Organize and support the work of the project team

Organizing and supporting the project team’s work goes beyond the sole purpose of completing a project while meeting the established project plan, budget, and timeline.

The project team must be a functioning unit of individuals who share a common goal, and unity of purpose is essential to success.

However, a united team is not a given, and without an effective, aligned organizational structure, any mission may be an unrealistic goal.

Individuality, skills, and creativity are crucial components of a team’s dynamics. Keeping these qualities in check and moving forward as a team is a daunting task that a project manager must know how to accomplish.

So here are 9 tips for organizing and supporting the work of your project team.

How to Organize and Support Team Work

So let’s go through, point by point, the 9 key aspects of organizing and supporting all the men and women who make up our Project Team.

How to Organize and Support Team Work: Bringing the Team Together

When the project begins, the team may be new, and the members may know each other more or less well.

A project manager, especially with novice employees, can help the group with team-building activities that will help them transition into the “normalization” phase, where people begin to see themselves as actual team members.

Communicate and share information regularly

The project manager must use their leadership and motivation skills to inspire the team and get everyone in the same boat and rowing in the same direction.

Having regular meetings (and not just the kick-off meeting), planning things together, and holding a few brainstorming sessions can all be ways to support the project team’s work.

In short, it’s about keeping the team involved in the decision-making process and keeping them informed the entire time.

A successful project manager doesn’t just assign and delegate tasks but strives to explain the project’s end goal and how various activities contribute to achieving the goal.

Planning activities

After working with the team to prioritize tasks, it comes time to create an organized plan.

In other words, it’s about identifying which tasks are in whose hands and estimating a time frame within which they must be performed to achieve the main objective in a timely manner.

A project manager should have a clear understanding of each team member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing this will allow you to delegate and plan tasks effectively.

Regularly review resource availability and required expertise

Once the activities have been assigned and planned as per the previous point, the work does not end there; in fact, it is necessary to continuously ensure the availability of resources and skills.

To effectively organize your team, you must pay attention to each team member’s skills and personal creativity and, above all, not overload anyone.

To ensure the process is working, you need to check in regularly with everyone involved to assess the pace and any unforeseen issues that might hinder the goal.

Ensure adequate training

The last thing a project manager wants to find out halfway through the process is that some team members cannot complete their responsibilities because they don’t know how to do so.

In addition to conducting a training needs analysis of the team and organizing courses as needed, it’s essential to provide ongoing mentoring and guidance to the less experienced to help them quickly become productive employees.

Provide constructive feedback

Providing constructive feedback to team members is one of the best ways to help them grow professionally and personally.

Regular “check-in” meetings can be held to assess the situation. The project manager has the opportunity to provide advice and feedback on how they feel team members are progressing and can grow further.

Provide rewards and appreciation

support the work of the team

Often we focus only on providing positive feedback while forgetting how important it is for team morale and motivation to receive positive recognition, rewards or appreciation for good work.

Prizes don’t necessarily have to be cash, but even an official thank you in front of other team members or the entire organization can give you that extra boost.

In these cases, it is important to consider the individual’s personality: some people may prefer to appreciate in private, while others feel more valued if openly thanked in front of everyone.

Be flexible

A project may be subject to multiple revisions and, in turn, activities may also change.

Therefore, the project manager must help the team be flexible enough to make last-minute changes while still meeting the project deadline.

For everything to work, communication is critical.

Organize and support the team with good project management software

Using good project management software can greatly help organize the work of the project manager and that of the project team in general.

In a single place, the software, all the information and documentation of the project will be grouped, and it will be possible to see the situation and the status of the project at any time. In this sense, a good Gantt in the software will be indispensable.

Also, depending on the software’s functionality, it can send notifications of important deadlines, act as an internal chat and be the point of reference for any task.

 

By following these simple tips, organizing and supporting the work of a project team should be much easier.

In this way, project managers can develop accountability, trust, and a less hierarchical approach.

And here’s the last piece of advice: as a project manager, it’s essential to learn to trust the team until you have reason to believe otherwise.

New targets, a new way of working.

Boosting team productivity: 7 tips to consider

Managing and boosting team productivity isn’t an easy task.

On one side, you want to maintain healthy motivational levels within the team, but on the other side, you still need to work hard towards organizational goals.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, the results just never seem to happen.

Still, being productive doesn’t simply mean working extra hours – in fact, knowing you’ll be working late may even be an excuse to procrastinate and delay tasks.

But fear not! Regardless, you can still increase your team’s productivity and reap the rewards, also thanks to the 7 tips included in this article.

Boosting team productivity: Be realistic about your timeline

 How much time do you have on hand?

  • What is achievable during this set time?
  • How long does it take to accomplish the different tasks?

Answering these questions is the first step in boosting productivity. At times, you will fail simply because you are not realistic about your timeline.

Knowing how long it takes to do something and knowing how much time you have is critical.

Also, bear in mind that productivity is not static and every day you can be more or less efficient and focused on your work.

That is why it is important to allocate yourself some spare time in which you can catch up on tasks that have not been completed.

One example is to leave Friday afternoons free so that you have room to finish your work.

Boosting team productivity: Evaluate processes

Similarly to the way you re-evaluate and measure the time needed for each task, so should you evaluate and measure process efficiency (which are different from projects).

Sometimes, the way things are done is dictated by people who are not doing that work or perhaps those processes are based on old technology and old ways of working.

All of this can have a major impact on team productivity.

As you re-evaluate each process, it’s important to make sure you reconsider how things are done and not be afraid of change.

Also, it is critical to engage those people who are actively using those processes.

Boosting team productivity: Refrain from multitasking

We all run into a multitude of distractions during our workday that make us lose focus.

A typical example: you lose focus by even responding to a 2-minute email in the middle of another task.

Recovering that focus is what takes the longest and, in turn, makes you less productive.

You need to teach your team to focus all their energy and attention on the task at hand, forgetting, for the moment, about the rest.

boosting team productivity

Boosting team productivity: Prioritize and organize workload efficiently

Being well-organized is key to success, and having to-do lists is a sound organizational technique.

The project manager can help team members organize their workload by highlighting and establishing priorities.

There will always be lots of different things to do, but the trick is to prioritize and organize the schedule accordingly.

The way in which the project team is created will play a significant role in this. If you have picked the wrong people, it will be very difficult to organize them properly. Regarding this topic, you might be interested in this article on how to create a project team.

Boosting team productivity: Be self-aware

Being productive depends on self-awareness.

It is critical to teach team members to recognize when they are most productive and when they are doing the best work.

With this awareness, it is possible to organize the work, of the individual and the team, more efficiently.

In this regard, the project manager should be more flexible, meaning that not all tasks necessarily have to be completed while sitting in the office.

Some people, for example, when they need to listen to a video or need to make phone calls, might do so more productively while walking.

Each team member works best when they are given an environment where they are allowed to do things “their way,” obviously within limits.

Boosting team productivity: Give constructive feedback

It is also important that team members get constant feedback on their work.

True leaders understand how important feedback is, knowing how to provide it effectively and constructively.

Whether it is positive or negative, this must always be honest.

The project manager must be straightforward about what and why, providing objective examples and helping to envision the post-change future.

Similarly, feedback must also be positive in the case of tasks well done and small wins.

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Appreciation is a core human need and is critical in any successful workplace.
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All of this will help establish a culture of trust and personal growth as employees feel valued.

Boosting team productivity: Listening and understanding

Although this should be an automatic matter in every organization, it is actually still an issue that employees constantly face.

As a manager, it’s crucial to promote two-way communication, working to understand the needs of team members.

It’s also helpful to listen to any ideas they may have, because if employees feel sidelined, it will affect their motivation levels by having a negative impact on team productivity and efficiency.

 

Using these 7 tips means being aware of what to focus on and knowing when it’s time to loosen up.

Team productivity is like baking a cake where the right ingredients – team members – must be carefully picked and mixed in the right way.

