The classic definition of Project Management is that it is the discipline of carefully projecting or planning, organizing, motivating and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. As project managers, we all strive for project success and all our decisions and actions are geared towards that one goal. But in spite of our best efforts, projects still fail. If one looks at the statistics for IT related project failures, then the picture is quite abysmal. According to a new research, 68% of technology projects are doomed to fail. The causes have also been dissected and it is known that poor requirements gathering, high user expectations, improper planning and many other factors contribute to this failure.
Among all these is another major factor that has a huge impact on the fortunes of a project and that is the contribution of the team. With the right team and the right skill set, you can pull a project from the throes of failure while the wrong team can send a winning project into a dark abyss.
Choosing the correct people for a project is almost as important as defining the scope of the project and each role should be assigned bearing in mind the potential team member’s skills, previous experience, personal interests and competencies. And to add to all this, your skill as a people’s manager. Your ability to bring together the members as a cohesive team will have a great impact on the project.
So, how do you as a project manager chose the right team and how does your project management training help you evaluate potential team members? Your training teaches you the three aspects of people management—project planning, team selection and team building.
- Project Planning: It does not relate to just defining the scope, gathering requirements or allocating resources. It also relates to human resource planning. As a project manager, you have to identify and assign project roles, and designate each team member with their specific responsibilities, to ensure there is no ambiguity as the project proceeds. Your training will allow you to clearly define every key project activity in terms of roles and responsibilities so that project tasks are completed and desired deliverables are attained. This not only defines a clear roadmap for team participation and involvement but reduces confusion and enhances productivity.
- Team selection: When it comes to IT projects, the first part of your screening for potential team members should be based on their skills. If it’s a project that requires a web page to be built, you have to select a member with front end skills and if it’s a database related project you’ll obviously need someone with RDBMS knowledge. The trick is to not get the person who has the highest qualification but to get the person who is right for the job. Thinking ahead on who to get on board will help you save time and get the right people for a task.
- Team Building: You have got the guys but now you have to make sure they work together for that common goal, they share your ideas, thoughts and vision. These can be achieved through team building activities. Your project management training defines activities that help enhance team morale and productivity. These include:
- Having outdoor activities such as parties or a bowling night or a day at the movies
- Having milestone parties
- Ensuring that every team member feels worthwhile
Other methods to ensure team motivation include having a rewards and recognition system that helps reinforce positive commitment. If your team member deserves accolades, make sure he /she gets it and bring them to the notice of the management. This will go a long way in boosting their confidence and establishing your credibility as a people’s manager.
Then of course is the all-important art of communication. Your project management training lays a lot of emphasis on this aspect. With the right communication, not only will you able to form a stable relationship between the team and the stakeholders but will be able to motivate, inspire and lead your team to achieve success.
Getting a group of people together may not sound all that challenging but delivering results by helping these people work together to achieve that common goal depends on the skill of the project manager and your PMP training will help you achieve that.