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Thursday, 25 January 2007 21:36

Team Building

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Project Managers need to posses certain “Soft Skills” otherwise referred to as General Management Skills.

In developing the project team, the PM is charged with performing a variety of tasks including, providing staff training, coordinating team building activities, establishing grounds rules, co-location and providing rewards and recognition.

Goals/Results of Project Team Building

  • Team members are interdependent  
  • There is a consensus on well-defined project goals and objectives
  • Team members are committed to working together 
  • Team is accountable as a functioning unit within the larger organization
  • There is a moderate level of competition and conflict  

Symptoms of Poor Teamwork

  • Frustration   
  • Conflict and unhealthy competition
  • Unproductive meetings
  • Lack of trust or confidence in the project manager  


Ground Rules for Project Team Building

  • Start early  
  • Continue team building through the life of the project
  • Recruit the best possible people
  • Make sure that everyone who will significantly contribute to the project, full or part time, is on the team
  • Obtain team agreement on all major actions
  • Recognize the existence of team politics but stay out of them
  • Behave as a role model
  • Use delegation as the best way to assure commitment
  • Don’t try to force or manipulate team members
  • Regularly evaluate team effectiveness
  • Plan and use a team-building process

The Team-Building Process

  • Plan for team building
  • Carefully define project roles and assignments   
  • Ensure project goals and members’ personal goals coincide
  • Negotiate for team members
  • Obtain the most promising personnel available
  • Choose candidates for both technical expertise and potential to be effective team members
  • Organize the team
  • Make specific assignments to specific people
  • Prepare and circulate responsibility matrixes
  • Hold a “kickoff” meeting (See Lecture 8 for details)
  • Set technical and procedural agendas  
  • Ensure sufficient time for members to get to know one another
  • Establish working relationships and communications
  • Obtain team-member commitments
  • Time commitment
  • Role commitment   
  • Project priority commitment
  • Build communication links
  • Conduct team-building exercises
  • Incorporate team-building activities into all project activities
  • Meetings, planning sessions, and technical/schedule reviews
  • Group and individual counseling sessions
  • Recognition of outstanding performance   


The project management teams ability to influence others plays an important role in negotiating staff assignments, as do the politics of the organizations involved.



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