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bringing us again back to people.
Having the tools and techniques of project management is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for
project success. As I have stated, if you can’t handle people, you will have difficulty managing projects,
especially when the people don’t “belong” to you.
Related to this is the need to turn a project group into a team. Far too little attention is paid to team building in
project management. This chapter offers some suggestions on how to go about it.
Teams don’t just happen—they must be built! TEAM BUILDING BEGINS ON DAY ONE
Building an effective team begins on the first day of the team’s existence. Failure to begin the team-building
process may result in something more like a group than a team. In a group, members may be involved in, but
not committed to, the activities of the majority.
The problem of commitment is a major one for both organizations and project teams. It is especially
significant in matrix organizations, in which members of the project team are actually members of functional
groups and have their own bosses but report to the project manager on a “dotted-line” basis.
Later in this chapter, I present rules to help project managers develop commitment among team members. For
now, let us turn to ways to get a team organized so that it gets off to the right start. (For an in-depth treatment of this topic, see my book How to Build and Manage a Winning Project Team.) PROMOTING TEAMWORK THROUGH PLANNING
A primary rule of planning is that those individuals who must implement the plan should participate in
preparing it. Yet leaders often plan projects by themselves, then wonder why their team members seem to
have no commitment to the plans.
All planning requires some estimating—for example, how long a task will take, given certain resources. In my
seminars, I ask participants, “Do you often find that your boss thinks you can do your work much faster than
you actually can?” They laugh and agree. It seems to be some kind of psychological law that bosses are
optimistic about how long it will take their people to get a job done.
When a manager gives a person an inadequate amount of time to complete an assignment, the individual
naturally feels discouraged, and her commitment is likely to suffer. She might say, “I’ll give it my best shot,”
but her heart won’t really be in it. GETTING ORGANIZED
There are four essential steps in getting a new project team organized:
1. Decide what must be done, using work breakdown structure, problem definitions, and other planning
2. Determine the staffing required to accomplish the tasks identified in step 1.
3. Recruit members for the project team.
4. Complete your project plan through the participation of team members.
Some of the criteria by which team members should be selected include:
• The candidate should possess the necessary skills to perform the required work at the speed needed to
• The can...
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This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.
- Fall '13