Project Management – Teamwork (Part 1)

The PMBOK Guide defines a project team as a “set “set of individuals, groups and/or organizations, including all contractors and consultants that are responsible to the project manager for undertaking project tasks.”

Another definition for a team given in the book, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh, is “A team is a group of people working interdependently to produce an outcome for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Project teams are temporary, formed for the purpose of achieving the goal, after which they will disband.”

The project team is responsible for:

  • Understanding the work to be completed
  • Planning out activities in detail
  • Completing assigned work within the budget, timeline and quality expectations
  • Informing the PM of issues, scope changes, risk and quality
  • Proactively communicating status and managing equations

When creating a team, the PM should consider factors such as:

  • Organizational structure to ensure that different functional groups have representation
  • Hire resources from outside the company, based on skill requirements
  • How the project will help with the team member’s personal growth and development

As a PM, it is essential to mold the team so that the group effectively interacts with each other while working towards a shared goal.

proactive teamTeam Roles and Responsibilities

  • Project Sponsor
    • Identifies the benefits to be achieved and is responsible for attaining the intended benefits
    • Articulates the organization’s strategy and vision to the project team
    • Works with the PM to define project objectives
    • Ensures project objectives are linked to business goals
    • Ensures alignment of strategy, vision, mission, business goals and project objectives
  • Project Manager
    • Owns the project objectives and is responsible for achieving them
    • Ensures project efforts are aligned with project objectives
    • Works with project sponsor to ensure alignment between project objectives and business goals
  • External Stakeholders
    • Works with the PM to define the teams of project success and norms of behavior that support effective teamwork
    • Supports project objectives
  • Project team
    • Works with the PM to define the terms of project success and support the teamwork
    • Works with the PM to ensure continual alignment between project efforts and project objectives
    • Provides the standard of work necessary to support the success of the project

PM’s Role

It is the PM’s responsibility to bring the appropriate people into the conversation to ensure that everyone has the same criteria for success for both, the project and the project team. A PM’s role throughout the project is to:

  • Ensure conversations are held with the relevant stakeholders
  • Identify skills required for the project
  • Match project structures to team capabilities
  • Identify the goals of each of the team members
  • Collaborate with the team to define communication structures for the project
  • Monitor for and manage issues as they arise

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