Overall, there is no single way to make your team more productive; on the contrary, with small, consistent steps you can lay the foundation for a productive environment.

Work together with your team effectively.

The experience of the project team

The experience of a project team working at high performance is very hard to forget. If you’ve ever been part of such a team, you’re sure to have fond memories of the experience.

In this type of team, a strong bond of trust is usually established. People work together cooperatively to achieve common goals, and often the project is even more successful than the project manager, and the client could have imagined.

Team member experience is undoubtedly a dominant characteristic, but it is not the only one. These types of teams generally have some key elements in common that make them effective, high-performing teams.

Among these features, we can find:

  • Clearly defined objectives
  • Clearly defined roles
  • Open and clear communication
  • Effective decision making
  • Balanced participation
  • Diversity acceptance
  • Conflict management
  • Positive work atmosphere
  • Cooperative relationships
  • Participatory leadership

But how to create an effective team?

The most important requirement for a successful project is choosing the team that will take on the work.

The set of skills brought by each individual on the team should add extra value to the team as a whole.

There are usually two things that need to be evaluated before selecting an individual to be part of a project team: first, what skills are needed to fill the position on the project team? And second, what skills and experience can this new member offer?

Each project has its requirements, and roles are chosen accordingly based on individuals’ experience, skills, knowledge, etc.

This is one of the most critical steps in project management: grouping efficient and effective professionals.

The steps needed to choose the right mix of individuals to create an excellent team are:

  • Identify the goals to be achieved: Knowing the goals allows you to understand the parameters of the activities to be done, which in turn decide the type of skills and abilities required to successfully complete the project.
  • Select team members: From a pool of people with different skills and experience, you must select those who have the specific skills required for the project. To build an effective team, focus not only on the skills that an individual team member must possess but also on the entire team’s skill pool.
  • Optimize team performance: it’s not enough to build a team and delegate tasks to individuals. To get results, you need to calibrate performance and remind them that they need to work as one team to achieve the set goal.

experience of the project team

The perfect team member

Available human resources affect project deliverability, i.e., the more knowledgeable and experienced members are, the more likely they are to successfully complete a project.

So, what should project managers look for when they want to find the perfect team members?

Here are some features:

  • Team members should be disciplined and organized; this brings efficiency to the team.
  • They should be great communicators who will listen and address concerns effectively.
  • They should be objectively talented in their field.
  • They should be resourceful.
  • They should be proactive, meaning they should be able to take action on their own.
  • And finally, they should have a total and pure commitment to the project and their role on the team.

What makes the team successful?

Once you’ve seen how to find the perfect members for an effective project team, however, there’s still one small piece that’s missing: the project manager.

The project manager is an integral part of the project team, so you need an extraordinary project manager to manage a group of skilled people who are committed to a single goal.

However, bringing together a manager who knows his stuff and a well-built project team doesn’t always result in a successful job; in fact, certain characteristics measure a team’s success:

  • Team roles and goals should be clearly defined
  • Participation by all members should be balanced and well-defined
  • Communication among members should be clear and open
  • Relationships among team members should be fully collaborative
  • Diversity must be accepted
  • The project manager should be fully involved in managing the task and its outcomes.
  • Conflicts and stress should be resolved quickly.
  • The overall atmosphere of the project team should be positive. A positive atmosphere leads to efficient working conditions, which in turn increases productivity.
  • Finally, the use of technology will help implement all of the above features with unparalleled convenience. A good project management software tool that packs several features will allow you to stay on top of project tasks and manage your project team with precision.

 

In general, the organization of work within a project team requires special attention and effort.

Distributing roles and assigning responsibilities is the first step toward project goals.

Building a highly productive project team can seem challenging.

How to identify who the right person for the team is? How to distribute roles and make sure everyone understands their part? What if a group of great experts turns out to be completely dysfunctional?

While some of the knowledge that answers these questions is relatively intuitive, there are rules to follow that help create an effective project team.

Project management is one area where customized solutions can lead to success and a positive project team experience.

Work together with your team effectively.

Development team in projects

The development team in projects plays a major role in driving success. As you can guess, it is a key element in project management.

Speaking of project management, you might also like this article on how to choose a project management tool.

The ideal project development team motto might be “All for one, one for all!” and in this article we try to explain why.

However, what is the development team in projects?

But let’s start at the beginning. A Development Team consists of the project manager and the group of people who work together on a project to achieve their goals.

It is composed, essentially, by:

  • the project manager;
  • the di project management staff;
  • by other team members who, while not directly involved in management, are still involved in project-related activities.

Basically, this is a team consisting of people with specific expertise in the subject matter or the skills required to accomplish the task involved in the project.

Development team roles

The development team in projects includes the following roles:

Project manager or head of project:

The project manager plays the major role in the project and is responsible for ensuring success and quality.

His job is to make sure that the project lifecycle progresses and is completed within the given schedule and approved project budget and at the same time achieves its goals.

A project manager is entrusted with various tasks and responsibilities such as:

Project development team members

Project team members are essentially the staff members who are part of the team and work on the various phases of the project.

They can either be internal staff or external consultants and can work full-time or part-time; moreover, their roles may vary depending on each project.

Tasks of project team members can be summarized as follows:

  • Help achieve the overall goals of the project
  • Provide experience and knowledge
  • Work together to establish and meet business needs
  • Document the process

Project sponsor

The project sponsor is the driver and internal supporter of the project.

They are typically members of senior management, those who have a stake in the successful outcome of the project.

Project sponsors work in close contact with the project manager, legitimizing project goals and taking part in high-level planning.

Also, they often help to solve conflicts and remove hindrances that occur during the project lifecycle and sign off on approvals needed to move forward in each phase.

The duties of the project sponsor are:

  • Making key corporate decisions for the project
  • Approving the project budget
  • Ensuring resource availability
  • Communicating project goals to the entire organization

The 5 stages of the Tuckman model for transforming the project team

A project development team is comprised of people who possess unique characteristics and knowledge.

This is what a team is like: different personalities, different backgrounds, different knowledge and, in some cases, completely different languages, cultures and workplaces.

That said, it becomes obvious that having professionals available does not automatically mean having a team.

Therefore, in order to transform a random group of people into an established team, you have to work through what are known as “the five stages of the Tuckman model“.
development team

1. Forming Stage

In this first stage, project team members meet for the first time.

This is similar to having an orientation phase where they learn about project information, goals, roles, and responsibilities.

During this stage, people look for leadership and authority.

A mistake at this stage can lead to problems that are unlikely to be solved afterwards.

2. Storming – conflict stage

The conflict stage is probably the most difficult and critical one to complete.

This is a period characterized by conflict and competition, where individuals’ identities begin to surface and differences over what needs to be done and how.

In cases of conflict, the project manager must take immediate action to avoid the creation of sub-groups that could lead to a disruptive climate.

To overcome this phase, team members, with the help of the project manager, must work to:

  • overcome barriers,
  • accept individual differences,
  • overcome and work through conflicting point of views.

3. Norming – cohesion stage

If teams successfully move past the conflict phase, what emerges is a certain level of unity and thus we reach the cohesion stage.

Here, team members are no longer focused on individual goals, but instead look for ways to work together.

Team performance increases as people learn to collaborate and begin to focus on team goals.

Yet, harmony is precarious, and if disagreements reappear, the team may fall back to the conflict stage.

4. Performing – performance stage

In this stage, agreement and collaboration are achieved and the team becomes mature and structured.

Not all teams manage to reach this level; many teams stop at the previous stage.

A team in the performing stage is one that can perform independently and without constant supervision.

Also, problems and conflicts can inevitably occur, but they are resolved internally as the team is focused on achieving goals.

5. Adjourning – mourning stage

This stage is achieved as the process nears completion and most of the team’s goals have been completed.

The focus is on completing the final tasks and documenting the effort and results.

This is a fragile phase in which the project manager must make sure to keep the team’s focus strong; only once the project is finished the team can celebrate.

