Fundamentals Of Project Management

Working long enough to examine its processes and see

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Unformatted text preview: ke having to deal with the behavioral problems that arise on project teams, you should ask yourself whether you really want to manage projects at all. Like it or not, the behavioral problems come with the job, and failure to deal with them may sink a project. Many personality clashes are the result of a lack of good interpersonal skills. People have never been taught how to sit down and work out differences with others, so when the inevitable conflict happens, it just blows up. The best way to minimize the impact of such problems is to provide training for all team members (including yourself) in interpersonal skills. This area has been sorely neglected in many organizations because there seems to be no bottom-line impact. It is hard to prove that there will be a $10 return on a $1 training investment. Because of their inability to quantify the benefits, companies don’t do the training. Yet if they have capital resources that don’t work well, they will spend whatever is necessary to correct the problem. Interestingly, a company’s human resources are the only ones that are renewable almost indefinitely, but companies fail to take steps to keep them functioning effectively. As a project manager, you owe it to yourself to manage this aspect of the job. The most popular terms for the stages of team development are: forming storming norming performing STAGES IN A TEAM’S DEVELOPMENT There are a number of models that describe the stages through which teams or groups pass on the way to maturity. One of the more popular ones has self-explanatory titles for the stages: forming, storming, norming, and performing. In the forming stage, people are concerned with how they will fit in, who calls the shots and makes decisions, and so on. During this stage they look to the leader (or someone else) to give them some structure—that is, to give them a sense of direction and to help them get started. Failure of the leader to do this may result in losing the team to some member who exercises what we call informal leadership. In the storming stage, people begin to question their goals. Are they on the right track? Is the leader really leading them? They sometimes play shoot-the-leader during this stage. The storming stage is frustrating for most people. In the norming stage team members begin to resolve their conflicts and to settle down to work. They have developed norms (unwritten rules) about how they will work together, and they feel more comfortable with each other. Each individual has found his place in the team and knows what to expect of the others. When the team members reach the performing stage, the leader’s job is easier. Team members generally work well together now, enjoy doing so, and tend to produce high-quality results. They can really be called a team at this point. Leading a Team Through the Four Stages A newly formed team needs considerable structure, or it will not be able to get started. As I noted in the previous section, a leader who fails...
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This document was uploaded on 09/27/2013.

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