How To Manage Project Team Effectively
Using good management skills to manage your project team results in a solid staff management plan, updated and submitted change requests, resolution of issues, good lessons learned documentation and productive team members.
To effectively manage a project team, follow these guidelines:
#1 Understandable roles
You have to ensure that all project team members understand their roles and responsibilities and provide my unique assistance or coaching they need.
Communicate ground rules
There is a need for you to communicate ground rules that will guide the project. You have to be sure that stakeholders understand all the rules that are needed to deliver the project on target.
#3 Good communication
In order to manage the project team effectively, you need to establish good communication among team members.
On virtual teams, communications can become a major issue and challenge- especially when team members are in different time zones and in different countries.
In the era of electronic mail, use proper etiquette. For example, typing with all capital letters is synonymous with shouting. Avoid conducting arguments with people through email messages. You must know when to use the phone or personal visit to discuss issues.
Cultural sensitivity training is essential to ensure that communication is well maintained with project teams.
Remember that on one project team. English may be a second language. Keep communications simple and to the point. Eliminate slang, short terms, or jokes. Many jokes do not translate well in other cultures or may even result in people being offended or insulted.
#4 Modify communications
There is a need for you to adjust or modify the communications plans to meet the needs of individual team members, keep information flowing among the team member, and provide feedback for the project.
#5 Keep Informed
You also have to make sure that the project team is informed about key milestones, as well as gate reviews where the approvals of the customers and senior members are required.
#6 Monitor performance
There is a need for you to also monitor the performance of team members on an ongoing basis.
You need to monitor the progress of team members by speaking with them on a one-to-one basis. Don’t wait for the email messages or monthly reports. Get out there and see for yourself what progress is being made by the team and what intangibles such as morale, engagement or cynicism are at play.
Develop a set of metrics for each project to measure team performance. Establish tolerances for each so that corrective actions can be taken when needed. Use management by exception approach to avoid micromanaging the team.
As part of effective project team management, you need to provide constructive feedback to team members on a frequent basis. Team members need to know they are either on track or need to take steps to get back on track. Performance reviews can be formal or informal. If disciplinary actions are taken, these must be in writing to avoid any misunderstanding.
You have to consider additional training for those team members who need to improve their performance as well.
#7 Quality Audit
You must consider running a quality audit to get another perspective on whether the team is headed in the right direction to meet the project’s quality requirements. The quality audit team needs to be independent for the project team to be effective.
#8 Manage Conflict
You also need to manage conflict using the appropriate approach based on the circumstances and the individuals involved. Regardless of the approach, apply the following principles:
Allow people to have their say. Make sure that you give both sides a chance to state their case. Demonstrating respect and acknowledging people’s different positions are necessary to address conflict effectively.
Listen to what people are telling you. Paraphrase or ask questions to be sure that everyone understands what is being said.
Encourage both sides to find a win-win resolution to the problem. Restate the resolution and get agreements from both parties.
It helps avoids unnecessary conflict, set expected ground rules, based on the communication management plan for guidance.
During the project life cycle, follow established project management practices. You need to refer to a communication management plan for guidance.
When conflict occurs among team members or between the team and other organized entities, it may be effective to implement the conflict management approach of confrontation-focusing on the problem. It may be advantageous to try to defuse conflicts early to avoid escalation.
You have to predetermine the manner in which you will resolve the conflicts, including escalation procedures. If there is a disagreement among team members, use the appropriate approach to try to defuse conflicts early to avoid escalation.
#10 Establish an issue log
There is a need for you to establish an issue log to track and assign project issues. This log is used for regular follow-up with the project team . Hold specific team members accountable for the resolution of issues.
An Advertising company has plans to develop a campaign for a customer over the next four months, and David is acting as the Project Manager.
David wanted to make sure that everything got off to a good start, so he called a kick-off meeting. Before the meeting, he developed a set of metrics to measure team performance and planned to monitor the progress of his team by meeting with them individually once a week.
During the kick-off meeting, David asked the team to submit weekly status reports using email and instant messaging software to keep in close contact with one another. He also let the team know how their performances will be monitored and he set up a meeting schedule. However, there was some conflict in the team. Two team members disagreed on the direction for their campaign. One wanted to use a very contemporary, almost edgy approach, while the other wanted to appeal to traditional, more conservative values. After a series of meetings with the customer’s product analyst, the team was able to find a middle ground that satisfied both team members and pleased the customer.
From the earliest days of the project, David instituted the practice of using an issue log to track all changes in the project. This became extremely valuable because the project got to the final stages and was ready for handoff to the customer. Everyone was check on exactly what they had committed to, and the customer received the expected deliverables.
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