After that, team members can be assigned to new projects.

 

Bottom line: Having a strong project development team is more than just bringing together people with the right mix of skills.

The key is to create an effective and productive team that can communicate, cooperate and innovate in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

Work together with your team effectively.

Schedule resources in projects

Scheduling resources into projects means using your company’s resources more efficiently and smartly in a highly competitive and volatile global marketplace.

To make the most of available resources, it is critical to follow the resource management plan and avoid any wastage that could impact the final outcome of the project.

You should always remember that resources are limited, and to achieve the full potential of its limited resources, an organization must set up a proper resource scheduling process.

What is resource scheduling?

Scheduling means identifying and allocating resources for a specific period to various types of activities.

I project manager estimate resource requirements needed to meet the end results and resource allocation is performed based on these.

Each project is an integration of several activities that require certain niche skills to yield tangible results.

It is up to the project manager and ensuring that the right resource is working on the right task at the right moment.

If the resource’s skills are not aligned with the project activities, or if the activity is being performed at the wrong time, the quality of the project will be jeopardized and unsatisfactory results will be achieved.

Therefore, it is imperative that the project manager keep a close eye on workforce availability. For example, if a critical resource is booked for several projects at once, that resource may be at risk of burnout.

Moreover, every project has its own defined timeline, and it is the project manager’s responsibility to ensure that the project is delivered on time while meeting project constraints and within within budget.

If resources are not planned and scheduled in an efficient manner, it will lead to delays in task execution and, in the worst cases, could even bring the project to a halt.

Best practices for efficient project resource scheduling

Resource scheduling is not just about filling the gap by planning or allocating resources to projects, it is more than that.

A thorough resource scheduling solution includes enterprise-wide resource planning, utilization management, tracking actual values, etc.

Best practices for efficiently scheduling project resources include:

  • Creating a work breakdown structure that defines all the essential elements of the project and outlines task dependencies alongside required skills. Once the details are sorted out, project managers or coordinators can schedule resources with the right skills for the project activities.
  • Resource optimization techniques to better manage projects. These might be, for example, resource leveling or resource smoothing.
  • Centralize resource planning: in order to centralize resource planning, there should be one schedule for the entire company from which each project manager can get information. This enables planning and scheduling to be performed in real time by multiple stakeholders and ensures that there is no double booking of a resource.
  • Track skills in real time so you can assign the right people to the right tasks. Individuals are assigned to the right project based on skills, experience, qualifications, location, cost ratio, etc. This information needs to be up-to-date at all times so that you have a clear and factual picture of the situation.

How does scheduling resources benefit organizations?

An effective resource scheduling system will yield huge benefits within a company:

  • Maintains and raises project quality

Having the right person with the right skills is fundamental to ensuring that a project is finished on time and with proper quality. Without an efficient scheduling, the project manager will allocate underqualified or inadequate resources to the tasks, which may lead to budget and schedule overruns, compromising project quality and resulting in low client satisfaction.

  • Enables proactive capacity planning with data-driven forecasting

You can predict resource demand for a project to identify resource shortages or over-allocations. You can then adjust project timelines, retrain current employees, or hire a contingent workforce in advance.

  • Improves profitability

Billable resource utilization is a key KPI for a company to provide profitability and sustainability.

scheduling project's resources

Choosing a resource scheduling software

Many projects can benefit from project management software such as Twproject, which includes a section dedicated to scheduling projects and resources in greater detail.

This allows stakeholders to easily visualize the entire project lifecycle planning process and, in detail, resource scheduling.

The software you will choose varies depending on your project planning methods, but you must ensure that you will be able to produce Gantt charts easily and efficiently.

Also, with this type of software, you can centralize your company’s resource planning; a point we previously mentioned as a best practice in resource scheduling.

Over budget or over deadline for a project are the main problems that many companies face.

This occurs primarily due to last-minute error corrections-because they were not timely noticed-and improvements that often take longer than initially anticipated.

Projects that were on the right track suddenly fall behind schedule, resulting in costing much more than expected, not to mention the quality of results that the client finds unsatisfactory.

Planning and scheduling a project’s resources is therefore a great way to avoid these problems.

Manage resources of your projects with Twproject.

Resource planning in projects

Resource planning is key for project management success.

In other words: managing projects means managing resources.

No matter what type of organization you’re in, whether it’s a factory, a construction company, or a marketing agency, its success will depend on the people, equipment, and materials used – that is, the resources.

As we discussed in our previous article, to properly manage resources, one cannot operate on instinct, but the Project Manager must have a strategy. It is precisely because of the strategy that a true “Resource management plan” can be implemented.

What is a resource plan?

A resource plan arranges, pinpoints, and lists the resources needed to successfully complete a project.

Resources are a wide category that includes equipment, tools, supplies, materials, time, and people.

A sound resource management plan will map the exact amounts of storable resources (such as cash) and non-storable resources (such as labor).

Considerations made during resource planning greatly influence the planning and budgeting of a project.

In fact, these two elements are closely related.

What are the elements of a resource plan?

The resource plan is aimed at using resources as efficiently as possible, thus contributing to the overall productivity of the project.

The best approach is to have a steady flow of resources and make sure you use them wisely and productively.

To properly assess and create a resource plan, you need to ask yourself some questions about the most important elements, including:

  • What are your project team’s roles?
  • What are the procurement needs of your project?
  • What types of contracts are required?
  • What criteria will be used to choose contractors or vendors?
  • How much of the budget is allocated to resources?
  • How will performance be measured in the project?
  • Types of resources to be managed in your projects

More specifically, resources being considered may include:

  • Financial resources: in short, money. How much can you invest in new equipment or employee training?
  • Staffing resources:e., employees. Are there enough people hired? Do the resources have the appropriate skills to complete the project? Does someone else need to be hired?
  • Spatial resources: e. offices, halls, storage, etc. Does the current space comfortably fit all people? Are these resources being utilized to their maximum capacity?
  • Tech resources: e. software, digital tools and systems, etc. Is there something needed and is there money to purchase/adopt it?
  • Equipment: does everyone have the needed equipment to complete their tasks and projects?

A project’s resource planning should ensure that all of these resources are used effectively, on schedule and within budget.

Dedicated tools may not be necessary for resource planning, but overall it’s much more convenient to use a project management software like Twproject which has a section dedicated specifically to resource planning, because it allows you to have immediate access to all real-time data, as well as data collected during prerequisite analysis. You can try it for free by clicking here.

resource planning in projects

Resource planning steps

Resource planning is divided into four main phases.

1. Resource planning prerequisites

Before moving on to creating a resource plan, a project manager needs a number of prerequisites.

These include the work breakdown structure – or WBS – which helps to break the project down into manageable sections and thus helps to understand what kind of team and resources will be needed.

Likewise, the project manager will need an estimated duration of the project and activities, so that they can schedule project resources accordingly.

One of the techniques used here is the critical path method that outlines the progress of the project, including dependencies, milestones and activity durations.

2. Resource procurement

After gathering and analyzing the requirements, the project manager must assemble the project team based on the skills and experience the project requires.

Also, equipment and materials must be purchased and contractors and suppliers must be contracted.

There will be more or less types of resources needed depending on the type of project.

For example, with simpler projects, you may not need to contract outside vendors. For more complicated projects, however, the list and type of resources may be extensive and varied.

3. Resource management

After establishing the roles and responsibilities of the team and the function of each individual resource, the project manager will move on to managing the resources to ensure that they follow and are clear on the established plan.

Problems may always be around the corner and, of course, if and when they occur, the project manager will need to be able to identify, analyze, fix, and review the situation.

4. Resource tracking

Tracking resources is a different concept than just management.

By this concept we mean monitoring resources during task and project execution to make sure they are delivering the results expected of them.

Resource planning tools and techniques

A resource management software can automate tasks and track labor hours relative to budgets, provide color charts to help monitor scarce resources and share data with stakeholders.

