The success of a project will depend on how efficient project teams are in executing project goals and objectives during the project management lifecycle. This will be impacted, in part, by how well work assignments are matched to individual competencies, how well members work within a group and whether project assignments are effectively prioritized. Here, project managers can help by ensuring that project goals and objectives are clearly articulated, making the right work assignments, and encouraging teamwork and commitment.
To avoid unnecessary problems, project managers should start with the work and not the team. This ensures that the right people are assigned to the the right work assignments. Each project team member is placed on the project because of core competencies that are deemed necessary to further project goals or objectives. In making assignments, it is vital for project managers to have a clear idea of individual skills, personality and motivations.
Shared or liaison work is a core requirement on projects. Here, effective teamwork occurs when each participant involved in a shared assignment is clear about the specific tasks he is responsible for completing. Clearly defined task assignments will encourage personal accountability and reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and conflicts among project team members.
Assignment prioritization dictates how it is treated by team members. A project team should be on the same page when it comes to knowing which elements of assigned objectives and activities are critical. Here, prioritization becomes an important tool that can reduce tension among teams with different ideas about project priorities. The best practice is to allow team members to establish consensus on priorities. Matters where a consensus cannot be established can be referred over to the project manager for final resolution.
A motivated team takes ownership of projects goals and objectives and exhibit maximum commitment to deliver project team responsibilities. Project managers can help motivate teams by ensuring that the scope of a project remains well-defined throughout the course of the project. Conflicts should be resolved quickly and fairly. Additionally, training in team roles and teamwork assists each team member and strengthens her ability to execute project objectives and assignments.
Vanessa Cross has practiced law in Tennessee and lectured as an adjunct professor on law and business topics. She has also contributed as a business writer to news publications, including the "Chicago Tribune," and published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Cross holds a B.A. in journalism, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in international business law.