Integrated Project Team-Working
The third basic concept of project management is that of designating and managing
the project team, to integrate the efforts of all contributors to the
project. Projects consist of many diverse tasks that require the expertise and
resources of a number of different specialties. These tasks are assigned to various
people and organizations, usually from both within and outside the organization
holding primary responsibility for the project. Other persons hold decision making,
regulatory, and approval authority over certain aspects of a project. All of
these persons contributing to a given project are considered members of that
project team. The most effective project management is achieved when all such
contributors collaborate and work together as a well-trained team, under the
integrative leadership of the project manager.
The advantages of effective team-working, especially in conjunction
with the other two primary concepts of project management discussed above„focused,
integrative responsibilities and integrative, predictive planning and control„include:
- The ability to bring needed multiple disciplines together from diverse organizations
to collaborate creatively to achieve project objectives.
- Understanding of and strong commitment to the project and its objectives.
- Development of jointly agreed plans, schedules and budgets for executing
the project, with resulting commitment to achieving the results within the target
schedule and cost.
- Frequent monitoring of progress and expenditures and re-forecasting their
future impact on intermediate milestones and project completion.
- Achieving outstanding performance on the project„at Internet speed.
Requirements for an Effective Team and for Excellent Teamwork
Because a project is comprised of a number of diverse tasks different people„each
having the required expertise and experience„are needed to perform each task.
In the broadest sense, all persons contributing to a project are members of the
project team. However, on larger projects it is not possible to have several
hundred or several thousand people working as one giant, monolithic team. Therefore
we must identify the key project team members in order to have a reasonable
number of people to work with as a team. These key team members will include
at least the project manager (the team leader) and the key functional project
leaders (discussed earlier). Each of these persons becomes a team leader of their
sub-team within the overall project team.
The term "functional project leader" is used here generically, and
includes people within the project's parent organization as well as people in
outside organizations, such as consultants, contractors, vendors and suppliers.
In many projects the client or customer is an active contributor, and therefore
is included as a member of the team. When possible, inclusion on the project
team of representatives of other outside organizations that contribute in some
way to the project can be very beneficial. Such organizations include financial
institutions, regulatory or oversight agencies, and labor unions, as examples.
To have an effective project team, as distinct from simply a group of people
working on loosely related tasks, five conditions are necessary:
- Identification of the project team members
and definition of the role and responsibilities of each.
- Clearly stated and understood project objectives.
- An achievable project plan and schedule.
- Reasonable rules of the game (procedures regarding information
flow, communication, team meetings, and the like).
- Leadership by the project manager.
If any of these conditions is not present it will be difficult to achieve effective
1. Identification of the Project Team
Members and Definition of the Role and Responsibilities of Each
22. That a complete team list as described here is produced and distributed to
all key team members.
It seems obvious that in order to have an effective team, the team players
must be identified. However, experience shows that project managers often fail
to do this, or only identify their team members on an "as needed" basis
when a new task comes up that cannot be performed by someone already on the team.
In some cases the project manager may know the team members, but will fail to
inform the other members, so that only the project manager knows who is on the
Using the defined project scope and objectives and the initial list of project
deliverables, a listing of all project team members is compiled and distributed
to the entire team. This list should include each team member's full name, address
(regular and e-mail), voice and facsimile telephone numbers, and any other pertinent
communication information. Frequently, this list will include home telephone
numbers. For those project teams that have established escalation procedures
(for resolving issues, conflicts or other problems), the team member's immediate
supervisor with office and home telephone numbers are also listed.
The general duties and responsibilities of each team member will normally be
documented by the organization's human resource practices and its project management
process description. However, for effective project teamwork it is imperative
to define the responsibilities of each team member for each task to be carried
out on their specific project. The best tool available for this purpose is the
task/responsibility matrix based
on the project/work breakdown structure.
2. Clearly Stated and Understood Project
23. That the project team develops a statement of project objectives that all
team members understand and support „ consistent with the 'official' project objectives
„ within two weeks of the team formation.
The basic project objectives will usually be known prior to identifying the
project team members. However, for effective teamwork, experience has demonstrated
that a team effort is required to clarify, expand on, and quantify these initial
project objectives, with input as appropriate with the project customer, to produce
a statement of objectives that all members of the team understand, accept and
are committed to. Hastings et. al.
point out that teams must be aware that there are multiple and often conflicting
sets of expectations about their performance on the project, including expectations
from outside the project, the team, and each individual team member. These authors
suggest thinking about good performance and successful achievement along two
dimensions, the hard/soft dimension and the acceptable/excellent dimension. The
hard/soft dimension refers to two different kinds of criteria of performance,
and the acceptable/excellent dimension refers to two different standards of
24. That project teams set both hard and soft criteria for project success.
"The Hard/Soft Dimension: The hard/soft dimension concerns the
tangible and intangible aspects of performance. Hard criteria tend to be measurable,
the most frequent being to do with time, cost, resources and technical standards.