Through this, a project manager can become aware of any critical issues early on and introduce various techniques to help ensure efficient resource planning.

Here are what they are:

  • Resource-focused meetings: short, regular, action-oriented meetings provide a framework for project managers to discuss roles and responsibilities related to resource planning. The meeting focuses on sharing fact-based information and short-term planning for critical project activities and tasks. These meetings typically help create a project culture and provide leadership with frequent check-ins for corrective action and clarification.
  • Resource leveling: this is a technique for optimizing resource allocation by adjusting project scheduling over time to resolve conflicts caused by over-allocation of resources. This technique can influence the critical path.
  • Resource smoothing: a technique for optimizing resource allocation without affecting the critical path.
  • Resource availability and usage: A resource planning technique to ensure that the resources allocated to the project are truly available. This is accomplished by calculating the cost to use them, monitoring planned versus actual use of resources, and undertaking corrective action.
  • Resource capacity planning: a planning technique used by portfolio managers who supervise resource planning and manage multiple projects. Capacity planning is about determining if there are enough resources allocated to complete new projects and determining if the amount of resources are sufficient for existing project teams.

 

Bottom line, efficient resource planning is a sign of a well-organized internal structure.

Having a holistic view of resources and aligning them on the goal to be achieved and the way forward is a must if you want a successful project.

We have the tools, we have the culture.

Managing project resources: how to do it effectively

Managing project resources effectively is one of the key aspects of work towards achieving your goals. In fact, if resources are not adequate, you will never be able to complete your project.

Essentially, we have already covered what project resources are, and we know that “Resources are people, equipment, places, money, or whatever else a project requires to be accomplished”.

The primary element, however, is the human aspect, so we can say: Resources are a group of people working together – possibly using other material resources – towards a common goal.

It may seem a simplistic definition, but efficient resource management does not happen just by bringing a few people together and calling them a Team. You may also want to read this article on how to build a team.

When resources are available and properly monitored, project deliverables can be prepared with knowledge and delivered on time and on budget.

Whether it’s team resources, material resources, or both, they all need to be managed effectively.

So, here are our 8 tips for managing project resources effectively.

Managing project resources: Centralize resources in a single pool

Having all resources centralized in one pool when working on multiple projects or multiple sizes of a single project helps the project manager to have a clear understanding of the resources whenever he needs them conveniently.

Also, when having a centralized resource pool, the project manager and the team can also determine resource limits and this prevents them from being wasted or overused.

Hence, having a centralized resource pool is an efficient way to manage resources rather than creating a distinct resource center for each project or each small task in a single project.

Managing project resources: Determine required resource skills

Before hiring a team, it is critical to emphasize a set of skills that will act as a benchmark for hiring people for the project.

In fact, if your resources have limited or inappropriate skills, your team will be more difficult to manage.

Managing project resources: increase collaboration to boost team productivity

To boost team productivity, you need to increase interaction and collaboration among team members.

To achieve this, you can use a number of collaboration tools.

Having team members become affiliated with each other, they can consequently affiliate with the project better.

For the sake of increasing collaboration within your Team, it might be beneficial to schedule various interactive sessions and meetings where everyone can contribute their ideas and plans.

Getting feedback from each team member promotes creativity and productivity; it also helps team members to get to know each other’s mindset and thinking approach better.

Managing project resources: Make sure you are working on a shared goal

By ensuring that everyone is working toward a shared goal, you can increase trust among team members and ensure that the process is transparent to everyone.

Furthermore, a common goal helps keep an open discussion about any potential project risks or uncertainties that may impact project resources.

This also translates to effective management of project resources.

Yet another thing a common goal helps with is prioritizing activities: when each member has a common goal, they know what needs to be prioritized to achieve that goal.

So, it is important for the project manager to make sure that each member of his team knows what is important so that he can be clear in prioritizing activities.

Managing project resources: Building a proper strategy

When you build a proper strategy, you have a base on which to plan actions and implement them.

Due to the number of resources in a project, it often becomes difficult to manage them without having a sound strategy.

To build an “effective strategy”/”a resource management plan,” you need to determine all the important resources, the time span for which they will be required, and the amount of work that can be accomplished with them.

The remaining task is to stick with the strategy throughout the project and not hesitate to make changes if you see something wrong.

Often, project managers and the team think it’s enough to document the strategy and don’t focus on actually implementing it.

Managing project resources: Use technology where possible

In order to keep a good grip on the resource management strategy, plans and processes, technology can definitely come in handy.

A project management software can prevent human errors by making the entire resource management process efficient.

By using technology, you can save time and improve accuracy so that team members can focus on other tasks.

With Twproject, for example, you can immediately get a view of the team and the workload they are carrying out.

You can learn more on this page.

Leveraging technology goes a long way toward significantly quickening and streamlining processes. Any project features that can be completed using technology should be automated. This will, in turn, minimize the risk of errors and free up staff that can then be reallocated to other projects.

Any automated processes should first be tried and tested to ensure there are no defects, as errors will eventually only lead to more cost along the project life cycle.

Balancing technology and resource management is a key part of business development that allows you to work on multiple projects at once in an efficient manner.

Managing project resources: Prepare for the worst

Unfortunately, you may run into potential risks or uncertainties in managing your resources.

Thus, anticipating potential disasters and having procedures established to address them should they occur is important to the success of any project.

Although it is best to have the necessary resources on hand to solve any potential problem, a solution is also to have a system in place to source external resources quickly.

A Plan B helps you remain confident, and sometimes that alone is enough to manage resources comfortably and effectively.

Managing project resources: Make your project team happy

The project team is what drives a project and an organization in general, and people usually perform best when they are passionate about what they do.

Therefore, the project manager should know what employees love to do and what motivates them the most.

Indeed, matching a resource with a task is more productive than assigning a task to a resource.

Keeping yuor team motivated and happy helps prevent high employee turnover.

Having long-term staff on board increases the likelihood that every project undertaken will be successful.

Also, to acknowledge how important the efforts of team members are, it is important to introduce an incentive system for a job well done and reward them when key milestones are achieved.

 

A key part of efficient resource management is recognizing that high resource utilization is not always an indication of good resource management.

Therefore, the 8 powerful tips listed in this article can help any project manager in effectively managing project resources.

A project manager needs the resources to deliver a project, but it’s up to them to manage them effectively.

Work together with your team effectively.

Team training as an added value – how and when to do it

Team training is a key aspect of a modern company if you consider that teamwork is now unanimously considered essential for business success. Therefore, today more than ever, it is essential not only to know how to create a project team that works, but above all it is imperative to make it grow in the best possible way.

When it comes to training, you must consider the time devoted to it as an investment.

By training your team, thus enabling them to assume responsibility and make decisions on their own whenever possible, this will also allow the project manager to not have to monitor every little action of the team and use his time to work on other more important tasks.

How to know when training is needed

Before any training program is deployed, it is necessary to determine that the training methods can appropriately address the team’s needs.

This begins with performing a needs analysis, not only at the team level, but also at the individual level.

Once these needs are determined, the appropriate type of training will be chosen to overcome the challenges facing the team and/or individual.

Here are some tips for understanding when training is needed and of which type:

  1. 1. Set clear expectations for each role

To help determine training and development needs, you need to set clear expectations for each role within the team. This allows you to create a benchmark to monitor performance and learn what skills an employee needs to be successful in their role.

  1. Monitor employee performance

Gauging and monitoring performance should be considered a means of supporting employees-not penalizing them-and at the same time can be a valuable tool for identifying development opportunities within a group.

  1. Ask

Having employees provide direct feedback on training needs can be a very valuable addition to your training and development plan. An easy way is to ask employees to rate their job satisfaction and performance and then ask them what would make it better.

  1. Make use of the focus group

Focus groups are a valuable tool to help to identify training and development needs within an organization. Under the guidance of an experienced facilitator, the focus group allows you to collect employees’ views and opinions on current training and how to improve delivery.

