Projects, no matter
the size and scope, are complex. If they
weren’t, they might as well just be tasks on a to-do list. Luckily, projects
are also a group effort—for every project, there is a project team working
together to make deliverables a reality.
do these teams come together? Not on their own! There are many ways to form
project teams and many factors to take into account.
What Is a Project Team?
project team is composed of individuals that are working together towards a
common goal. This can include executives, a project manager, team leaders from
different departments and team members. How this team operates depends on how
it’s organized, which can take the form of different project organizational
a typical project team structure, projects are headed by the project manager,
though they also can be led by an executive that the project manager reports
to. The key characteristic of this type of team is that everyone reports to the
project manager or another individual at the top of the chain of command.
The project manager often manages the project, the team and all the related tasks in a project management software. Ideally, project management software allows for team collaboration as well as planning, so teams can be at there best.
Key Steps to Create a Project Team
said, assembling a project team will look different depending on the project
and organizational structure. That in mind, here are a few universally helpful
details to focus on when putting together your team.
Interdepartmental Needs: Lots of projects require multiple departments to work
together to achieve deliverables. Within the project team structure, each
involved department should be headed by a leader who manages a team of
individuals in their department. So, before getting into the nitty gritty of
assembling the team, decide which departments to involve and who will lead
- Create Communication
Practices: Because the project team structure does involve so many
tiers of individuals, it’s extremely important to keep communication fluid.
Otherwise, the team will begin to feel like multiple, independent departments
working toward different goals. The best way to prevent this from happening is
by setting a cadence for meetings, requiring status reports, scheduling
interdepartmental collaboration time and any number of other ideas.
- Clearly Define
Expectations: The best way to set communication up for success and keep
the entire project running smoothly is by clearly defining expectations. The
most successful projects are led by project managers who lay down ground rules
and define expectations from the get-go. These rules can also include clear
boundaries, what steps to take if something goes wrong and more. We recommend
going so far as to put these things in writing and keeping the document
somewhere the whole team can reference.
Map Team Member Skills for Assignments
that you’ve laid the foundation of your project team structure and assembled
the team, it’s time to start giving assignments. But, before you do so, it’s
extremely advantageous to assess who has the skills to best take on certain
assignments. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and playing to a team
member’s strengths can majorly improve results.
order to learn which team members are the best fit for assignments, a project
manager or team leader needs to take stock of everyone’s experience and
specialties. This is done by creating a skills matrix.
a Skills Matrix?
skills matrix is a table used to quantify and illustrate each team member’s
skills, experience and interest level. The project manager and/or team leader
must first gauge a team member’s interest in a certain assignment. This
interest is then compared to their skills. Then, this comparison is added to a
table comparing the skills and interests of all team members.
To make an accurate matrix, you must create a scale to “score” individuals. When these scores are all displayed in one table, it is simpler to make objective decisions that are best for the project. It is also an excellent opportunity to take note of an individual’s interests vs. their experience, and perhaps give them more opportunities in the future.
of a Project Team Structure
project team is structured in a top-down way, everyone knows exactly who to
report to, whether it be to ask questions, get approval, present results or
anything else. There is zero confusion on which team members to collaborate
benefit of a project team structure is that it is entirely driven by the needs
of the project. Different projects have different demands. This type of
organizational structure is custom-tailored to these demands. Now, that isn’t
to say a project team structure is always the right choice. There are potential
pitfalls to be aware of.
of a Project Team Structure
we discussed how project team structures are determined by the needs of the
specific project. While this can be a great thing, it can also result in waste.
How? At the beginning of each new project, a new project team structure must be
created, rather than reusing a structure from previous projects.
pitfall to be aware of is the potential for the entire team to become
disjointed. If the project manager isn’t careful, communication between leaders
can fall apart. When this happens, collaboration comes to a screeching halt,
and team members start stepping on each other’s toes.
Improve Team Collaboration
team collaboration is easier said than done, and assuming that perfect
collaboration happens all on its own is a big mistake. Successful team
collaboration is the culmination of thoughtful strategies and adapting to
challenges. If you’re asking yourself where to start, consider these three
- Choose the Right Type of Project Organizational Structure: We’ve talked about
the inner workings and benefits of a project team structure, but that doesn’t
mean it’s the right fit for every team or project. In fact, if collaboration
becomes a big issue, it may be time to take a step back and consider
restructuring. There is no “golden” organizational structure that works
perfectly, one hundred percent of the time.
- Create a Communication Plan: One of the first steps toward improving
collaboration is getting everyone on the same page. Within a project team
structure, this means making sure different teams all have the same information
to work with and know exactly how to communicate with one another to ask
questions, express ideas, etc. When this is the case, and the project is made
up of various teams and team leaders, a plan for
communication lets everyone know exactly how to work together.
- Choose Smart Team Management Solutions: Teams are growing
every day, but that doesn’t mean we all go to the same office. Team management tools wre created to empower the
modern team—made up of individuals in different departments, or even different
time zones. Because of this evolution, we need technology that makes
collaboration and communication easier than ever. Team management tools create
a digital space for everyone to collaborate and see what others are working on.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PLATFFORM Makes your Project Team Better
SystemX offers the smartest team
management solutions around, connecting everyone on the team, improving
collaboration and cutting down on confusion. Every aspect of our project
management software was built with project teams in mind, and we’ve made it
easy to collaborate on any and everything you need, like tasks, Gantt charts
know the right person to ask a question? Use the Team page to see what everyone on
your team is working on and who might have the answer. And when you’re building
a new team for a project, see a roster or individuals broken down into
departments or filter individuals by certain skills.