Develop Project Team – Team-building

Posted on February 5, 2009 by

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Develop Project Team is one of the 44 processes in the third edition PMBOK®. This process is classified as a Human Resource process in the Executing process group. The Develop Project Team process concerns improving the competencies of project team members and the interactions among team members. One of its tools and techniques to accomplish this is team-building activities. In some fields and situations, a group of people may work together for many years and form a high-functioning team that is impressive to observe in action. Project Management by its very nature deals with the temporary—teams are formed quickly and disbanded as soon as the project comes to a close. To add to the challenge, some teams are virtual teams that never or rarely actually meet in person, yet to meet the project’s goals they must learn to work together effectively.

The project manager that can encourage the rapid development of a team has a great advantage. According to a well-known theory, teams go through stages of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. A team that reaches the Performing stage will work most effectively. At the beginning, project managers should make certain that team members understand the objectives and importance of the project to help guide their individual decisions and to make the project goals their own. If the team members have individual agendas overshadowing a mutual team goal, problems are likely to ensue as they work against each other rather than together. Also, the project manager should try to encourage an atmosphere of trust and communication. To these ends, team-building activities may be introduced. Examples that people have used include: ice-breakers, ropes courses, off-site corporate events, games, company parties, and workshops. It can be difficult to find and execute a good team-building activity. What team-building activities have you experienced? Please share any ideas for team-building activities that you’ve found useful.