How will team training take place?

training the team

After a needs analysis has been performed, the training program chosen should possess the following characteristics:

  • Accessibility, shall be available to all employees in need of training;
  • Usability, it will need to be designed at a level that employees can understand;
  • Learnability, it will need to adequately address training needs, creating concrete knowledge.

Then there are several design elements to consider, including the duration, location of the training, and who will provide it.

Training programs can be run using one-on-one or group practice sessions, or they can be structured into a single continuous session or a number of smaller classes.

Studies have shown that multiple sessions yield better knowledge transfer than a single ongoing session, most likely because they provide students with a timeframe in which to rest and assimilate information without feeling overwhelmed.

As for the location of the training, this can be either within or outside the organization.

In this sense, there is little research to show which environment yields better results.

However, on-site training can facilitate on-the-job experience and provide students with a realistic practice opportunity.

Additionally, off-site training tends to be more expensive, in which case on-site training may result in a better return on investment.

As for who will facilitate the training; instructors can either be from in-house, internal trainers, or from outside the organization, external trainers. But that’s not all; a training program can also be self-directed.

These self-directed programs require more motivation from the employee/student, but allow for a more personalized, learner-centric approach.

Through the use of technology and training platforms, it is now possible to actually make these self-administered programs more engaging and very effective.

However, in this case, you need to make sure that learners are familiar with the type of technology being used or, if not, you should provide learners with a tutorial before starting the actual training program.

Team training benefits

There are a number of benefits related to Team training. Let’s see the most important ones:

  1. Keeping up-to-date with industry changes

Nearly every industry is facing constant change, both in relation to technology and processes as well as competition. Ensuring your team gets regular training gives them a better chance to be at the forefront of change and allows them to be aware of everything that is happening around your organization.

  1. Keeping up-to-date with technological developments

One of the biggest changes an organization faces every day is technological developments. By providing regular training, you can ensure that your team understands the latest technology to its maximum potential.

  1. Improving employee skills

We already discussed in another article how to improve team productivity by improving the work environment, but we can also improve productivity with training. One of the most striking benefits of providing ongoing employee training is the improvement of both individual and team skills. This will help the entire organization enjoy the rewards of a job properly done.

  1. Training as a motivational tool

If continuous training opportunities are offered, teams are more likely to come back to work eager and enthusiastic to try out the newly learned knowledge. Moreover, this allows for increased trust between employee and organization.

  1. Attracting new talent

A structured training program will likely make an organization more attractive to those who are looking for a job. In fact, those who care about their career and professional growth are looking for this kind of thing.

 

In an organization, training can often be somewhat something that is only experienced by new employees.

Many companies perceive it solely as a necessity to help the new employee transition into their new role, yet effective, ongoing training for each individual employee can be very beneficial to the organization.

Although investing in ongoing team training may seem significant, it’s imperative to understand that constantly improving staff will help increase profits and improve overall business results.

Work together with your team effectively.

Team preparation and training – how relevant it is to the organization

Team preparation and training for the organization is a major part of a project manager‘s job and it doesn’t just apply to new employees.

People need training and support throughout their careers, both as individuals and as a team, to develop their skills and continue to work effectively.

Training is a great resource for expanding all employees’ knowledge base, yet employers sometimes perceive this as a cost and a waste of work time that can delay the successful completion of projects.

However, despite these potential pitfalls, training and development provides benefits to both the individual and the organizations as a whole that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.

5 team preparation and training tips for your organization

Just because of the extreme relevance of training your team effectively, we would like to give you 5 tips to get it done right. Although they may seem obvious, they really aren’t and they are not always taken into due consideration. Let’s go!

Team preparation and training: Focus primarily on team building

To build synergy, the team must spend time together in order to get to know each other.

Studies show that team building positively impacts the workplace, such as in goal setting, relationships, and problem solving.

Instead of focusing on personal goals, good team building skills can unite employees around a common goal and boosts productivity by improving team efficiency.

So before you start looking into metodi di formazione del team, it’s important to begin with some team building sessions.

Team preparation and training: Find out how team members prefer to learn

Variety is key, not only within your workforce, but also in how you provide learning opportunities to your team.

Some people prefer hands-on training, while others prefer teacher-led classroom training.

Some people like to be immersed in training for an entire day, while others prefer to spend an hour each day.

Satisfying, as much as possible, the different learning needs of the team is extremely important for training success rates and increasing learning retention.

Kolb’s four learning styles can be beneficial in understanding how team individuals prefer to learn and what style of training might best suit them.

The four styles are:

  • Diverging: People with this style of learning prefer observing rather than practicing, are interested in the relational and emotional aspect, and need dialogue and interaction.
  • Assimilating: This learning style emphasizes ideas and concepts. These people are capable of understanding information and organizing it clearly and logically, have a strong task orientation, and are less interested in relationships.
  • Converging: People with this learning style prefer the hands-on part, are efficient in operations, and like to experiment with new ideas.
  • Accomodating: This style of learning is practical, and people who prefer this style rely on intuition rather than logic. They are strongly results-oriented.

Team preparation and training: Offer multiple training methods

Once you have learned what your goals are when forming your team and what the different styles are, it is time to look at the different ways you can train your team.

Some learning styles are better suited to a team compared to others.

Practical training, for example, can work exceptionally well for teams when combined with team building activities to allow people to practice what they’ve just learned in a controlled environment and work together toward a common goal.

The same applies to interactive training, where you can use games to guide your group through different work scenarios and get them to collaboratively understand how best to manage them.

Another approach could be to offer an online course, but let team members complete the quizzes and exercises individually, according to the schedule that best suits each of them.

Choosing the right type of training for the team thus depends on many aspects, including what the training needs are, how individuals learn, what the goal of the training is, the budget, and how much time you want to invest in training.

Team preparation and training: Follow up after training sessions

When training ends, team development does not. Continuity is key in fact.

The manager must ensure that they continue to provide learning, such as through personal feedback or extra responsibilities after the training.

Also, incentives can be created to encourage the team to practice what they have learned.

By emphasizing the importance of continuous learning, you show employees that their development is a priority for the organization.

By following up the training with new activities, regular meetings, or additional training, you prevent newly learned information from fading into oblivion or being buried by the work – as happens very often.

team training

Team preparation and training: Don’t underestimate informal training power

It is a frequently overlooked aspect, but it is believed that informal learning accounts for up to 75% of learning within organizations.

By that, we mean learning through internal thinking, learning from colleagues, supervisors and managers, and learning from reading articles, books and specialist sites.

This is where investing in team building also comes in, to go back to the original discussion, because the better your team gets along, the greater the chances that they will learn informally from each other.

Team preparation and training benefits for the organization

  • Improved employee performance: the employee who receives proper training is capable of performing their job better. The training will give the employee a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role.
  • Higher employee satisfaction and morale: investment in training shows employees that they are valued by the company. As a result, employees who feel valued and challenged by training opportunities may experience greater job satisfaction.
  • Tackling weaknesses: Everyone has a few weaknesses to work on. A training program allows you to strengthen those skills that every employee needs to improve.
  • Consistency: A sound training and development program ensures employees have a consistent experience and knowledge base.
  • Increased productivity and compliance with quality standards, which in turn will improve the company’s revenue and potential market share.
  • Increased innovation in new strategies and products: Continuing education and improving workforce skills can foster creativity.
  • Reduced employee turnover: employees feel valued and are therefore less likely to change employers.

And how can a project management software help you in this process? Through a tool like Twproject, the team participates in the development of the project, cooperating and making the information shared and shareable. This allows seniors to transmit knowledge to junior members as well, highlighting known critical issues.

Work sharing helps informal training with the management of daily work by the whole team.

To wrap up: the more people on the team who are well trained, the more efficient the organization will be.

Work together with your team effectively.

Engaging the Project Team

Knowing how to engage your project team is certainly one of the key drivers for running a successful business.

