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Creating and Maintaining a Successful Project Team

Essay by   •  December 7, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,817 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,857 Views

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Creating and Maintaining a Successful Project Team

Abstract

This paper determines what an IT manager must do to create and maintain a successful project team. The project manager's main focus is on the success of the project. The team's attention should be on completing the project on time, within budget and at a high level of quality that will be accepted by all.

There are many problems that a project team will face. Poole's (2002) research presented some problems faced while working as a project manager. Some issues that came out were that the team didn't know what it was supposed to be doing, the project was behind schedule and that the team morale was low.

There are many key areas that will make a project team successful if they are in place. Planning is important because it is ongoing and needs to be detailed and systematic. Other critical areas are competence, experience and morale of the team as noted by Finney (1999) and Poole (2002). Once the foundation is set, it will lead to project success.

Creating and Maintaining a Successful Project Team

A project manager's main focus should be to build a good team which will result in a successful project. There are many factors and characteristics that a team need to have and take on to succeed. With the right team, they will overcome almost any difficulty to succeed in its project. The right team will carry the initiative through to success and will be reflected in the quality of the project.

One of the most important factors when creating a successful project team is experience. According to Finney (2002), even within organizations with high success rates, one factor which never changes on each new effort is the amount of experience possessed by the chosen project team members. There has to be an expert in every aspect of the project.

Subject matter experts are needed to ensure project success. IT projects call for technical experts so that the team can understand the ins and outs of a project. How can you develop a project if you do not have anyone that understands the product or the make-up of it? Business experts are needed to deal with the business requirements of the clients and higher. There is no way to for a team to succeed without experience. With the right make-up of people, the team will have all areas of the project covered.

Another area that needs to be focused on from the beginning of the project to the end is planning. The planning begins with the specifying of the overall goals that need to be achieved from the project. It should also include the phases of the project and what these phases consist of. There should be a goal at the end of each phase and what the objectives are associated with what each goal needs to be determined at the beginning.

Planning also will also help determine what the responsibilities are of all of the members of the team. You need to determine who in the team will work best on the project given the roles that need to be filled and the tasks that need to be completed. The planning should specify what these responsibilities are and how to achieve their objectives. These should also be timelines developed that specify milestones or deliverables that need to be produced or completed.

When the responsibilities have been identified for each member of the team, their role should come with a list of tasks that they will be expected to complete throughout the duration of the project. The most important thing that you can do as a project manager is that each person on the team realizes what they will be doing individually and how it plays into what the group is trying to accomplish as a whole.

Another area that needs to be focused on is the morale of the team. Poole (2002) identified early that the morale of the team made an impact on the progression of the project. There are number of things that can be done to keep the morale up. The best way to keep morale up is to communicate consistently with the team. Being a project manager calls for you to be honest and not withhold information. Allow team members to communicate openly and honestly.

During the project, continue to inventory and analyze the team member's strengths that could benefit other areas of the project. Ensure that all members understand what their roles and responsibilities are so that there is no confusion. If the lines of communication are open amongst the team, morale should stay high and never be an issue.

Another area that is critical is the competence of the project manager and the team. As noted by Finney (1999), an essential component of this perception is both the management ability, the technical skills, and the sense of direction possessed by the project leadership. How can you have a successful team of these components are not present.

Competence does not mean that everyone on the team knows how to do everything, but they know what to do or how to get it done. At the beginning of the project, all members need to be honest with the team when identifying their strengths and weaknesses and what kind of expertise

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