6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 9.4 Develop Team: Tools and Techniques

One of the processes that makes projects work is that of developing a team:   how you take a group of individuals and turn them from a group that works together for a common purpose.

This post discusses the tools and techniques used to develop your project team.

9.4.2 Develop Team:   Tools and Techniques Colocation

Co-location means placing many or all of the most active project team members in the same physical location to enhance their ability to perform as a team.   It can be temporary, for example when having a project kickoff meeting or doing planning meetings, or it can be throughout the project.   It’s not just a shared meeting room, but often times places in that room to post schedules and other ways of communicating in order to create a sense of community. Virtual Teams

Whereas co-location depends on face-to-face interaction, virtual teams by necessity depend on virtual interaction in order to communicate.   Co-location and virtual teams are not mutually exclusive; you can have co-location of your main project team with virtual teams consisting of the “satellite” offices that participate in your project.   Because virtual interaction creates challenges, it is important to use communication technology to address issues of team development when using virtual teams (see next paragraph). Communications Technology

It is important to address team development issues in co-located and virtual teams by using communication technology effectively.   This means having clear rules for meetings, being aware of cultural differences, and creating mechanisms to follow up on action items that require coordination of virtual teams.

A shared portal for information sharing, video conferencing, audio conferencing, and e-mail/chat are examples of communications technology that can be used to help develop the team. Interpersonal and Team Skills

The interpersonal and team skills that a project manager needs to develop a project team include the following:

  • Conflict management–it is important to resolve conflicts in a timely manner and in a constructive way that is perceived to be fair in order to achieve a high-performing team.
  • Influencing–if you need to gather relevant and critical information to address important issues and teach agreements, it is important to first create a relationship of trust with others on the team so that they will be forthcoming with that information.
  • Motivation–knowing what motivates team members will empower them to work independently yet also be willing to participate in group decision-making
  • Negotiation–in many cases, making a decision will require consensus-building, and negotiating this requires building trust among the team members.
  • Team building–this consists of conducting activities that enhance the team’s social relations and build an environment where team members can collaborate and cooperate. Recognition and Rewars

Although it is important to create a plan for rewarding team members who exhibit desirable behavior on a project, rewards are effective when they satisfy a need that is valued by that individual.   The differences between individuals should be considered when determining recognition and rewards.    It is not just tangible awards like money that motivate people, but intangible rewards such as recognition that helps to build confidence and self-esteem.  Training

Training includes all activities designed to enhance the competencies of the project team members.   Scheduling for training needs to be considered in the overall project schedule, and the costs for training need to be included in the project budget.  Individual and Team Assessments

Assessment tools for individuals and the entire project team help the project manager gain insight into their areas of strengths and weaknesses, so that those strengths can be recognized and enhanced, while weaknesses are dealt with in the context of feedback, not of failure.   Some assessments can also help identify personality types, which assists a project manager in developing skillful means of communicating with people and motivating them to work together on the project. Meetings

Yes, this is a generic tool and technique for many  project management processes, but meetings are especially important in the team-building process because that is where the “culture” of a project is created and maintained.

The next post covers the outputs of this process.



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