A project manager wants their employees to feel proud of what they do and of the organization they work for.

Those who work with a purpose will give their very best; a practice that can only benefit a project’s goal and a company in general.

Therefore, it is important to consider every aspect of why people do the work and what motivates them to do it.

There are many ways to measure the level of employee engagement within your project team, as well as tools to learn how to engage them. Let’s have a look at them in this article.

What is project team engagement?

Employee engagement means more than knowing whether or not someone likes their job.

Measuring a project team’s engagement allows you to know how committed each member is to the company and its success.

Understanding the engagement level is the first step; the following step is to improve this engagement.

As a manager, creating a workforce that is not only happy, but engaged and motivated to produce, will clear a hurdle on the path to success.

Some factors to be considered in understanding team engagement are the company and its leadership. You might also be interested in this article about different leadership models.

Before you can begin measuring their level of engagement, you need to ask:

  • Are the organization’s goals and visions clear and concise?
  • Do employees understand these goals?
  • Is there a distinct connection between everyone’s work and the company’s goals?
  • Can employees see how their work contributes to the company’s success?
  • Is the organization’s leadership present and capable of motivating its workforce?
  • Do managers have the skills necessary to lead a team to success?

When all of these factors are positive, you can begin to look more deeply at how engaged the project team is.

How do you measure Team members’ engagement?

Engagement is measured by conducting a simple employee survey.

Questions or statements such as “I feel my needs are a priority at this company” or “My workplace is safe” will be rated by each team member on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the degree to which they agree or disagree with that statement.

Once the survey is complete, you must interpret the results: raw scores will give the average of all survey responses, but these results won’t allow you to draw conclusions about actual employee engagement.

If you can compare this data to other companies that completed the same survey, you can better determine whether the scores are low or high.

engaging project team

How to engage the project team

Once you’ve completed the survey and interpreted the data, you need to know how to increase project team engagement.

There are several strategies you can put in place to help the team:

  • Know your team members: Getting to know their families, backgrounds and personal goals allows you as a manager to develop a stronger relationship with them. Evidence shows that employees who feel valued tend to be much more engaged in their work and performance.
  • Provide them with tools for success: A project manager not only needs to supervise work, but should also be sure that the team understands what they are doing. When one of the team members isn’t sure what to do or how to manage a situation, productivity can stall as they try to figure things out. While additional coaching or training is needed, providing employees with a solid foundation for future activities is a good step to increase their level of engagement.
  • Tell them how the company is doing: For the team to have a real interest in the company, they should be aware of its successes, concerns, and difficulties. Empowering the team to know what works and what doesn’t ensures they have the opportunity to develop new ideas for weaker areas and continue to be proactive in the areas they are working in.
  • Acknowledge the team and its work: A manager who acknowledges a well-done job is an essential motivator in developing employee engagement best practices. To be a successful project manager, it’s worth understanding what form of acknowledgement works best for each team. Either words of encouragement or a specific employee appreciation activity or, if the company can, a financial bonus. Appreciation helps promote positive attitudes and healthy behaviors in the workplace, a key factor in raising employee engagement levels.
  • Promote teamwork between employees: There is a reason why people love playing team sports. When a group of people unite to win, it leads to a contagious feeling that embraces everyone around them. The same can be applied in the work environment, where developing a strong team of employees gives them a sense of greater purpose. Bringing them together to work toward a single goal can be incredibly satisfying and allows them to achieve a sense of cooperation, consideration, and trust not only in each other, but in the company itself.
  • Creating a fear-free work environment: Many companies have a tendency to work in a performance-based environment that can lead to a fear of being scolded if a decision fails. Running a business where employees are punished for mistakes or a poor choice is a strategy that will inevitably lead to team members not taking risks. So choosing a gentler, more positive approach can be much more effective in achieving results, without diminishing the level of team engagement.
  • Motivate and inspire: Building a positive work environment starts with happy employees, but it doesn’t end there. The tone is set by the management staff and a good way to achieve a positive tone is to be more than just a boss, but to be a true mentor. Whether it’s a pat on the back and words of encouragement urging you to keep trying or pointers on certain procedures, the manager should not be viewed with fear, but be seen as a guiding light.

Engaging the Project Team: Bottom Line

It is the manager’s responsibility to help employees become a cohesive and successful team.

Making your employees feel like they are part of a team and that their presence in the workplace is necessary is a key factor in maintaining high levels of engagement.

Engaged employees means increased productivity, higher profits and margins, and skyrocketing customer satisfaction scores can give your organization a fabulous reputation.

When the company can reflect the best efforts and reliability of its employees, it culminates in a successful business model where everyone is passionate, engaged and committed.

Simply put, project team involvement is a necessary part that will create a fear-free workplace full of ideas and a sense of camaraderie.

Work together with your team effectively.

Project manager and conflict resolution

Conflicts and how they are managed are elements that every Project Manager has to face, eventually.

Each project necessarily involves different individuals working together to complete a complex task.

Let’s see, then, how we can best deal with them.

The source of conflict in team management working on a project can be related to several factors: values, attitudes, needs, expectations, perceptions, resources and personality.

Proper conflict management skills can help project managers and other members of the organization to manage and resolve conflicts effectively.

Solving conflicts therefore means making a company more productive as a whole.

What is a conflict?

The term conflict has several definitions.

The most common definition is related to the sociological aspect, which defines conflict as “a particular type of social interaction in which one or more individuals involved experience an incompatibility in purpose or behavior“.

Essentially a competitive scenario in which the parties are aware of the incompatibility of potential future positions and in which each party wishes to occupy a position misaligned with the wishes of the other.

The conflict situation must include elements of interdependency, emotions, perceptions and behaviors.

However, conflict can actually be constructive and healthy for an organization and can help empower people and improve the organization.
The conflict can lead to deeper problems, forcing people to deal with possible flaws in a solution and choose a better one.

The understanding of real interests, goals and needs is improved and continuous communication about these issues is prompted.

Constructive conflict happens when people change and grow personally, cohesion is formed between team members and a solution to the problem is found.

However, if the conflict is not addressed properly, it can be detrimental to an organization by threatening unity, business partnerships, team relationships and interpersonal connections.

Deconstructive conflict occurs when a decision has not been found and the problem remains, energy is taken away from more important activities or issues, team or individual morale is destroyed, and groups of people are polarized.

Conflict dynamics

When a conflict breaks out, the first reaction is to try to solve it, diving into the situation that has been created.

Instead in this specific moment it is strategic to stop and listen.

It is important that the project manager understands the dynamics of the conflict before being able to fix it.

The motivations that result in conflict include the perception of the objective, the perception of the other, the vision of the actions of the other, the definition of the problem, communication and the internal group dynamics.

Goal perception becomes a problem when success gets overly competitive.

The other’s perception can create conflict when the attitude becomes “us against them”. In this case, similarities and differences are emphasized causing divisions within a group.

The perception of other people’s actions can be an issue when the situation is competitive rather than cooperative. Any behavior can be suspicious in a competitive environment.

The problem definition can lead to a conflict when the scale of the problem is increased or wrongly interpreted.

The communication in a competitive environment can cause mistrust and information may be hidden or missing.

Internal group dynamics can be negative when the team structure is centralized and rigid rather than flexible and open. Compliance is emphasized and activities dominate the individual needs of team members.

Conflict resolution approaches

conflict resolution

Here are five ways to solve conflicts and the specific situations in which they are best used.

1. Confrontation

This includes conflicting parties meeting face-to-face and working together to reach an agreement that meets the interests of both sides. This means having an open and direct communication which should clear the way for problem solving. The comparison should be used when:

  • Both parties must win
  • Costs must be reduced.
  • A common power base needs to be created.
  • Le competenze sono complementari.
  • Time is sufficient.
  • There is trust.
  • Education is the ultimate goal.

