According to the PMBOK, a project team is “a set of individuals performing the work of the project to achieve its objectives.” Still, we believe that such a definition leaves out at least one important aspect of achieving the project objective: collaboration. And this is what we want to focus on today in answering the question of how to set up a project team.

How to set up a project team? – table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Competencies and responsibilities of team members
  3. Personalities in the team
  4. Roles in the team
  5. Summary

Introduction

When a Project Manager gets down to setting up a project team, he or she has already completed the project initiation phase, and part of the planning phase. The task is easier if the project involves people inside the organization. But often, projects require hiring new specialists, external consultants or freelancers.

If the project takes place in a large organization, it is enough for the Project Manager to accurately determine the scope of competence and responsibilities of the specialists needed. HR staff will then handle the recruitment of suitable candidates.

However, if it’s in a smaller company or startup, the Project Manager will have to handle the selection of suitable candidates. This task is also coined”acquiring project team” and it focuses on two areas:

  • competence and professional experience, and
  • individual personality traits of future colleagues.

They are the ones that will make a group of specialists soon become a team. Namely, that it will work together effectively throughout the project.

Competencies and responsibilities of team members

Defining the responsibilities of each team member is very crucial at the outset of cooperation. This is because it often happens that the competencies of colleagues overlap. The Project Manager must therefore determine who is responsible for the implementation of a particular task. On the other hand, people working together on a particular area of the project should feel that they share responsibility for its success (shared ownership).

Further difficulties faced by the Project Manager are indicated by the questions:

  • How do you identify which specialists will fit to perform the tasks?
  • What tools will they need? And what follows –
  • How to determine the budget needed to complete the team?

Here we can only pay attention to the questions. The answer will differ in each project.

project team

Personalities in the team

In a project team, each member must have the right skills and experience. But equally essential are the personality traits that will make the team strong and cohesive. When it comes to common traits, the project team must consist of people who are:

  • flexible and adaptable to changing conditions
  • open to new challenges
  • cooperative
  • willing to take responsibility for the tasks assigned to them, and
  • knew how to deal with stress.

Still, equally essential is the diversity of personalities and working styles. This will enable to make much better use of their strengths. All teams will benefit from having individuals who are:

  1. Goal-oriented – focusing on achieving the best possible results and is action-focused
  2. Creative – prolific with ideas, demonstrate a high level of innovation and capability to find new solutions
  3. People-centered – for whom other humans, relationship and mutual understanding matter most

Roles in the team

Informal team roles appear spontaneously. However, it is worth noting their existence and dynamics during project implementation. Major roles in a project team include:

  • Leader – pays special attention to the efficiency of the team,
  • Mediator – resolves conflicts and helps the team operate more efficiently
  • Joker – the one who makes others laugh and improves the mood of the team,
  • Reminder – always remembers important deadlines and tasks,
  • Coordinator – helps the team operate more efficiently by combining the work elements of individual members,
  • Mentor – often a senior team member who is willing to share experience and knowledge with others.

Informal roles help the team function effectively and brings about better results. However, you mustn’t treat them as a substitute for formal responsibilities.

Summary

The choice of the project team can determine the success or failure of the entire project. That is why it is so important that the team should consist of people with different skills and personalities, different experiences and working styles. If the Project Manager correctly selects colleagues, they will naturally personate the informal roles to form a cohesive team, increasing the chances of success and further fruitful cooperation.

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How to set up a project team? | #29 Getting started with project management caroline becker avatar 1background

Author: Caroline Becker

As a Project Manager, Caroline is an expert in finding new methods to design the best workflows and optimize processes. Her organizational skills and ability to work under time pressure make her the best person to turn complicated projects into reality.

The most important questions

  1. Why should a project team consist of people with different personalities and working styles?

    People with different personalities and working styles look at a project from different perspectives. Various issues matter for them, so when they communicate they set the scene for innovation. In other words. they come up with more ideas when they’re together, which contributes to better project implementation.

Getting started with project management:

  1. What is a project?
  2. What is project management?
  3. How to manage projects?
  4. Project management methods
  5. Types of projects
  6. 4 examples of projects
  7. Prioritization of projects
  8. Areas of project activity
  9. Definition of success in project management
  10. Why use project management software?
  11. How to choose the best project management software?
  12. Overview of project management software
  13. Project life cycle
  14. What is the project vision for?
  15. Project goal. What is it and how to define it well?
  16. Project initiation phase - what to pay attention to?
  17. The domain of planning in project management
  18. What is a project schedule and what is it for?
  19. How to use milestones in a project?
  20. Project execution
  21. How to prepare a successful project contingency plan?
  22. Importance of project closure
  23. Project failure. 5 reasons why projects fail
  24. 4P of management: project, product, program and portfolio
  25. Most important tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager
  26. Most useful project manager skills
  27. How to become a project manager?
  28. 5 books every project manager should read
  29. How to set up a project team?
  30. Work breakdown structure - how to delegate work in a project?