What is IT Project Team?
At a broad level, a project team can be defined as a group of people who collaborate and work with each other to perform certain tasks or activities for a project. The ultimate aim of organising people in such a consolidated work group or team is to achieve project objectives and produce deliverables in a timely manner. The people involved in the project may be working on a full- or part-time basis.
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A group of people transforms into a full-fledged team if the people:
- Understand the work to be done for the successful accomplishment of project goals.
- Plan for their respective assigned activities.
- Perform their tasks within the given time and budget.
- Deliver the desired quality of project activities.
- Communicate with their supervisors regarding the status of their work.
- Communicate regarding issues or risks or quality concerns faced by them.
- Work as a team and resolve intra-team conflicts without any delay.
Stages of Project Team Development
A project team is generally formed by a project manager. The process of developing a project team passes through five stages, as shown in Figure below:
This is the first stage of project team development wherein a project manager selects individuals from different departments or organisational units as per the required skills and competencies. At this stage, team members are introduced to one another and communicated about the project to be initiated.
During this stage, it is very important for a project manager to have deep insight into the project goals and objectives to be fulfilled so that he/she can better communicate them to team members. Also, the project manager should be able to solve the queries of team members as well as give them proper guidance.
At this stage, team members are informed about the goals and objectives of the project. At this stage, the project manager establishes performance standards and clearly communicates the exact requirements of the project to all team members. In the storming stage, various members of the team compete with one another in a bid to gain status and acceptance. Developing disagreement and frustration is a common occurrence among the team members at this stage.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the project manager to resolve contradictions and conflicts among team members and make them focus on the accomplishment of project goals and objectives. The project manager should ensure that team members start listening and respecting one another’s ideas and thoughts.
It indicates the third stage of the team development process, which is characterised by an increase in bonding and cohesiveness among the members of the team. By the time this stage is reached, conflicts and contradictions among the team members are resolved by the project manager. The project manager at the norming stage strives to bring harmony, hope, conviction and respect among team members.
On the other hand, the team members start acknowledging the contribution and efforts of one another. At this stage, the team members are encouraged to participate in the decision-making process, which, in turn, motivate them and increase their productivity. The project manager supports team members by providing them proper feedback about their performance. Moreover, as there is greater coordination and cohesiveness among team members, they start sharing ideas, and giving feedback to one another.
It indicates the stage characterised by a high level of productivity, confidence and morale of the team members. The productivity of the team is highest at this stage. Not all project teams are able to reach this stage. Teams that reach this stage are characterised by a high level of trust and interdependency among team members.
At this stage, the project manager should encourage team members to handle problems on their own and intervene only when it is absolutely necessary. However, he/she should ensure that the team members are not overburdened with excessive responsibility as it can hamper the team’s performance.
This is the final stage of project team development. At this stage, the project carried out by the team gets completed, and the project team prepares to get disassembled. Before disassembling the project team, the project manager summarises the project and all the tasks are performed by the team. The adjourning stage is quite an emotional phase for team members as they develop a close bonding among themselves during the course of the project.
Need for Efficient and Effective IT Project Team
Effective IT teams do not exist rather they are like parts of a puzzle which must be put together through the hard work and leadership of the IT project manager. An efficient team is said to be one that is fo- cused on meeting the objectives of a project within the specified time and budget.
Below are some guidelines that a project manager must follow to build an effective IT project team:
- Setting realistic project goals and objectives and communicating to the team members clearly
- Defining roles and responsibilities of team members based on their skills and abilities
- Maintaining effective communication among team members and timely addressing their queries
- Building up trust among team members so that they are proactive in meeting project goals and objectives
- Assessing team performance from time to time and rewarding the best performers
- Asking for suggestions for making improvement in project performance
Need for Balanced IT Project Team
Having a balanced team size plays a major role in a project’s success. This is because if human resources are less than what is actually needed, it will hamper project activities. On the other hand, if human resources exceed the requirement, it will lead to high costs for the organisation. Thus, it is of utmost importance for the top management to accurately estimate human resource requirements for a project before making the project team.
A project team comprises a project manager and a group of people who work together and share common objectives towards the project’s success. These people are from different departments with specific subject matter knowledge or skills to carry out project work. Although each member of the team plays a crucial role in meeting project objectives, the project manager is the one who manages the entire team.
A project team includes the following roles:
- Project management staff: It comprises members who are responsible for performing various project management activities such as planning, scheduling, budgeting, reporting, risk management and administrative support.
- Project staff: It includes team members who perform project ac- tivities to achieve project deliverables.
- Support staff: It performs activities involved in developing or ex- ecuting the project plan. These activities can include contracting, financial management, logistics, legal, safety, engineering, test, or quality control. Support staff can be hired full time or on a need basis depending on the size of the project.
- Customer representatives: These are the members of the organisation who ensure proper coordination, advise on requirements or validate the acceptability of the project’s results.
- Sellers: These are external parties who generally enter into a contractual agreement with the organisation to provide components or services necessary for the project.
- Business partners: These are external organisations that provide installation, customisation, training or any other support required for the project.
Criterion for Developing an IT Project Team
The following are the essentials of developing an efficient project team:
- Team plan: A project manager has to be clear what is expected from the team and what is the objective of the team. Moreover, the manager should pay attention to whether the communication is clear between the top management and among the team members and whether the team members are striving to meet project goals within the specified time and budget.
- Situation: Are the team members able to understand their responsibility in the team and are they following the project execution per the strategy devised?
- Assurance: Is the team ready to commit their time totally to the project and their interests is in line with the project strategy? Do they perceive the duties to be performed seriously? Is the team dedicated on to the project?
- Capability: It should be made sure that the team has appropriate team members in the team? The whole team should be satisfied about the competence of the teammates.
- Cooperation: The team members should cooperate with each other and should empower the whole team and show ownership and confidence to stand up and finish the contract.
- Innovation: The team should be selected in such a way that the team members are inclined towards creative ideas and innovation, if the whole team is working hard but stick to the old techniques and is not inviting to innovative procedures, the project will be completed but it will not stand out. So, the team should always be balanced.
Along with that collaboration, communication between the team members, and the responsibility to face the consequences during the project execution along with coordination and collective cultural behaviour should be considered in order to form a balanced, efficient and effective team.
Best Project Management Courses
Project management skills are in demand. If you are ready to get started, consider enrolling in the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate Learn the job-ready essentials of project management in six months or less, such as initiating projects, risk management and change management. Also we have made list of best project management courses as there are a plethora of options available, and it can be challenging to identify the best one.
Best Project Management Tool
- Mid & Large Size Team
- Higher Plan
- Standard Feature
- Flexible Database & Stability
- Small & Growing Team
- Smaller Plan
- Standout Feature
- Try New Feature
The ideal project management tool selection will eventually rely on the particular requirements of your team. We suggest experimenting with the free versions of various tools to gauge your team’s comfort level and then proceeding accordingly.