High Performance Project Teams and Management

This paper outlines methods to create high-performance project teams while reflecting on their leadership and team experiences. A number of detailed steps are outlined through which better output; quality of work can be achieved. Conflict resolution measures have also been outlined clearly in this while analysis of team performance has been carried out at every step. Through such a detailed plan which has been mapped out clearly, it has been ensured that the purpose behind the project should be attained via effective leadership.

Various techniques are employed in order to assess the employees and one of those includes the ability to deliver in groups. In order to create a high-performance project team, true dedication and determination are required in order to reach the purpose and goal behind the project. Therefore, to create such teams which can truly deliver, the project manager has to come up with a number of techniques to achieve that. Such employees who manage to achieve such a feat eventually become well-equipped with a great deal of expertise relating to organizational skills, personal skills, accountability skills amongst some.

The ways to create high-performing teams are numerous and start from designing a document that clearly expresses the desired deliverables according to the project scope. The project manager outlines the mission statement-which is simplistic and clear in order to ensure that all the team members have a good grasp of the basic concept. The mission statement is mostly done along academic lines. Once the mission statement has been outlined, the next task for the project manager is to have such a meeting in which all the issues, expectations are discussed along the lines of the project scope.

Once the discussion takes place, the project manager is left with the difficult task of identifying the 3-5 key tasks for which member is responsible and team-focused task such “teamwork” are also outlined. Since the project manager is clearly unable to oversee all the various areas singlehandedly, delegation comes into play. A few of the team members are selected for certain key positions after much thought and then sub-teams are created under those categories. Each sub-team leader is responsible for project-focused tasks such as conducting weekly meetings, scheduling and tracking work schedules, collecting specific reports, summarizing them, and then forwarding them to the project manager who oversees the reports while at the same solves any conflicts amongst the sub-teams.

The main task; the “teamwork” task is one that requires all the sub-teams to work together and this further ensures coordination and builds the responsibility sharing ability of each sub-team. Communication becomes compulsory between the teams hence developing the interpersonal skills of each individual. The next important duty of the sub-team manager is to define each team member’s key task regarding performance towards project goals with a range of measurable performance levels. By having such performance measuring scales, the sub-team would allow to evaluate all individuals and to ensure that “free-riders” cannot be allowed to do as they wish.

Any found to be doing more than their due is given their due recognition while those found to be sloppy would have to be checked.

The above technique to measure sub-teams’ performance can also be used to measure the performance regarding the teamwork tasks. The team members are duly assessed according to their cooperative skills, reliability, helpfulness, knowledge sharing capacity. The project manager by creating deadlines for individual teams would ensure that each team member would become more responsible. This would allow a little friendly inter-team competition adding to the concept of creating a model alongside the lines of a “real” project.

The weekly performance meetings and reports would allow the project manager to appraise the team members and to further enforce the feeling of responsibility. Each team member would thus become responsible for his/her task and for the subsequent performance.

In order to ensure that the above does in fact become reality, before instigating the project it is preferred that each team member is given an orientation that allows the team members to have a practical understanding of what is required from them. The meeting can clearly outline the expectations from each team member hence building upon the expectations of the team.

The project manager has to carry out a number of tasks after evaluating the team members. The evaluation is done by assessing some of the above-mentioned aspects and the strengths, areas for improvement in order to make sure that checks and balances can be maintained at appropriate times. At suitable times hard-working members can also be awarded for their efforts which would result in a motivation build-up of the current hard workers and the rest as well.

Weekly meetings would ensure that important tasks are given importance and developed at appropriate times. In order to maintain the trust and faith in the team member, it would be essential that the manager avoid interfering in the delegated task. By ensuring that the sub-teams have control, over their delegated tasks, the project manager would be ensuring that the sub-teams do in fact feel as if they do have authority.

As said so aptly by Jim Collins;” those who build great companies understand the ultimate throttle on growth is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others; the ability to get enough and keep enough of the right people”.

The project manager by having such weekly meetings enhance performance with emotional intelligence as by having personal communication the team members would not feel estranged, and would in fact be able to voice any concerns directly. This would, therefore, create a climate that would promote mutual trust as a result and instill a culture of respect. It would be the prime responsibility of the project manager to employ the right communication channels and to balance human and electronic interaction.

Added to the above, the sub-team heads would have to ensure that misunderstandings and conflicts of any sort are resolved or minimized so that they do not interfere with the project. These heads would also have to ensure mutually accountable performances. In order to guarantee that the teamwork doesn’t suffer, the team heads would have to integrate individual work styles and identify any communication pitfalls.

An efficient environment would have to be cultivated by minimizing time and effort losses and protect the team from outside pressures. Preventive action would have to be taken in case of any potential problems and proper navigational skills would be required. By providing positive feedback at the appropriate times, the dispute would be avoided and the balance must be maintained at all times between team arrangement and difference.

The above experiences of a leader and a team outline ways through which a high-performance team can be created and enforced.

References

Hanlan (2004) “High Performance Teams: How to Make them Work.” USA: Praeger Press.

Katzenbach (2003)” Et al: The Wisdom of Teams.” USA: Harper Business.

Wellins (1991) “Et al: Empowered Teams: Creating Self-Directed Work Groups”. USA: Jossey-Bass.

Bannick, Micheal T. “Team performance assessment and measurement theory, methods, and applications”. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates