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.
Understand Team Dynamics
Helping people make the transition from individuals to team members is part of your responsibility as a project leader. You can’t ignore either side of the equation. Helping people get clear about individual expectations reduces anxiety and opens the door for them to begin thinking more like team members. Yet even as they begin doing so, you want people to feel comfortable contributing their ideas and opinions.
Avoid wasting time on frivolous team-building activities that bear no relation to the work. Instead, weave group activities into early team meetings to generate something of value, such as brainstorming sessions about customers and their needs or a process observation exercise.
Provide a bridge from individual to team member to build and strengthen bonds:
Address role questions in a team meeting: At one of the ﬁrst team meetings, review project objectives and explain how the results will beneﬁt the company, its customers, and participants’ work areas. Clarify which team members will ﬁll which roles.
Meet with team members individually: Explain to each person why he or she was chosen for the project and what you hope each will contribute. Discuss problems or constraints they may encounter.
Keep individual differences visible: Wanting a team to work well as a unit does not mean discouraging disagreement or differences of opinion. In fact, it means the exact opposite. Make sure that individuals feel comfortable expressing their viewpoints or they will never completely feel like team members.
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“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.