Group Project Management Aspects

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 4
Words: 1220
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: Master

Abstract

Group projects are often more productive and successful than individual ones because various skills and ideas are incorporated into a single team. However, adequate preparations and management are required to ensure the assignment is completed satisfactorily. Consequently, it was only appropriate that we followed the right steps of forming and organizing a group to ensure that specific roles and tasks were assigned to each individual. My team picked elaborate tools and methods, which were crucial in management and communication throughout the project.

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Formation and Organization of the Group

The first step towards completing a project is proper organization and preparation. Even though it was tempting to start the assignment immediately, it was imperative that we developed a project plan to enhance the group’s efficiency. The phase was subdivided into four categories meant to act as a template and a reference point throughout the project. The first component entailed the definition of the assignment’s scope. Since our task was to develop a sales data mart for a sportswear company, it was necessary to note the specific needs of the business to be addressed by the technology (Bond-Barnard et al., 2018). The expectations of the project as indicated by the firm helped us set the deliverables and a time frame.

Secondly, it was important to outline all the activities that we required to effectively meet the project demands. For instance, it was important to note how the team would measure the progress of the assignment and the allocation of appropriate resources to accomplish each deliverable (Oh & Choi, 2020). Thirdly, it was essential to indicate how the group would be tracking the time spent on different activities to ensure we beat the deadline. Finally, the team subdivided the project into tiny tasks based on incremental goals meant to improve the process of measuring success and eliminating bottlenecks (Choi & Miller, 2016). This step would also help in the allocation of resources and budgeting.

Allocation of Tasks and Roles

Delegating duties and responsibilities ensure that the project is completed in good time and that the client is satisfied with the end product. Allocating tasks and roles also improves the overall performance of the team because every member understands their duty in meeting the set goals (Wang et al., 2018). Consequently, the group agreed to use Belbin’s Team Roles due to its capacity to influence individual commitment. This approach goes beyond the identification and allocation of roles and responsibilities and considers the possibility of some members not completing their tasks due to various challenges. For instance, there can be disagreements in the course of the project and there might be individuals who are not flexible enough to match the assignment dynamics.

Consequently, the approach assigns responsibilities based on behavior, contribution, and interrelation among members. Belbin’s model advocates for nine team roles but since our team only comprised four individuals we had to share these duties based on strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, since this was an information technology (IT) project, the roles had to coincide with those of a database development team. I was the project manager and since my strengths based on Belbin’s model are maturity, confidence, and ability to clarify goals, I was also the coordinator, the monitor-evaluator, and the sharper (Bednár & Ljudvigová, 2020). My main role was to manage communications both externally and internally. I was also tasked with developing the budget and schedule of activities. Moreover, as indicated in the model, I had to make sure the team remained focus and made impartial decisions in critical situations.

The second team member was assumed the position of a requirement analyst, architect, and was also responsible for designing the user interface and the data mart. Based on Belbin’s approach, the individual based suited these roles because he is a “plant”, which implies he is creative and also has adequate knowledge pertaining to database management (Driskell et al., 2017). The third individual was a technical expert and therefore her responsibilities were developing the data mart and testing the final product. Her tasks were supported by Belbin’s model because she is an implementer and a team worker. All she required was an elaborate design and collaborative members who would give her easy time to develop the database. The final team member acted as a documentation specialist and trainer. She is enthusiastic, and a perfectionist, and therefore, she was the best person capable of ensuring each deliverable was completed, error-free, and ready to be presented to the client. All the team members had to work collaboratively to ensure the data mart was perfect.

Tools and Methods of Communication and Management

The efficiency of a project relies on the methods and tools used to manage various activities and resources. As s a result our group selected these elements considering the scope and type of the assignment. For communication purposes, we used an online discussion board and a project board to help members share ideas and the progress of the assigned tasks. Furthermore, every individual was expected to give weekly status reports for project reflection and progress documentation purposes (Hernández et al, 2019). This tool also helped in the identification of risks and communication of the same to the stakeholders.

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Moreover, the team employed agile methodology in the management of the project’s life cycle. We settled on this approach because it is iterative and therefore enhances adaptability and velocity throughout the data mart development (Samáková et al., 2018). For instance, whenever there were new requests on database specifications from the company in the development or testing phases, adjustments could easily be made in the designing stage to ensure the new requirements were met. However, it was important that each team member conducted their duties with precision and celerity.

Reflection

The process of leading the project and working with other team members was an exciting experience but at the same time, also had challenges. The planning and organization phase was quite straightforward because the individuals involved were cooperative. However, we had trouble developing the team’s goals and objectives because we were unsure of the company’s requirements. Additionally, the allocation of roles and tasks was a challenge because we had insufficient technical skills. Only two of us had sufficient knowledge regarding data mart development, and this forced the rest to learn about the technology within a limited duration. Finally, we all enjoyed working with the agile methodology because it was flexible to use and allowed us to make improvements to the database during its development and after completion (Ismail & Mansor, 2018). We learnt a lot as we faced and addressed various project challenges and as a result, we are confident we can handle similar projects competently.

Proposed Framework for Similar Projects

Even though the agile project management methodology was successful in completing the assignment it had limitations that led to wastage of time and resources. Planning was a challenge because we could not predict the exact cost and time that would be needed to complete the entire project because the product delivery process was incremental. Consequently, I propose a scrum framework, which is an improved version of agile methodology. The approach breaks the times the deliverables and breaks them into small chunks called sprints (Zayat & Senvar, 2020). Consequently, the client is constantly updated on the project’s progress before it is finally delivered as a single unit.

References

Bednár, R., & Ljudvigová, I. (2020). Belbin team roles in a start-up team. SHS Web of Conferences, 83, 01002. Web.

Bond-Barnard, T., Fletcher, L., & Steyn, H. (2018). Linking trust and collaboration in project teams to project management success. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 11(2), 432-457. Web.

Choi, S., & Miller, K. (2016). Organizational team formation: projects, processes, and performance. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2016(1), 11348. Web.

Driskell, T., Driskell, J., Burke, C., & Salas, E. (2017). Team roles: A review and integration. Small Group Research, 48(4), 482-511. Web.

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Hernández, F., Ramírez, R., & Laguado, R. (2019). Communications management in the success of projects. Case study: Provincial University. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1388(23), 48. Web.

Ismail, M., & Mansor, Z. (2018). Agile project management: Review, challenges and open Issues. Advanced Science Letters, 24(7), 5216-5219. Web.

Oh, M., & Choi, S. (2020). The competence of project team members and success factors with open innovation. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 6(3), 51. Web.

Samáková, J., Babčanová, D., Chovanová, H., Mesárošová, J., & Šujanová, J. (2018). Project communication management in industrial enterprises (Step by Step). Digital Communication Management, 12(3). Web.

Wang, S., Dang, Y., & Wu, J. (2018). How task allocation strategy affects team performance: A computational experiment. Journal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering, 27(5), 656-676. Web.

Zayat, W., & Senvar, O. (2020). Framework study for agile software development via Scrum and Kanban. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 17(04), 2030002. Web.