mardi 16 octobre 2012

How to Manage your Project Team

A lire sur:  Method 123

Have you considered exactly what you manage as a project manager? Is it a) Projects b) Deliverables c) Deadlines or d) None of the Above?
If you chose d) None of the Above then you are correct. You really don't manage any of these things, but rather you manage people and project teams. It is people that deliver projects, complete deliverables, and meet deadlines. So, you may wonder:
How to Manage your Project Team
There's not one 'best' answer to managing your project team but rather a number of different things you can do to get the most out of your team. The following are a few of these things you can do to manage your project team:
Group Meetings
There's nothing like a group meeting to manage your project team. The best time for a group meeting is early in the week, preferably Monday morning. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure that everyone is aligned, expectations for the week are set, and any issues or obstacles are addressed and resolved. Ideally, this meeting takes place face-to-face allowing everyone to contribute to the discussion and get the most out of it as possible. This is your opportunity as a project manager to address the needs of the group and make sure everyone is on the same page.
One-on-One Meetings
Another great opportunity to manage your project teams are the one-on-one conversations you have with individual team members. This type of conversation can take various forms. A regular weekly meeting can be set up with team members that may be new or have minimal experience. This can take 30 minutes or less and serve as a time to touch base with them, make sure they are not having any problems in getting their work done, or discuss any other topics that would not be appropriate to bring up in a larger meeting. One word of caution... don't use this time to talk about any disciplinary or corrective actions that need to be addressed. That should be left for a separate meeting.
What if you have more experienced or senior members on your team? This is still a great way to manage your team, but it can take a slightly different form. First, it could be reduced to once or twice a month that you get together. Plus, the focus of the meeting can be to discuss any ideas or suggestions the team member has for improvement or making things better. At this point in their career they won't need too much direction, but they will appreciate the opportunity to provide their input.
There's nothing better than face-to-face meetings when it comes to managing your team. But, email can be a powerful addition to these face-to-face meetings to document and clarify the results of what was discussed. Email is a perfect vehicle to regularly "net out" where things stand on a project. An important role project manager's play is to sift through the clutter that surrounds projects and pull out what is most relevant. Your team will appreciate the time you take to keep them up to speed this way.
Be mindful to not let email take the place of face-to-face. It's easy to go down this path feeling that it's faster or less complicated than talking in person. Email should always be in addition to, not instead of, talking to your team in person.
You may not typically think about reports as a way to manage your project team, but if you create your reports in the right way you will find they can be a useful tool. What is the right way to create reports that can help manage your team? Make them actionable. Making a report actionable means that someone can read the report and then know exactly what needs to be done next. The report will not be muddled with a lot of unnecessary details or information that could lead to confusion.
Build Camaraderie
It's good to build relationships on the project team beyond just yourself and the team members. A highly performing team that is easy to manage will have relationships amongst themselves as well. Your part of managing this team is to create opportunities where this can occur. For example, take your team out to lunch every now and then, get involved in some real (not cheesy) team building exercises, or take them bowling! Everyone loves bowling, it's an easy budget item to approve, and you're sure to have a good time with the entire team.
The above are some practical ways you can manage your project team. The spirit of managing your team can be summed up in two words... be available. Your projects will do well if your team knows they can reach you at any time with questions, issues, or suggestions and feel comfortable in doing so. Your group meetings, one-on-one conversations, email, actionable reports, and camaraderie building will keep you in that position of availability.
One thing that every team needs is the ability to be on the same page. allows you to set up users (team members and clients alike) and customize their view for exactly what they need to know about the project!

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