.
Phase 4: Performing
In the performing phase, you now have a positive atmosphere. Team members are happy and excited, and team performance is at an all-time high. You now have a clear and stable team structure, and everyone is focused on reaching the project goals as a team.
Your role as the project manager is to liaise between the project team and the stakeholders. You now focus on higher-level decision-making within the organization.
Phase 5: Adjourning
The final phase is adjourning, sometimes called the termination, mourning, or ending stage. Here, most, if not all, of the team’s goals have been achieved.
There’s a sense of loss about moving on to other projects for a high-performing team due to the bonds formed.
Make time to celebrate the project’s success, review lessons learned, and collect feedback from team members for future projects.
Using Technology to Manage Project Management Teams
Technology will help you manage your project management teams with unmatched convenience and increase their effectiveness.
Ready to start managing your project teams more strategically? Request a demo to see how Mission Control can help you.