Copyright: Joe Marasco © 2015.
Published here October 2015.

Editor's Note | Introduction | Definition of "Success" | The Team
Interaction between Project Class, Process Effectiveness and Team Strength
Commentary on the Nomogram | Conclusion | Editor's Postscript

The Team

Next, define team strength (TS), the combination of the talent, motivation, and competency of the individuals on the team, and their ability to work together as a team under appropriate management. Teams can be ranked from 0 to 10, with 10 being the mythical super team that will never exist, and zero the nadir at the other end of the spectrum. An average team comes in at 5.

Now consider process effectiveness (PE), which is a bit trickier but also contains two components. The first is the fit of the methodology to the class of project and team that will use it, and the second is the degree to which the process is effectively applied. A poorly implemented yet suitable process will yield suboptimal results, and likewise for a well-applied but less well-fitting one. This is the place where theory and practice often butt heads, and we call the product of this interaction process effectiveness.

Let's take the use of a Work Breakdown Structure as an element of process effectiveness. The WBS is a powerful tool, and if the project has an awful WBS, then PE scores low. On the other hand, a good WBS that would normally boost the PE score won't if it is subsequently ignored or otherwise mishandled throughout the life of the project. From a PE perspective, you not only have to create a good WBS at the inception of the project, you have to use it effectively to manage the project throughout. And remember that the WBS component is only a part of PE.

You need to consider all the elements that go into PE to come up with an estimate. Just as we did with TS, we need to consider multiple factors and their relative importance. Once again, worst is zero, best is 10, and average is 5.

From a practical point of view, both PE and TS have an easy part and a hard part. Figure 2 illustrates the skills required to obtain top scores in both.

Hard Part:
More Art than Science

Easy Part:
More Science than Art

Process Effectiveness (PE)


Choosing the process that best matches your project and your team

Consistently applying the process and managing it effectively


Critical upfront, then stable

Required throughout


Deep knowledge of available technical options

Project management

Team Strength (TS)


Ensuring that your individual contributors are working together as a team, and not at cross-purposes

Identifying, recruiting and retaining talented, motivated, and competent individual contributors


Required throughout

Critical upfront, then required throughout



People management

Figure 2: Components of Process Effectiveness and Team Strength
Definition of   Definition of "Success"

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