A project team is described as a group whose members belong to different functional areas and departments that are assigned activities for the same project. The team can be divided into several sub-teams according to necessity. Becker, Kugeler and Rosemann (2013) said that project teams are temporary and are therefore used for a defined period. Such teams are disbanded once the project is completed. For a project to be successful, careful planning and collaboration of the project's team members are crucial. A project can only be accomplished with the contribution of each of its key team members. Organizations have employed the project based working to maintain a competitive advantage. The project manager is tasked with the role of ensuring that the projects proceed within the required time frame, budget and that it achieves its objectives. The discussion will analyze key questions to address during project team design and development; the approaches used to acquire the project team design and development, how each stage of the team development affects the other and finally how the tasks in each stage affect other tasks in the same stage.
Questions to Address during Project Team Design and Development
For a business project to succeed several crucial questions must be answered. The first important questions that the project design team should be able to answer include the necessity of the project. This includes various reasons why a project is planned and executed. It also involves outlining the team's objectives. The team must be able to define the objectives of the team and state how they conform to the organization's objectives. It is also vital to define the scope of the project with regards to goals, costs, tasks, and deadlines associated with the project. Any necessary question on the change of scope should also be answered. This is because change is inevitable in a project and therefore there should be mechanisms to identify, react to and manage change using formal change management process. Questions on the communication should be effectively answered. Availing information to the appropriate participants is important in delivering a project that meets the requirements of the stakeholders involved. Finally, the project should be able to answer questions about risks that are involved. It is important to identify potential risks before commencing the actual project. Risks could come from various sources such as poorly defined products, lack of technical experience, or market conditions among others.
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Approaches Used To Acquire Project Teams
Various methods and criteria are used in selecting the most appropriate project team for a given task. Some of the criteria include considering the level of experience at appropriate projects and activities, the interest levels, personal qualifications, the availability of the participants and the knowledge depicted by the members. Also, there are several standards that are used to acquire project teams such as the pre-assignment method that involves allowing selecting team members in advance before the commencement of the project. The virtual team building method is applied when the whole project is to be fulfilled by groups of people who carry out their duties with little time spent on face to face communication. The negotiations methods involve the development and use of delegation models to make efficient assignments considering the benefits of competing projects.
Team Development Stages
The stages of team development include forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. In this stage, team members are positive and polite. Some members are nervous because they have not fully understood the work of the team. The leader plays a dominant role because the duties and responsibilities of the team members are not clear. In the storming phase, members begin to push against the boundaries established in the previous stage. Many teams normally fail at this stage. Storming begins when the conflict between members arises. The team then gradually moves into the norming stage whereby people begin to resolve their differences, appreciate each member’s strengths, and also respect the authority of the leader. The team members understand one another better, socialize well, and may be able to corporate well. The performing stage involves a scenario whereby the team applies hard work in the achievement of goals. The leader delegates much of the work as he or she concentrates on developing the team members. Adjournment stage is the final phase where the teams are disbanded through restructuring in the organization.
Team Development Stages and how they affect other Stages
Various changes in the project team can make the team step back and forth between the stages. In the storming stage, a new member can join the group hence sending back the team into the forming stage. Also, when a team is in the norming stage, issues of conflict may emerge, sending the team back to the storming stage. Fransen, Weinberger and Kirschner (2013) asserted that in the performance stage, a team could revert to the storming stage when an individual decides to work on their own. Growth in the team leads to changes in the focus and performance throughout the stages of the project. Various stages require different levels of focus to effectively succeed. In the forming stage, the team's focus shifts to individual gain while at the storming stage the focus is mainly on the work as team members begin to work together. In the norming stage, the focus is on discussing issues and trust on each other's work. The performance stage the focus is mainly on the task and interest of the whole team rather than the individual members.
How tasks in each stage affect other tasks in the same stage
The level of task or performance in the forming stage is insignificant. Team members are introduced to each other which will be important in forming rapport that will be important in understanding each other's backgrounds, interests, and experience. This will in turn help members understand and learn the project they are supposed to work on, discuss the objectives and begin to think about the role which they will play in the team. The leader also influences the tasks of the team by providing clear direction regarding the job. In the storming stage, various opinions by team members create competition for status in the team. Different opinions are also responsible for the emergence of conflict. The team leader influences the tasks of the team by helping them resolve conflicts through proper problem-solving channels. In the norming stage, because the members have accepted to abide by the rules, there is harmony in working towards the organizational goals. The team leader has minimal involvement in decision making hence giving members a sense of responsibility. This enhances self-direction among members enabling them to solve conflicts and issues on their own. The level of organization and work ethic in the performance stage is influenced by minimal supervision from the leader, increased experience, and expertise and better understanding.
In conclusion, a project team design is the incorporation of members of an organization who work together to achieve the organizational goals. For a project team to succeed in its objectives, it must first address several questions on communication, objectives, stakeholders, and the risks that can be experienced. Several approaches are also employed in selecting members of the project team design such as considering the level of experience, educational qualifications, and personal interest among others. Project teams have several stages in development that define the phases through which they pass in enhancing maturity and proper synergy. Changes can, however, occur leading to shifts from one stage into another. The tasks in these stages also have a massive influence on other activities in the same stages. It is vital to appreciate the influence of proper project design teams in the realization of organizational goals. The members of the team must be creative, innovative, autonomous, and must show the interest and the ability to work under minimal supervision.
Becker, J., Kugler, M., & Rosemann, M. (Eds.). (2013). Process management: a guide for the design of business processes . Springer Science & Business Media.
Fransen, J., Weinberger, A., & Kirschner, P. A. (2013). Team effectiveness and team development in CSCL. Educational Psychologist , 48 (1), 9-24.