Soft criteria on the other hand are more subjective and difficult to measure.
Yet they are clearly used frequently in evaluating performance. They are more
about "how" the task was accomplished, the attitudes, skills and behavior
demonstrated by the team and its members ... .
"In setting success criteria ordinary teams tend to concentrate on hard
criteria only and ask questions such as, "How many, how much and when?"
Superteams do all this too (and mostly more punctiliously) but add another dimension.
They also draw out clients' and sponsors' more subtle expectations, those to
do with ways of working and the relationships with the client, to attitudes
adopted on such things as quality, reliability and attention to detail. These
are all factors that are crucial to a client's ultimate satisfaction. Equally
these soft criteria are explored, clarified and agreed with the sponsor, and
25. That each project team establishes success criteria to achieve excellent results,
beyond the normal acceptable standards.
"The Acceptable/Excellent Dimension. The acceptable/excellent
dimension on the other hand concerns standards of performance. And it is around
this dimension that the whole Superteam idea was originally crystallized. In
a world where the best is no longer good enough, the frontiers of performance
are always being stretched. "The best can always be bettered" could
almost be the Superteam motto. We find many teams who think that their performance
is good, but who in fact are under-performing. They may be averagely good when
compared with those other teams they see. Their performance is acceptable but
in no way outstanding ... . Superteams strive to be different, and achieve
just a little bit more than the competition. They are constantly looking for
ways to do things better, constantly testing their assumptions about what is
achievable and searching for ways to overcome any problems that lie in the path."
In achieving results beyond the normal acceptable standards the project manager
and team must always be alert to the fact that such results must be achieved
within the bounds of the established schedule, resources available and cost.
3. An Achievable Project Plan and Schedule
26. That each team establishes an achievable project plan to which all team members
Effective teamwork depends heavily on having a project plan and schedule that
reflects the way the team members will actually do the work. The team must understand
and be committed to the plan and schedule, which must be reasonably achievable.
The project management literature contains abundant descriptions of how to plan
projects. For example, "Project Team Planning and Project Start-Up",
describes methods for setting the stage for effective project teamworking..
4. Reasonable Rules of the Game
27. That the corporate project management process documentation includes the procedures
needed to insure effective teamwork.
Reasonable rules, procedures, guidelines and practices for how the project
will be planned, the work authorized, progress reported and evaluated, conflicts
escalated and resolved, and so on, must be established. Trying to achieve good
teamwork on a complex project without having such established procedures is like
collecting the best athletes from six different sports and turning them loose
on an open, unmarked field with instructions to "play the game as hard as
ććććććććććććććć Each organization must develop its own set of project procedures
covering the topics of importance within its environment. On large projects,
such procedures are usually tailored to the specific needs of that project and
issued to all team members in the form of a Project Procedures Handbook, Project
Manual, Project Guidelines, or some similar document. The project procedures
usually rely on established corporate practices and procedures wherever possible,
and avoid duplication or conflict with such practices.
5. Leadership By the Project Manager
28. That project managers be given appropriate leadership training prior to their
being put in charge of any major project.
Extensive literature exists on the subject of leadership, and it is not the
intent here to treat this complex and important subject in great detail. The
key point to be made is that the project manager is expected to be the leader
of the project. Successful project managers have used many different styles
and methods of leadership, depending on their own personalities, experience,
interpersonal skills and technical competence on the one hand, and the characteristics
of the project and its environment on the other. Owens concluded the following
regarding project leadership and related behavioral topics:
- Leadership behavior. Project managers cannot rely on one particular
leadership style to influence other people's behavior. Different situations
call for different approaches, and leaders must be sensitive to the unique features
of circumstances and personalities.
- Motivational techniques. An awareness of unfulfilled needs residing
in the team is required to successfully appraise motivational requirements and
adjust a job's design to meet those needs.
- Interpersonal and organizational communications. Conflict situations
occur regularly. A problem-solving or confrontation approach (confronting the
problem and not the persons), using informal group sessions, can be a useful
- Decision-making and team-building skills. Participative decision making
meets the needs of individual team members and contributes toward effective
decisions and team unit.
19. Ibid, 208.
20. Hastings, Colin, Peter Bixby and Rani Chaudhry-Lawton, The
Superteam Solution, University Associates, San Diego, 1987, 32-42.
21. Ibid, 35-37.
22. Ono, Daniel P., and Russell D. Archibald, Chapter 28,
"Team Infrastructure Management: Project Team Planning and Project Start-Up,"
Project Management for the Business Professional: A Comprehensive Guide, Joan
Knutson, Editor, Wiley, NY, 2001, 528-549.
23. Owens, Stephen D., "Project Management and Behavioral
Research Revisited," Project Management Institute Proceedings (Toronto
1982), p II-F.1.