~ By Lisa Walker
No one will ever be able to convince me that the most challenging component of project management is the science behind it. The way in which we need to pull people together to be a high performance team over a relatively short period of time is the most challenging part of project management.
This article will focus on the communication issues within the project team, in particular, the people management aspect. Given the natural pressure of projects, tight time frames, cost management and close monitoring, the need for project managers to be good people managers is heightened.
Project teams are temporary, often a mixture of contractors and employees. Given the temporary arrangement it is generally assumed that employees will receive guidance from their line manager and contractors are assumed to be self motivated enough that feedback is not necessary. The outcome of these assumptions is that individuals in the team are rarely given feedback on their own performance, rarely consulted about the overall project and rarely part of team building activities.
There is a very good reason why all project managers must make an investment in becoming good people managers and that is projects are more likely to succeed! A very good functioning team is always one of the major attributes of successful projects.
The points below describe some strategies to use when forming the team:
Throughout the life of the project you may come across the following human resource issues that can contribute to project failure. This article only notes a few issues, and is by no means exhaustive:
A final comment is that the way you interact with your team must be very genuine and sincere. If your behaviour is inconsistent, distrust and cynicism quickly sets in among the team members.
Lisa Walker is the Senior Project Manager for PM-Partners Pty Ltd. The PM-Partners group specialise in project management and programme management delivery and capability development.