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Fundamentals Of Project Management

Conflict must be managed so that it does not become

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Unformatted text preview: a team and take some sense of personal identity from membership in the group. They are now involved in the work, are becoming supportive of each other, and, because of their cooperation, can be said to be more of a team than a group at this point. The leader needs to adopt a participative style with team members in this stage and to share decision making more than in the first two stages. By the time a group reaches stage four, performing, it is a real team. The leader can generally sit back and concentrate on doing what-if analysis of team progress, planning for future work, and so on. This is a www.erpvn.net delegative style of leadership, and it is very appropriate. The team is achieving results, and members are usually taking pride in their accomplishments. In this stage, there should be signs of camaraderie, joking around, and real enjoyment in working together. It is important to remember that no team stays in a single stage forever. If a team encounters obstacles, it may drop back to stage three. If this happens, the leader can no longer be delegative but must back up to the stage-three management style, which is participative. Delegative leadership is the proper style in the performing stage of a team’s development. Note that delegative does not mean abdication! The other thing that happens is that membership in project teams often changes. When new members come on board, you should consider that for a short time the team will fall back to stage one, and you have to take them back through the stages until they reach maturity again. It is especially important that you help everyone get to know the new member and understand what her role will be in the team. This does take some time, but it is essential if you want the team to progress properly. DEVELOPING COMMITMENT TO A TEAM At the beginning of this chapter, I pointed out that helping team members develop commitment to the project team is a major problem for project managers. Team members are often assigned to a project simply because they are the best person, not because they are the best person for the job. When this happens, commitment to the team may be nonexistent. James March and Herbert Simon, in their book Organizations, presented five rules for developing commitment to a team or organization. They are: 1. Have team members interact frequently so that they gain a sense of being a team. 2. Be sure that individual needs are being met through participation in the team. 3. Let team members all know why the project is important. People don’t like working on a “loser.” 4. Make sure all members share the goals of the team. One bad apple can spoil the barrel. 5. Keep competition within the team to a minimum. Competition and cooperation are opposites. Let the team compete with people outside the team, not within it. Note that the first rule is hard to follow if the team is scattered geographically. In that case, the members should “meet” frequently through teleconferencing. It...
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