Team Management during a Project

Team Member Selection

Team member selection is a process that involves mapping of skills and strengths of each individual member with that of the role and the job description for which they are being hired or taken into the team. The process should take into account the perceptions of the team member regarding the role for him or her and ensure that it is in line with the expectations from them. Only this would ensure a right “fit” between the individual members and the role for which they are being taken.

Team selection should not be an ad hoc process and should involve commitment and patience from the project team. The manager has to give enough thought to the selection criterion and how they must be applied to the selection of team members.

Team-Building Strategies

Team building is a never ending process though more attention must be given to the task early on in the project lifecycle. The effective team building strategies call for increased co-operation and understanding between the team members. The objective must to be foster a spirit of mutual reinforcement in the tasks that they perform and that which they accomplish.

The verbal as well as the non-verbal communication must be encouraged and built up with a view to get the team to bond together. Effective team building also requires the team members to trust each other implicitly and explicitly. This involves a process of building rapport and cueing from each other with regards to doing the tasks together and achieve greater co-operation and build good will among the team.

Conflict Management in Diverse Teams

The following can be taken as potential sources of conflict within a diverse team:

Groups working on the project may have different goals and expectations. In this case the bottom line expectations for the project must be laid down and the project manager must ensure that the team members stick to the expectations of the project and learn to subordinate individual goals and aspirations to that of the team goals. Some conflicts reflect the fact that the day-to-day work on projects is usually carried out by many different units of the organization, units that often differ in their objectives and technical judgments. The result is that these units have different expectations about the project, its costs and rewards, its relative importance, and its timing.

There is considerable uncertainty about who has the authority to make decisions. There is nothing like a vacuum to create conflict and hence the project manager must be empowered to take decisions and he or she must be the deciding authority for the project. Uncertainty about who has the authority to make decisions on resource allocation, on administrative procedures, on communication, on technological choices, and on all the other matters affecting the project produces conflict between the PM and the other parties. Conflicts about schedules, intra and inter-project priorities, cost estimates, and staff time tend to fall into this category.

There are interpersonal conflicts between people who are parties-at-interest in the project. This is the most common cause of conflict and effective steps must be taken to ensure that team spirit remains intact and the morale of the team members remains high. The minimum requirement is that team members learn to work with each other and for the common project objectives.

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Project Management