Develop Project Team: Tools and Techniques
.1 General Management Skills
Interpersonal skills (Section 1.5.5), sometimes known as 'soft skills,' are
particularly important to team development. By understanding the sentiments of
project team members, anticipating their actions, acknowledging their concerns,
and following up on their issues, the project management team can greatly reduce
problems and increase cooperation. Skills such as empathy, influence,
creativity, and group facilitation are valuable assets when managing the project
Training includes all activities designed to enhance the
competencies of the project team members. Training can be formal or informal.
Examples of training methods include classroom, online, computer-based,
on-the-job training from another project team member, mentoring, and coaching.
If project team members lack necessary management or technical
skills, such skills can be developed as part of the project work. Scheduled
training takes place as stated in the staffing management plan. Unplanned
training takes place as a result of observation, conversation, and project
performance appraisals conducted during the controlling process of managing the
.3 Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities can vary from a five-minute agenda item
in a status review meeting to an off-site, professionally facilitated experience
designed to improve interpersonal relationships. Some group activities, such as
developing the WBS, may not be explicitly designed as team-building activities,
but can increase team cohesiveness when that planning activity is structured and
facilitated well. It also is important to encourage informal communication and
activities because of their role in building trust and establishing good working
relationships. Team- building strategies are particularly valuable when team
members operate virtually from remote locations, without the benefit of
.4 Ground Rules
Ground rules establish clear expectations regarding acceptable
behavior by project team members. Early commitment to clear guidelines decreases
misunderstandings and increases productivity. The process of discussing ground
rules allows team members to discover values that are important to one another.
All project team members share responsibility for enforcing the rules once they
Co-location involves placing many or all of the most active
project team members in the same physical location to enhance their ability to
perform as a team. Colocation can be temporary, such as at strategically
important times during the project, or for the entire project. Co-location
strategy can include a meeting room, sometimes called a war room, with
electronic communication devices, places to post schedules, and other
conveniences that enhance communication and a sense of community. While
co-location is considered good strategy, the use of virtual teams will reduce
the frequency that team members are located together.
.6 Recognition and Rewards
Part of the team development process involves recognizing and
rewarding desirable behavior. The original plans concerning ways to reward
people are developed during Human Resource Planning (Section 9.1). Award decisions are
made, formally or informally, during the process of managing the project team
through performance appraisals (Section 188.8.131.52).
Only desirable behavior should be rewarded. For example, the
willingness to work overtime to meet an aggressive schedule objective should be
rewarded or recognized; needing to work overtime as the result of poor planning
should not be rewarded. Win-lose (zero sum) rewards that only a limited number
of project team members can achieve, such as team member of the month, can hurt
team cohesiveness. Rewarding win-win behavior that everyone can achieve, such as
turning in progress reports on time, tends to increase support among team
Recognition and rewards should consider cultural differences.
For example, developing appropriate team rewards in a culture that encourages
individualism can be difficult.