Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Building The team

Building a team is one of the most important aspects of being a good of a Project Manager. When the project is under pressure to deliver, you have to rely on your team to put in the extra effort in a short amount of time, under constraints and under a close eye of your Project Board and Sponsor.

Just this week, I have had to deliver the Project Plan and budgets to the company PMO to gain authorisation to continue with the project.  I am at the end of the Planning phase and this means that the conceptual design, plan for the project, migration, strategy and operations, along with many other documents, have had to be delivered.  Most of these have been discussed in detail, but not put to paper, so I needed my team to deliver.

Over the recent months, I have been building the team relationships and ensuring that the team has bonded together.  Trust is a key to this and each member has their own unique role to play.  Each member is important to the success of the project and I, as the Project Manager, am the facilitator for this.  Where there is conflict, it must be dealt with, where there is quality deliver, praise is given.

Ensuring the team all have commitment to the project is vital.  Each member has an important individual role and not everyone in the project team will know every detail of the project.  As the Project Manager, I have been proactive in ensuring we have regular meetings with all of the project team together, so at least everyone understands each persons roles, actions and deliverables and can all see the part they play.  Understanding which part of the engine you are is important and understanding the part each member is responsible for delivering gives them individual pride.

Throughout the planning phase, I have been keen to participate in all levels of communication, both business orientated as well as technical.  It has been important to build relationships with all technical teams, as this will ease the potential blockers when we come to the delivery phase.  I have been keen to have conversations with the business, so that we are delivering the right product to the right people.  Communication to these people is vital and telling them how important they are for the success of the project is key.

As part of this communication, it is important to gather communication strategy information.  This will allow the Project Manager to know who is going to authorise certain deliverables for the project and what they expect in terms of communications throughout the life cycle.  It is essential that all stakeholders are kept informed throughout the project, at the level of detail they require.

The Project Manager must help the team to deliver.  They must trust, respect and accept leadership from the Project Manager to ensure the smooth delivery of their own items.  They expect the Project Manager to have an understanding of the concepts, but not a detailed knowledge, as this is their own speciality.  They will expect to escalate issues, risks and other problems to the Project Manager and expect them to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. 

Making decisions is an essential role for the project Manager.  The team will look for guidance and direction from the Project Manager when they are unsure of which decision to take.  The Project Manager must exhibit control, responsibility and power to be able to answer the queries, which will ensure the team member can continue their work.

With all of the communication, relationships and team building, the project has a better chance of success.  The open doors of management, who have all the latest information regarding your project, will help to make project run smoothly

A strong team with a decisive, trust-worthy, communicative Project Manager with strong leadership is key to the success of any project.

Thank you Project Team - You know who you are...

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