In this video, we discuss how a team is normally made up, and the key benefits of having a strong team.
- The APM Body of Knowledge Seven defines a team as "a group of people who are working in collaboration "or by cooperation towards a common goal." In their book "The Wisdom of Teams", John Katzenbach and Douglas Smith expand on this definition, saying that people within a team have complimentary skills and hold themselves mutually accountable for the work that that team does. The interactions between the people involved in a project are what ultimately lead to a project's success. So who should be involved in the project? Your team could include a facilitator, a scheduler, a cost planner, designers, and subject matter experts. Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list and they'll need to build your team carefully to meet your project's needs. Having all of these people on board is a great starting point, but there are a few other characteristics that will help ensure effectiveness and efficiency of your team. These include all team members believing in and working towards the project goals; team members being able to openly discuss their ideas without worrying about being shut down; communication channels for sharing information, both within the team and with other teams; team members bringing something different to the table, whether it's a technical skill or a soft skill; a project manager who leads the team but also team members who feel confident to assume leadership if they need to; and, finally, a team that managers, organizes, and regulates itself. In other words, everyone needs to be mutually accountable for their actions. So why go to this effort? Working in teams encourages people from different backgrounds to come together to find a shared solution, which means they make better well-informed decisions. It creates supportive and encouraging working environments where everyone believes in the end goal, and this creates a sense of team identity. In a world that's becoming more digital every day, project managers are facing the challenge of managing virtual teams where team members are based in different locations. Strong leadership is really important in a virtual team. As a project manager, it's key that you set a clear vision of the goals and how the team is going to reach those goals. You also need to make sure that the team has a variety of effective communication channels. Emails and instant messaging platforms are useful, but your team needs to be able to video call so they can talk face to face. And that's it for this video. At the heart of any successful project is a motivated and well-run team. Make sure you invest in the team and support them by having the right structures in place.