How To Manage A Successful Project Team
The workplace is becoming more and more an arena where collaboration and co-operation between staff is the only way organisations are able to compete in times of tight margins and extreme competition.
Managers must harness this power and use, wherever possible, effective and practical Project Teams which can be defined as simply as groups of staff working on one cohesive task where everyone understands the task and their contribution to it.
Such assignments can be live for a couple of months or may last for several years whilst in smaller organisations there may only ever be one Project Team. The position becomes more complex as multi-national companies may have Project Teams made up of staff from across the world.
Whatever the shape, size and style of the Project Team where you are the trick is to make sure that the correct team is chosen.
- The Multidimensional Challenge
Make sure that you recruit staff from different backgrounds and with differing levels of technical and commercial knowledge that complement each other. The Team Leader must harness all of the skills of the tem to achieve the set goal recognising that this role is pivotal as it takes real skill to manage a multi-cultural team.
This is also true of a multi-generational team so make sure that your personnel are carefully chosen!
- The Virtual Challenge
Even small organisations may get involved with running a Project Management Team across different countries; to make this happen and to keep a grip on progress Teleconferencing, video conferencing and web conferencing are all important tools here. There may be an initially heavy reliance upon conferencing in order to set the Project on its way.
A striking feature of running Virtual Teams is that this places a high responsibility on individuals to perform and contribute so the skills of the Team Leader are very important here to make sure all contribute and shoulder the burden.
- The High Performance Challenge
Project Teams are an expensive tool so they are normally chosen to deal with mission-critical issues; as such managers need to recruit the most experienced and knowledgeable staff for this, even if they have no knowledge of how a Project Management team might function.
For example, a technology company developing a new mobile application should assemble its most talented hardware and software engineers even if they have no specific experience with mobile telecommunications.
Talented people can adapt and grow into new roles; that is why (hopefully) you have recruited the staff that you have!
- Practical Considerations
The number and complexity of projects grow as a business grows. This is an unwritten rule of business and is best-managed through setting project Teams up with very specific goals set out for their members.
Great skill is needed in carefully managing them because they are often interdependent. One slip in terms of outcomes can seriously damage the ability of the organisation to deliver on other linked Projects. A Nightmare!
Businesses need to develop criteria for prioritising projects, analysing current resources and assessing if certain projects can be combined, postponed or executed simultaneously. In this way collective learning and true economies of scale can be realised.
There may be a need to systematically look further afield to get the most skilled personnel into a Project Management Team; this could involve direct recruitment in a way not previously considered by the organisation.
Always remember that time spent in preparing the brief and recruiting members of the Project team is always time spent wisely!
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