The process of developing project team is an activity that allows improving internal and external interactions of team members, developing their competencies and skills, and optimizing the overall team environment for the purpose of enhancing project performance.
The process of developing project team is associated with teamwork management considering all team building factors such as cultural diversity, team climate, and global environment. Teamwork management and team building should be organized and implemented in the context of clearly and timely stated communication between team members throughout the whole project life-cycle.
The process pursues the following major project team development objectives:
- Improve skills and technical competencies of team members to increase the probability of achieving project deliverables in the context of decreasing costs, improving quality and reducing schedules.
- Improve internal agreement and personal recognition among team members to enhance morale, reduce number of conflicts, and improve productivity.
- Establish a dynamic team culture to improve team spirit and cooperation between team members to contribute to better knowledge and expertise sharing.
To achieve these team development objectives, the outputs obtained during the acquiring project team process are used. Project staff assignment documentation, resource schedules and human resource plan allow achieving the following:
- Creating a list of team members who will participate in project team development activities.
- Defining times when team members can participate in project team development activities.
- Identifying training and development strategies to improve performance of team members.
Development of project team is a continuous process, not an instantaneous one. There are four basis methods to develop a productive project team which is able to accurately and effectively complete the project scope. The the methods of developing project team are shown below:
- Method of team building activities allows creating reliable, friendly, and long-term interpersonal relationships between project team members to help them work together face-to-face, operate from remote locations, and achieve the feeling of trust and confidence. Team building activities may aim at preventing conflicts and solving team problems. The method lets use the five stages of team building:
- Forming allows team members to gather and learn about interests and concerns of each other.
- Storming allows team members to figure out the team hierarchy and both formal and information team roles. The stage is vital for taking control of team members.
- Norming allows team leaders to set requirements and standards as to the project work.
- Performing allows team members to focus on performing the project work as a team. During this stage high-performance teams are developed and they work at synergy.
- Method of team training allows improving competencies of project team members by means of formal and informal training sessions, such as classrooms, online seminars and webinars, on-job-training, mentoring and coaching. Schedules of training sessions are specified in project human resource plan.
- Method of team co-location allows placing all team members, which may be at difference locations, in one physical location to improve their abilities to perform the project work. The method entails creation of team co-location strategies to organize team meetings. Team co-location is an alternative to virtual team activities.
- Method of rewards and recognition allows recognizing and rewarding appropriate behavior of team members by means of financial and non-financial incentives for the purpose of motivating team members, creating positive reinforcement, and increasing support among team members.
Development of project team should be assessed in order to identify success of team development activities and team building strategies. Assessment of team development efforts can be achieved by using the following team performance assessment indicators:
- Improvements in skills and competencies of team members to allow a team member to perform assignments more efficiently.
- Reduced rate of staff turnover.
- Improved team cohesiveness which contributes to an increase of the overall project performance.
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