The very definition of a project manager’s role means that human resource challenges are often underestimated, in the hope that they will just disappear – which they rarely do. It is sensible to be proactive instead, and address any issues head-on. In this way, it’s much easier to create a successful project team, that will enable the PM to deliver their objectives efficiently. In a two-part blog series, we will list some of the most common problems that project teams face, starting with trust and teamwork.

  • Trust is crucial to teamwork, and it starts with people knowing each other both personally and professionally. Every good team has a diverse mix of skills and personalities, and team members need to be well acquainted, particularly in projects where tensions will run high at some point. It’s crucial that team members understand each other, otherwise, they won’t want to engage because they haven’t made that human connection and established mutual trust with other.
  • Knowledge is not power – unless it’s shared. Project team members all bring a unique set of skills, knowledge, experience and wisdom to the table. Effective project teams fearlessly share regularly and generously for the benefit of everyone and for the benefit of the project’s success. This makes the capability of the whole team grow and gives the team more power.
  • Team engagement is crucial to business success. If engaged, team members on a given project will be interested in what they do, committed to the project mission and willing to go the extra mile. They are there in body as well as mentally and emotionally. The key to engagement is involvement – by involving others you make it impossible to stay detached.
  • Without transparency, trust will suffer – both within the project team and with all other key stakeholders. Transparency is considered normal in project management, particularly on Agile projects and expectations are growing. It starts at the top: the more senior you are, the more responsibility you have to be a role model, and ensure that your own actions and objectives are transparent. There is no room for hidden agendas in the modern workplace. Employees will follow the leader’s behaviours, good or bad. When this is done well it can have a positive cascade effect when companies undertake new projects. The PM is a component of this overall leadership model.
  • To walk in the same direction, a team needs to know where it is going or what it is contributing to (vision) and why (purpose). Spend time on this with your team. This clarity provides a framework and ‘reason to be’ that can rally any given project team to work together. Keep in mind that visions need to be compelling and purposes meaningful. People respond to the importance of both. If you want to create a great project team, pay particular attention to behaviours. How we behave has an impact on others and affects how they behave. It’s when we change our behaviours that we can achieve transformational change.

 

Article by Russell Moore, Head of Resourcing at Aspira. To find out more about how Aspira can help your team achieve its potential, contact Russell.moore@aspira.ie

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