High performing teams are a key element in the success of project performance. It can reduce costs, reduce wastage and provide better quality products. The Develop Team process aims to improve the competency of team members and their integration with each other within the project environment.
There are many aspects of Developing Teams within a project that start with a proficient project leader who can assess the current performance of the team. Tools such as assessments and structured interviews can be used as well as previous performance history for an individual. This type of engagement with a team member is beneficial in other ways as the individual feels valued.
Any assessments of team members should be aligned with the skills and knowledge required for the project tasks assigned to them. Where gaps are identified, mentoring, training or knowledge sharing can be used to reduce the gap, making the team member more effective in the assigned role.
The next steps in Developing Teams involve facilitating a working environment that encourages teamwork and motivation. Using clear objectives and open communications can promote the correct behaviours within teams and help them work cohesively towards a common goal whilst understanding their individual importance within the team.
Using team building exercises outside of the project environment can be useful to help a team get to know each other and how to communicate and work with each other. This can also help the team build trust and openness with each other.
Project managers should also be conscious of the motivation levels of the team and individuals and respond to this by providing challenges and opportunities that provide interest. Giving feedback on the performance of a team member is a vital part of this process, rewarding successes or providing support where performance falls below what is expected.
Some of the key techniques in the Develop Team process include:
- Clear and open communications
- Allowing time out for team building opportunities
- Responding to conflicts in a positive manner
- Encouraging team members to work together in decision making and problem-solving
- Providing variety in work where skills and knowledge allow