Key Questions for Establishing the Team Organization

Establishing the Team Organization

In any project, knowing who is going to do what is essential. To achieve this, the project’s leadership has to ensure that all roles and responsibilities are clearly understood. Then, all the members of the team must be identified and they must be committed to the project effort.

Responsibilities of the project team

The principal responsibilities of the project team are:

  • Understanding project management processes and tools
  • Helping to create the project plan
  • Being committed to project success
  • Performing project tasks
  • Reporting on project progress, risks, issues, and problems
  • Making effective adjustments to project changes

Then, an announcement must be sent out from senior management. This memo must indicate whether or not the project manager has the authority to make decisions if there is a dispute between team members, or to declare a “breakdown” that invokes assistance from others with authority. In such situations, it’s not just the core project team that needs to be part of the conversation. Project sponsors and customers must be able to spot signs of trouble and help the core project team understand its goals and potential pitfalls.

Good and Great Project Team Members

Great team members possess the following five excelling attributes:

  1. They show confidence in all the stakeholders in the project: the project leader, the rest of the project team, the project sponsor, and the customers.
  2. They actively participate in the exchange of information across the organization and ensure that communication among team members is open and free-flowing
  3. They understand the core skills and responsibilities of the rest of their team delegate enough management and/or task responsibility to other team members
  4. They ask and provide appropriate resources wherever necessary
  5. They apply the right amount of pressure and tension and ensure each team member has challenging tasks and contributes to the team’s efforts as expected in the project charter.

'The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable' by Patrick Lencioni (ISBN 0787960756) Recommended Book: ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick Lencioni postulates that ineffective teams are characterized by five maladies: 1) absence of trust, 2) fear of conflict, 3) lack of commitment, 4) avoidance of accountability, and 5) inattention to results. ‘The Five Dysfunctions’ can allow an ineffective team to rapidly identify the areas where the team has weaknesses and, using the resolution ideas suggested, can chart a course to transform into a productive team.

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