2. Compromise

This is also referred to as a “give and take” style. The parties in conflict negotiate to achieve a mutually acceptable solution. Both parties sacrifice something to reach an agreement and leave with some degree of satisfaction. Compromise should be used when:

 

  • Both sides must win.
  • You are in a standoff situation.
  • Time is not sufficient.
  • You want to maintain the relationship between the parties involved.
  • You will not get anything if you do not compromise.
  • Stakes are modest.

3. Smoothing

This is also described as obliging or cooperative style. With this approach, areas of agreement are emphasized and areas of disagreement are minimized. Conflicts are not always resolved using this approach, but one party may sacrifice its own concerns or goals to satisfy the other party’s concerns or goals. Smoothing should be used when:

  • The goal to be achieved is global.
  • You want to make an obligation for a compromise at a later date.
  • Stakes are low.
  • Responsibility is limited.
  • Any solution is suitable.
  • You want to be harmonious and create willingness.
  • You want to gain time.

4. Forcing

This is also known as competition, control or domain style. Forcing happens when one party does everything in its power to achieve dominance while ignoring the needs and concerns of the other party. This results in a win-lose situation where one party wins at the expense of the other party. Forcing should be used when:

  • There is a “do or die” situation.
  • Stakes are high.
  • Important principles are at stake.
  • Relationship between the parties is not important.
  • A prompt decision must be made.

5. Annulment

This is also referred to as a retreat style. This approach is regarded as postponing a problem for later or retiring altogether from the situation. It is considered a temporary solution because the problem, and the conflict as a result, will continue to recur over and over again. Annulment should be used when:

  • A win cannot be achieved.
  • Stakes are low.
  • Stakes are high, but you are not prepared.
  • You want to gain time.
  • You want to preserve neutrality or reputation.
  • It is believed that the problem will disappear.

Conclusion

Conflicts in project management are not necessarily unfavorable and negative if handled appropriately.

The benefits are different and relevant, such as increasing personal growth and morale, improving communication and producing better project results.

However, conflict can also represent the decline of a project or, in more serious situations, of an entire organization if it is not managed effectively.

The challenge for project managers is therefore to try to maintain the right balance and intensity of the conflict in project management.

Employing project management principles, understanding conflict dynamics and learning conflict resolution approaches, project managers are able to create an environment where creativity and innovation are encouraged and project objectives are successfully achieved.

We have the tools, we have the culture.

How to lead an international project team

Managing and working with international teams from all over the world is becoming the new standard.

Companies are experiencing a particular moment: they are growing, on the one hand, and changing their organizational structure on the other.

Although international growth and team diversity can pose unique challenges, at the same time, working in international teams can also offer considerable benefits.

When you engage with people from around the world and from different backgrounds, you find yourself facing different ideas and perspectives.  This can not only benefit relationships in the workplace, but can also lead to increased productivity and business success.

But when team members are spread around the world, ensuring that everyone works for the same goals can be one of the greatest challenges that a project manager can face.

Here are some tips to make this process easier.

5 tips for leading an international project team in the best possible manner

1. Identify international teams’ cultural challenges

National culture plays an important role in the way people act and it is hardly changeable.

Having an open mind about the challenges of managing an international project is thus essential.

Working with an international team requires an acknowledgement of local feedback to make global projects successful.

One tip, if applicable, is to spend time with team members directly abroad to understand the pace, processes and work atmosphere.

If this is not possible, talking to those directly engaged, asking questions and understanding the dynamics can also be beneficial.

Here are some examples of cultural differences that can emerge in an international team:

  • Leadership: an egalitarian and collaborative style will run better with Northern European countries than with Russians, who will generally distrust a leader who is too friendly with their subordinates.
  • Timeliness: In some countries, time is a flexible concept. In Spain, getting to a meeting 5-10 minutes late is not perceived as badly as in Germany, for example.

However, when a schedule is absolute, it is essential to make sure that everyone really understands its importance.

  • Admitting a mistake: in some cultures it is easier (because it is more acceptable to society) to raise a hand and say “I made a mistake”. In others not. This can make handling problems more complicated.

Knowing different cultures can help you manage the differences that will inevitably happen.

lead international team

2. Dealing with time zone practical aspects

Project managers who lead international projects have to face a series of practical challenges including time zones.

How can you hold meetings in real time with all team members? Who will be the one who will have to wake up in the middle of the night to attend the meeting?

Of course it will be difficult to find volunteers, so solutions could be to create incentives or move the meeting times so that the burden does not always affect the same people.

3. Giving the right consideration to communication

The main problems for international projects are usually understanding and communicating and this is not something that can be solved just by using a nice software.

Regularly scheduled meetings can be a great opportunity for team members to exchange information and knowledge, to learn from each other’s experiences and to keep up to date with developments and updates of the organization and the team.

In particular, meeting at critical moments in the project and confronting each other is a safe way to move forward with the minimum amount of communication problems.

Successful communication is also based on the transversal skills that a project manager brings to the table, including:

  • Listening skills
  • Sensitivity to perceive unexpressed concerns
  • The ability to answer openly so that the other person can fully understand.

4. Use the right collaboration tools

Technology can definitely play a role in putting communication skills into practice; people need to be able to listen and talk to each other effectively and have access to data to ensure the success of a project.

A project management platform such as TWProject.

is definitely a key enabler. However, you must also be aware that the human element remains, always and in any case, fundamental.

5. Having clear goals and celebrating results

Regardless of where the team members are located, generally speaking, the project manager must ensure that the vision and goals to be achieved are clearly broken down.

For example, creating clear benchmarks and metrics, virtually updating these goals so that everyone can see the progress the team is making can help everyone stay in line with the work process.

Also, creating celebrations of success, whether locally or globally, to share the team’s successes together certainly helps to keep a group together.

 

Ultimately, a project manager should always be prepared for change. If they are not already working with an international team, this is increasingly likely to happen.

The project manager should therefore be able to address this situation and have their own strategy prepared.

As projects increase in complexity over time, project teams become more large, both in terms of national and ethnic diversity.

It is therefore up to the successful project manager to integrate all team members, regardless of their backgrounds, into a cohesive unit that will ultimately contribute to the overall success of the project.

Lastly, what needs to be stressed is that the need for planning cultural management and communication is becoming increasingly important in today’s globalized marketplace.

Work together with your team effectively.

Project Manager: how the role is transforming

The role of the Project Manager, according to the developments of Project Management, is in continuous evolution, driven by new technologies, new business models and a continuously developing workforce.

The tasks and responsibilities of the project manager are evolving. Today’s project managers do much more than supervise certain lists of activities that are part of a project.

Their role today has progressed significantly. Nowadays, a project manager works with more people, teams and suppliers and is faced with new challenges every day that the project manager of 10 years ago would never have believed possible.

So here are the five trends that are helping to change the role of the project manager, turning it into… a “modern” one.

A younger workforce

Technology is not the only field in which there is a growing shortage of talent.

A research conducted by the Project Management Institute, stated that employers will have to fill nearly 2.2 million project management positions on an annual basis until 2027.

Otherwise, the talent gap could result in a potential loss of approximately $207.9 billion.

What does that mean? That older project managers are retiring, making way for a new generation of professionals.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of jobs requiring project-oriented skills, which means more jobs in more fields and in different roles.
pm's role

Artificial intelligence will play an increasingly major role

The role of the Project Manager will be influenced by artificial intelligence.

Sure, we are still decades away from an era in which artificial intelligence will outperform human intelligence. Many people wonder that one day something similar will happen, but it is also a fact that artificial intelligence will play an increasingly larger role in everyday life and, consequently, in project management.

The purpose of artificial intelligence will not be to replace human workers, but to increase their skills and capabilities.

Artificial intelligence will make the work of the project manager leaner than ever before.

Many project managers know from experience that prioritizing activities and allocating resources is one of the most nightmarish parts of the job. In addition, researching and analyzing data is always a “headache”.

