Forming a Project Team
As we know, forming a project team is partly making sure every member is working toward the same goal(s). Each member should be able to contribute something valuable to the project according to their expertise/role.
How would you best form a project team, and what mistakes would you try to avoid? For example, is it better to work with people who you have a better relationship with, or with people who are more knowledgeable in their department role?
This is a tough question since you don't always get a say in who is available to work with. But as a general rule, it is easier to work with people you have a good relationship with until you fundamentally disagree on something and cannot make a compromise. Also, you may not have friends in all departments and will eventually need to work with someone you don't get a long with, but becasue you're working in what should be a professional enviornment, you should be capable of reaching a decision.
In a company setting, working with someone you have a good relationship with always does helps tasks move faster to get things done, but I do not believe you should look away at an individual who may be more competent but you may not get a long with them. In a company, everybody is a professional and would act as such. In the end, you are all working to the same end goal of putting a medical device out on market so everybody is a team member. I also believe, that this situation does occur from time to time where individuals may not get a long with one another but that is up to the Project Manager and other team members, as well, to not let that distract the team from accomplishing the project or task.
To be successful, project teams must work together to an accomplish a goal, and usually that goal is finishing the project on time and within budget. But, there is more to selecting a team than simply choosing a bunch of people. You have to ensure that the people have the required skills and that they can work together.A great project team requires more than technical skills. It takes the right mix of "soft" skills, personalities, communication and attitudes to gel and achieve results.
Start with reviewing the actual needs of the project. Look at the skills involved with each task, and fill resources based on those needs. Main mistake i would avoid while making a team is lack of communication/Meetings, Not been specific with the scope, Not being flexible.
Well in the real world senerio you usually do not pick who you end up working with and it always best to work with those who have the right skill set to do the job and project needed. And these may not end up being your friends. In the professonal work enviroment some comprises have be made to get the project going and the work done. This includes having to work with people you may not know, or even like, but have to stick to because of the needs of the project.
It's been my experience that project teams are simply made by allocating personnel from each function that have less responsibilities with other projects. Sometimes, people with some expertise or knowledge necessary for the project are pulled in, regardless of their schedules/responsibilities, but generally I have never seen teams being formed based on how well the members get along. That being said, I have seen conflicts arise within teams, but they were inevitable given that the people that began them did not get along with most people. As has been stated, teams are usually not made based on personal relationships because it is expected that everyone is professional and will do their job well, regardless of who they work with.
While forming a project team, mistakes I would try to avoid are not been cooperative, lack of communication and effort. I think I would like to work with people who I am familiar with, it is always easy to communicate with people you know rather than complete stranger to avoid complication and hesitation. However, in real world situation, this is not always the case; I think this project is a great opportunity while we are in school to work with who we do not know to expose ourselves to deal with people in real companies.
I agree that project teams should consist of representatives from each function in order to receive contribution from all roles. I have noticed in my experience, that having a mixture of people with varying levels of expertise can be helpful especially in the case of learning. I think having good interpersonal skills is something that is a great asset to one's contribution to the team effort. The best project teams are those who work well together and are able to learn from each other.
It is interesting that in my line of work, there are times that teams are formed due to what projects the team members were involved. And using that experience that can be leveraged for another style of projects. And that has occurred to me within my position. Since I was working on a project initially, my manager liked how I delivered that when other teams needed support, they suggested that I be added to team due to the similarity of the new project with the past projects I’ve been involved. So knowledge is definitely a key factor that would provide the necessary expertise to the project. In terms of the relationship between co-workers in a professional environment, as mentioned above, even if you don’t get along with the SME, it is required to interact in order to complete the project. And I agree that while in school take the opportunity to work with different students to simulate the real world environment.
When working with people you may not know, that could be a good thing to allow for different ideas to come about. If you are not used to working with a certain person it may take some time to develop a working relationship, but it could lead to some great ideas that would have not been thought of otherwise. When working with friends, that could always be good since that working relationship has already been established. Sometimes working with friends could lead to arguments since people may be comfortable with each other, but at the end of the day that should be put aside to complete the task at hand.
No matter what the situation though, working with someone who is more knowledgeable than you would always be ideal. Learning from those who are more experienced will benefit the project team so much. That experienced person will be able to give their insight on certain ideas and steer the project team in the right direction.
As a lot of people have mentioned choosing your team members is not that realistic in the real world. People are just assigned projects based on their role. It would be best and helpful if the person is also knowledgeable and hopefully they are. The best thing one can do when working in teams is to stay open minded and constantly communicate. Most problems when working in teams are due to miscommunication so making sure everyone is on the same page via meetings or emails are a good practice.
As mentioned, the privilege of picking one's ideal team is not always an option. If one does have a choice though, knowledge in the department is more important than the relationship. Having a good relationship is beneficial for good communication and compromising but it is only a bonus to being a good knowledgeable worker. If a team member does not get a long with the project manager, but does know their department very well, they should always be able to act professionally and work around it for the time being. On the other hand, if a team member has a good relationship but is not knowledgeable, the project can be delayed.
It’s very important to get the right people to perform good project team. We need to evaluate the professional performance as well as human qualities. Many times we cannot choose who will join our team. If it’s possible we should pick a people who are knowledgeable and work well in teams. It is the role of Project Manager to observe who works well as a part of the team and is open to any suggestions. In order to keep the project in the right direction the responsibilities should be distributed among the team members from the beginning. In my opinion, the communication is one of the most important parts of the good project team. I saw poor communication among my coworkers and the consequences when they didn’t like to share information between each other. To perform the project correctly and minimalize the risks of failure the PM should hold the meeting and discuss if all activities are going at the right direction.
Good discussion so far.I would like to shift a focus little bit.What if you do not have option to pick? Which is the situation in most of the time.In such cases one should have to look up for strategies to manage conflict and disagreements. As PMBOK suggests some of the ways to manage conflicts are.
(5) Call a meeting
(6) Solve the problem,not symptom
(7) Use the Mediator
That is a tough question, but forming a great team is putting individuals together that are good at their roles, communication and other skills. I don’t think it’s sometimes good to put the people you have a good relationship with because it could cost problems in the long run for the team. I would try to get someone new and fresh mix with experience so the ideas will be new or updated.
To piggy back that it often trues sometimes you are just put on a team with people you may not get along with. If I was just put on a team you do not let the relationship with others affect you and just focus on the project at hand. As you listed below sometimes way to manage conflict and disagreement are all those, but what if we had to only pick one which one would you choose from the list above?