We all know that when a project team works well together then great results can be achieved in an effective and cohesive manner. If, however, they don’t work well together then completing a project on time and on a budget can be unnecessarily difficult.
So at the start of any project, especially those with a new project team, it is important to make sure that you bring the team together so that they can achieve the necessary results. For any project manager this is a time when you can really bring both your inter-personal and project management skills into play and motivate your team to help them achieve the results you need.
Having a range of project management qualifications is no use if you don’t use the skills you have learned to effectively lead your team. Not all teams need the same kind of management so the way you lead a new team may be specific to a certain project and/or specific to the types of team members you are working with.
Being the manager that each specific team needs is vital to project success. Your team needs to know that you are available to them should any problems arise, but it is rarely appropriate to micro-manage them to learn to take a step back and only get involved in day-to-day issues when necessary. How you act as team leader will have an impact on how the rest of your team feel it is appropriate to act.
When working with a team, either a long established one or a newly formed team, it is important to make sure that there is plenty of communication both formal and informal. Effective teamwork relies on good communication. A great way to make sure your team is communicating on a regular basis is to hold a quick team meeting either at the beginning or end of each day or week, as appropriate. This will allow everyone to update on progress, discuss problems and formulate solutions.
If you use project management software, then make sure all members of your team understand how to use it to their advantage so it doesn’t become just an additional bureaucratic burden.
In many organisations there is a good chance that your team members will have taken part in team-building exercises at some point. However, when you put together a new team, time spent away from the office on team building is one of the best ways to help everyone get to know each other and bond. Getting your team together in a less formal setting like this is a great way to get them motivated and increase productivity. It will also allow you to assess who they are individually and what their strengths are, which leads us to…
Within any team, each member will have their own strengths, and weaknesses, so make sure that you understand what these are. That way you can harness them to help your team work effectively. Giving team members tasks that they struggle with can not only slow the team down but can be very demoralising, especially when another team member is more suited to that particular task.
Using your team’s skills for the best task is a much better way to get the best out of everyone. For that reason, when choosing a new team, it is important to make sure that you incorporate individuals with a wide variety of skills.