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Choosing the Best Team for Your Project

~ By Dr. Keith Mathis

Project team in a huddle

Human Resource Management is needed everywhere. At home, at the office, and especially when working on a project with a group of people. Using human resources during a project requires getting the most effective use of the people involved with the project. This includes everyone associated with the project: sponsors, customers, partners, and individual contributors.

There are three major aspects of project human resource management: organisational planning, staff acquisition, and team development.

Organisational Planning

Organisational planning identifies, documents, and assigns project roles, responsibilities, and reporting relationships. Before the project begins, all role and responsibilities should be designated. This will cut down on any confusion after the project starts. Each team member will know what is expected of him or her and will be able to follow through on the assigned tasks. Having a staff development plan and an organisational chart will also decrease uncertainty and conflict. A staff development plan describes how and when human resources will be brought onto and taken off the project team. An organisational chart is a graphical way to breakdown the project reporting relationship. It diagrams who is to report to whom. There will not be any question as to the chain of command with a detailed organisational chart. Good organisational planning also includes any supporting documents needed to outline each job title and description or any training needs.

Staff Acquisition

Staff acquisition is the process of getting the human resources needed assigned to and working on the project. Choosing the correct people for a project is almost as important as the project itself. Without a knowledgeable team, the project will be much more difficult. Some things to consider when picking your team are previous experience, personal interests, personal characteristics, availability, and competencies and proficiency. Your resources for finding team members are endless. They may come from negotiations with managers and other project teams, pre-assignment from another project, or even from outside the organisation. You will also need to determine whether each team member will be working on the project full or part time. Thinking ahead of the ideal team members will save your valuable time later.

Team Development

Team development includes developing individual and group competencies to enhance project performance. By coming together as a true team, the project will be more successful. Team development can be achieved a variety of different ways:

  • Team building activities
  • General management skills
  • Reward and recognition systems
  • Collocation or frequent face-to-face meetings
  • Training

Significant improvements in team morale will cause an increase in team mentality. Other improvements that will be seen include performance improvements, improvements in individual skills, improvements in team behaviours, and improvements in either individual or team competencies.

If there has been proper team development, your project will run with the epitome of efficiency and quality. You will see performance improvements, improvements in individual skills, improvements in team behaviours, as well as improvements in either individual or team competencies.


Dr. Keith Mathis, founder and CEO of The Mathis Group specialises in Project Management, Management Leadership, and Marketing training for private businesses and government agencies of all kinds. He offers 33 Project Management courses, is a Project Management Professional, is certified by the Project Management Institute and will customise every training session to your individual company's needs. The Mathis Group also sponsors www.pmexpertlive.com which is a powerful project management resource with free reports, podcasts, videos, and a monthly newsletter. He also offers customised management training and coaching on any subject with prolific communication and professionalism.


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