written by: Misty Faucheux
• edited by: Jean Scheid
• updated: 9/11/2010
Getting ready to start your next project? Then, you need to find the right people. We'll tell you here how to select a project team.
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To be successful, project teams must work together to an accomplish a goal, and usually that goal is finishing the project on time and within budget. But, there is more to selecting a team than simply choosing a bunch of people. You have to ensure that the people have the required skills and that they can work together.
So, before you start creating your team, answer a few questions. What skills are needed to finish the tasks in this project? Are there known conflicts between potential team members? Who will be the leader of the team?
While the answers to these questions may be simple, they are not. You have to think about it. But, to help you through this process, here are some suggestions to help you learn how to select a project team.
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Review the Project Needs
Start with reviewing the actual needs of the project. Look at the skills involved with each task, and fill resources based on those needs. For example, if you will be deploying a MSI installer application, look for someone who has done this in the past and who has a proven track record for getting things done.
Do not always use the same team members just because you used them in the past. You don’t need someone who knows about market strategy if nothing in your project has to do with market strategy. Again, review the project needs before selecting a team.
Look for places where an outside contractor may be necessary, and plan for it early. There is always a chance there will be a skill no employee has for the project at hand. Screen contractors early, and bring them in whenever there is a specialized gap. This is especially true if the company is changing focus or entering into a new field. Bringing in an industry expert will not only benefit the project, it will benefit the team as well.
Next, pick the right leader. The project manager should have plenty of knowledge about the project subject. He must be able to fully understand every step of the project, but also look for someone that can easily work with other people and has leadership experience.
You want somebody that everyone will respect and listen to. If you do not choose the right person, the entire team could fall apart. Communication is always key with project teams. Be sure that the project manager is a team player as well.
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Project Scopes May Change
Keep track of the project scope. If it changes at any point, you may have to bring in some additional team members or at least switch out current team members for new ones.
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Also, watch for under-performing team members. It will create bad blood to automatically “fire” them from the project. They should be given a chance to improve. Try motivating the team member. If they do not improve, the project manager will have to diplomatically switch them out for another person who can complete the under-performing team member’s job.