Build a Solid Team

Our blog series – “Master Project Management” covers some of the essentials of the art and science of project management. It talks about defining true needs, building a solid team, and performing a financial analysis. It addresses how you can find the right balance points between extremes like “managing everything vs. managing nothing” and “doing work yourself vs. letting the team do everything.” This series will help develop the foundation you need to become a high performing project manager.

Build a Solid Team

Because project managers are under a lot of pressure to perform, they are often tempted to do the project work themselves, especially when team members are floundering. You must learn to avoid this temptation for two reasons.

  1. You don’t and can’t know everything. Teams are formed because your company believes that achieving a particular goal or solving a problem can best be done by bringing together people with different perspectives.
  2. People come onto a team with the expectation that they are there for a reason, that their knowledge, experience or skills can help the team succeed. If denied a chance to contribute, they will feel cheated.

Finding the right balance between letting people grow their own skills and stepping in to avoid disastrous delays or wrong pathways is one of the hardest things that project managers have to do. You can get off on the right foot by letting people develop a sense of ownership from the very beginning. Have your team members participate in helping to shape the project scope and definition (in negotiation with the sponsor, of course).

Fostering motivation is not difficult to do if you:

Demonstrate that people matter: Explain to team members their responsibilities and how each person’s work contributes to the team’s success. Acknowledge contributions that might normally go unnoticed.

Convey confidence in your team: Avoid the temptation to micro-manage. Letting people “muddle through” sometimes gives them confidence they can figure things out on their own. Assign stretch goals. Move decision-making authority as close to the front-line as possible.

Recognize good performance: Set a high standard for performance. In team meetings and in any team documentation (notes, bulletin boards, etc.), make sure the names of contributing team members are featured prominently. Point out good performances to the team sponsor/manager.

WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

Next Step: Understand the True Need

“Project Management: 24 Lessons to Help You Master Any Project” by Gary R. Heerkens is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. Purchase the book on Amazon.


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