Discussion 2

Discussion 2

Progressive Case Study: Forming Your Team


The development of a project team requires planning and consideration. In the forum for this week please discuss your plan for developing a project team in conjunction with the progressive case study assignment.

  • What will the organizational chart look like?
  • What are the guidelines and parameters for selection and developing the team?
  • What do you see as the potential challenges to developing your team.

 Lecture attached below hope this helps to better undersand what is to be done.

Building A Project Team

This has been a lot of information to digest. We are now going to focus on different aspects of building a project team. It is not uncommon in many organizations to select several individual members and gather them into a workgroup or team. The reality is this is a group of individuals that are likely  individually-based  not  team-based  and do not fully realize the capability or the power of many versus the power of one.

team is a collection of individuals that have been brought together for a common purpose. Individual members each bring a unique skill, talent, or ability that enhances the collective abilities of the group. When all individuals are working together to accentuated and accelerate each other’s work they achieve a greater result together than they could individually.

Developing a team is not as easy as it might appear on the surface. The manager that selects a few people with different skills and places them in a work group—is not developing a team. A team is built using a specific collection of personalities, skills, abilities, and talents. The communication styles and skills of the individuals that are placed together should have a common thread and be able to communicate effectively across different aspects of the project.  

Literally, the different members need to be able to speak and understand the different languages involved in successfully completing the project from members with skills and areas that are not completely similar to them. An individual that is an accountant or bookkeeper will need to be able to speak to the database administrator in a manner that can be understood using a common language. The information technology specialist needs to be able to speak to sales and marketing managers in a manner and can be understood and easily comprehended.

If the different individual members are not able to effectively communicate their thoughts, ideas, and knowledge with members of the group—assessment, analysis, assimilation, and evaluation will be extremely difficult as the different team members will be speaking unrelated languages. 

There must be a common understanding to effectively communicate. 

Learning to interact among peers is essential in teambuilding. Establishing team members or subject matter experts within their field who cannot communicate with individuals outside of their field will be more of a drain on a team than a benefit. Effective communication skills are essential for team building and results.

Investing in the team members is a critical role for the leader. The leader truly is a facilitator of the different team members and will work to form a cohesive team that will strengthen and support each other.  A leader will not silo information in order to gain an advantage while compromising the collective team level achievement. Individualism is not acceptable in a team environment.

With that said, respecting the individual and what they bring to the team is often a factor that will bring a team closer to achieving a greater result. A common occurrence is that the individuals are not as different as they might think, though they perform very different functions. Each function in position to the team is vital to the team’s success. If it is not, assessment needs to be completed as to the continued need for that individual in the team role. Learning across functional skills by the different team members in order to compensate in times of struggles or scheduling conflicts assists in establishing a solid foundation for continued team success and the overall success of the project.

The leader that formulates the team will strive to hand-select members that can work best together due to personality and common interests. The leader will establish team development exercises in order to bring the team closer into a more cohesive and collective environment and to establish the need for working with each other in achieving a greater result than the individuals can produce independently.

The understanding of the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is vital in project management. Continued team development exercises are essential for keeping the team strong. Distinguishing what elements are necessary for continued effective team management to achieve the project’s desired results is an ongoing process.

Project teams are constantly changing due to the changing needs of the project. Project advances may require bringing in a new strategist or technologist to move a project forward. As a team is developed the individual members and leader will be able to distinguish what is necessary and how to bring out the best in each other to meet the needs of the organization and the needs of the project. For instance, sometimes the team may need to bring in someone new in order to enhance the time to productivity and output. When the team gets too comfortable with each other it may be time to adjust the team functions or team personality in order to move the project forward.

The team should be working towards the common goal. The objectives for achieving a common goal should be the priority of each team member as well as combined and collective goals of the team. If this is not the case the team is working against each other instead of with each other. Two horses that are not harnessed together, though attached to the cart, will tear the cart apart. The two horses pulling together in the same direction will achieve a far greater goal using less combined energy than the individual horses pulling independently.

The project manager and team leaders will need to understand the needs of the team in comparison to the needs of the project and the organization. In so doing, they can work towards developing that common purpose to achieve the desired results. Placing a group of people together that do not know each other and have no common interests is not forming a team; this concept is often lost in poor management practices. One reason why we discuss teams is that teamwork is an essential element of effective project management.  Projects require solid team selection, planning, and development for ongoing success in achieving the desired goals of the project. As the trust and common purpose is built and shared the project team is then able to produce a far better result working together than working against each other.