Building an Excellent Project Team - Tips & Tricks

Building an Excellent Project Team - Tips & Tricks 19.12.2019 - The composition of the project team is crucial to the execution of a project.

Every experienced project manager knows how important the project team is in the implementation of a project. This applies to both, small tasks and complex projects. In each individual case, the right composition of the project team is particularly important.

What defines a project team?

The project team is a group of people who work together on a task - the project.
The project team usually consists of:
  • project manager,
  • other manager, such as the subproject managers, and
  • the other team members who carry out the necessary work.

The structure of the specific project team differs greatly from project to project and essentially depends on which project goals are to be achieved and which tasks need to be fulfilled.

The composition of a project team - the most important basics

Teamwork is more than the sum of its individual members. Teamwork determines how well, how quickly - and even if – the project goals can be achieved.

When putting together his team, the project manager should therefore pay attention to the following points:

The personality type

Working in a team is not easy for everyone.
It can be difficult for introverted personalities to establish or maintain informal communication with other team members. If the project is dependent on such employees from a technical point of view - for example in the area of programming - it is important to give them personal space at work. This can already be ensured by a quiet corner in the community office or by the extended home office option.
In this way, conflicts can be avoided that could place a heavy burden on the entire team.

The team spirit

If there are several similarly qualified people available, it is the project manager's task to select those who fit best into the team.
However, selecting the right members is not the last job to do. During the course of the project, team spirit should attached importance to. This includes, for example, working at management level toward decisions that mean the best for the team. But it also means involving the team as a whole in decision-making wherever possible.
If a sense of togetherness develops in the project team that includes each individual team member, it is a stable basis for successful cooperation.

The responsibility structure

Too much shared responsibility can be a problem for teamwork, as members who execute key tasks can quickly become demotivated. It is therefore advisable to clearly divide the areas of responsibility.
Once the responsibility structures are established, the project management can immediately recognize and appreciate a good performance.
If the work of the individual in the team is proper recognized, it increases the personal commitment. The productivity of the entire team is increased.
Keeping these points in mind, the project manager should be aware that it takes time to assemle a project team. Therefore, it is important to provide enough time during project planning to do the job optimally.

Assemble project team - The sympathy as a trap

It often happens that the project manager selects his team according to personal preferences.
This can be very problematic because the sympathy is the unconscious search for similarity. If the team is selected for these reasons, the result is a homogenous group of people with similar opinions and related traits. If such a group is confronted with a task that is not just about working capacity, but about the diversity of experience, people are overwhelmed.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that team building relies on diversity, even if a heterogeneous team is more contentious and difficult to manage. Individuals with different characteristics, attitudes and life paths bring valuable approaches and thus - in difficult situations - contribute to solutions that otherwise might not be achievable.

Using project management software to lead the project team properly

If the project team has been put together correctly - professionally well suited and personally heterogeneous - it is important to divide up the tasks in the project team well.
In order to meet this challenge in the best possible way, the project management team should choose software that provides the best overview of the project team tasks, so that they are easy to manage.
Can Do's customizable software, equipped with versatile tools, provides a multitude of possibilities and examples to lead the project team in a goal-oriented way and make the project a success.
Blog post by Can Do GmbH, October 2019; Author: Jens Steinbicker

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For better readability, we usually only use the generic masculine form in our texts. Nevertheless, the expressions refer to members of all genders.