When project management falters, team dynamics suffer
Working on a project-by-project basis creates unique challenges for professional services firms. The success – or lack thereof – of a single contract could have a profound effect on the fortunes and financial outlook of an organization.
That is why project managers need to fine tune every operation to ensure success, from allocating resources and assigning tasks, to tracking progress at every step along the way. One of the most critical components of project management is creating the ideal team for any given assignment.
“A poorly constructed team can be disastrous.”
A poorly constructed team can be disastrous for any assignment, regardless of how effective and skilled the project manager is. Individual members may lack the expertise needed to execute on critical technical aspects, causing costly delays and potentially creating a knowledge gap that’s too vast to bridge.
Personnel issues aren’t relegated to skills or experience shortcomings, either. Even a collection of the best and brightest employees may falter if those talented individuals are unable to come together and work as a single unit. When egos run rampant, communication breaks down and collaboration grinds to a halt. Project managers need to get the right mix of personalities to avoid clashing egos and other interpersonal roadblocks.
Picking the right team for the job
What should project managers look for in an ideal team? The Harvard Business Review identified several essential skill sets to have spread out among various members, including:
Interpersonal skills to foster communication and collaboration across the entire team.
Technical skills to take care of the heavy lifting with any IT or software-related tasks.
Problem-solving skills to find elegant solutions to even the most difficult problems.
Of course, project managers will be responsible for providing the structure and leadership needed to delegate and assign tasks, oversee day-to-day goals and keep tabs on the project’s progress. Everyone has their role to play, and the team leader must ensure that each person executes on their assignments.
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