So wouldn’t it be nice if someone (or “something”) could take care of all this in a couple of minutes?

This is what artificial intelligence promises to do – indeed, what it is already beginning to do – for the profession.

Unstructured data generated by the daily activities of project team members can be entered in an analysis tool that will automatically re-elaborate them according to chosen criteria, thus increasing the visibility of the project and providing more in-depth information on performance and workflows.

This will allow a project manager to better target the efforts of team members, identifying weaknesses and efficiency opportunities.

Perhaps most importantly, activities such as daily reporting, progress monitoring and budgeting can be simplified through automation, freeing up the project manager’s time for other tasks that require completely “human” intervention.

As projects become increasingly complex, the efficiency of artificial intelligence will not only be a convenience, but will become a necessity.

“Journeys”, not projects

Many years ago, projects had a clearly set deadline. Once the desired output was achieved, the project was completed.

Of course, projects could be redesigned from time to time to release a new version, but the path from start to finish was more or less fixed.

Now it is no longer like that.

Today’s projects, rather than being static and unchangeable, are flexible and dynamic, with the potential to change shape and scope quickly.

They are processes that require a new and more flexible approach, combining traditional “cascading” methodology with “agile” development.

Variation and diversification of the PM’s skills

As the role of the project manager expands, so does the required skills.

Organizations are increasingly focusing on people and their skills.

Now more than ever, it is necessary to understand people just as it is necessary to understand projects.

This in itself is not entirely new, since project managers have always been leaders, coaches and mitigators in one way or another, but what has changed is the focus on emotional intelligence.

Knowing what the members of the project team can do is no longer enough, a project manager must also understand how they feel.

They need to be able to relate to people from different cultural and religious backgrounds, to find common ground between people even when, at first glance, there seems to be no common ground.

In addition, the growing range of different tools and platforms available to project managers requires constant training and updating their skills.

The Internet of Things

This is arguably the most disruptive trend of all: the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly becoming part of our lives, and so is the world of business and project management.

Combined with artificial intelligence, IoT is driving a hyper-connected work environment where project managers can equip themselves with faster reporting tools, deeper insights, better process management and more extensive project data collections than they ever imagined possible.

At the same time, this scenario isn’t free of challenges.

The security risks of the aforementioned hyper-connectivity are well documented. In addition, project managers will have to navigate through a minefield of potential legal, ethical and privacy issues.

  • How much monitoring is acceptable for a team member?
  • What are the controls for preventing a system error resulting from a single error?
  • What controls are in place to protect sensitive data and ensure that the organization does not violate the law?

These are not questions that project managers might traditionally ask themselves, but the IoT will definitely ask for an answer.

 

Ultimately, the role of the project manager is changing.

The days of techniques, scope, planning, budgeting, resource allocation and delivery of results on time are over and now it is necessary to include cross-skills such as conflict resolution, leadership and even trends towards additional management skills such as business modeling and strategic analysis.

These new skills are included in the new guidelines of the Project Management Institute (PMI) for the certifications needed to maintain the position: a new triad of skills called the “Talent Triangle”.

In short, the project manager needs strategic and business management skills to remain competitive.

Here are six tips to get a competitive advantage as a project manager in this time of change:

  • Develop business sense
  • Understand markets
  • Know industry trends
  • Develop relationships with stakeholders
  • Be straightforward
  • Know your business model

That’s the nice thing about project management: it has become a flexible and always adaptable discipline.

 

Keep up with the times.

Determine the strengths and weaknesses of a team

Strengths and weaknesses play an important role in determining who we are, both for employees and project managers.

Strengths and weaknesses are vital because they help to decide which career paths to follow, which roles would be better to play and how to behave in those roles.

From a manager’s point of view, simply motivating a team in the classic way sometimes it’s not enough. The real secret to unleashing the potential of each team member and each team is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the members of your team.

This information empowers leaders to make smarter job decisions, provide more effective performance reviews and ensure that every employee can grow and succeed.

However, strengths and weaknesses are often relative and employees alone do not know how to spot them and, above all, how to exploit them. It will be the Project Manager to have to fill this gap by performing one of the most important and delicate tasks assigned to him:

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find these strengths and weaknesses and use this knowledge to promote the productivity and commitment of each individual team member.
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How can you do that? Certainly it takes a lot of sensitivity and experience, but below we will give you some suggestions with which you can perform this task brilliantly:

How to find out the strengths and weaknesses of a Team: Be up-front and honest

Employees are often asked what their strengths and weaknesses are during interviews and performance reviews, but these answers are rarely reliable.

Attributes such as “results-oriented” can be vague and employees can only boast artificial strengths to increase the chances of a promotion or positive feedback.

Once the manager shows his or her most human side to employees, they are more likely to be honest about their strengths and where they are struggling.

An open, direct and honest conversation about strengths and weaknesses is a great way to start.

And why should we wait for the performance review meeting to launch the dialogue window?

Managers can foster a supportive environment every day of the year by expressing their strengths and weaknesses themselves and then inviting employees to do so.

The goal is to developing employees who know what they are good at and what they need to work on.

Managers should recognize employees to be honest, even when they make mistakes.

When expressing gratitude for courageous action, they also encourage people to share, without fear of making mistakes.

How to find out the strengths and weaknesses of a Team: Listen and observe

When working with the same people on a daily basis, it can be difficult to view them objectively.

Rather than a strength or weakness, you only see how a person behaves normally.

So you have to change the perspective: for example, if someone in the team is known to be always in a good mood and friendly, it could also be a natural diplomat.

Furthermore, weaknesses may not be blatantly obvious, for example, an employee who seems calm may actually be apathetic, disengaged and unassertive.

As a manager, you can only understand the distinction if you see people acting differently in a different environment.

Managers should therefore make an extra effort to consider each employee as objectively as possible and in a broader context.

Brief notes describing how employees behave on a daily basis can be a good way to look for key patterns and characteristics.

strenghts of the tema

How to find out the strengths and weaknesses of a Team: Internal competition

Competition is an effective way to make the best (or the worst) of employees emerge; it is a powerful motivator and can raise strengths and weaknesses in a qualitative and quantitative way.

Hosting competitions within teams and/or between organizations can be a fun and effective way to see who is a natural leader and who excels in certain areas. You may also want to read this Talent Management article in this regard.

This can be as beneficial in general as specifically: if you are trying to figure out who is the best person to lead a new project, why not run a contest to see who possesses the required skills?

In addition, a friendly competition promotes teamwork, which in turn will help increase team productivity in the long term.

It will certainly not solve the main problems in the workplace, such as lack of intrinsic motivation, employees poorly or erroneously assigned to certain roles or confusion about the overall business environment.

However, using internal competition to get people to focus on the task at hand and reveal their real skills can answer many questions.

How to find out the strengths and weaknesses of a Team: Communication and company intranet

Company social intranets contain an enormous amount of valuable information about employees’ strengths and weaknesses if you know how and what to look for.

Managers can watch and monitor user activity to learn more about them.

For example:

  • What kind of content do they publish and what does this reveal about their interests?
  • Do they often ask for help or seem confused about something? This could be a sign that they need further training or personal attention.
  • Are they more talkative in the intranet than in real life or vice versa?
  • What does the tone used say about their personality? Maybe they are better at writing, rather than verbal communication, or maybe they are shy when they are in front of a large group.

Social intranets can also provide insights about employees’ networks and relationships, as well as their attitudes to work. Corporate intranets can also give an insight into the company climate and organizational well-being.

 

Collecting these insights and information does not mean that the work is over.

Once the manager has identified the strengths and weaknesses of his or her employees, we will move on to the stage where these will need to be exploited to keep everyone productive, involved and working consistently as a whole.

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Project manager’s soft skills

The skills required from project managers are manifold and among them we also find transversal skills, also called soft skills.

Soft skills help a project manager to understand different ways of thinking and to be able to make a heterogeneous group work together towards a common goal.

Transversal skills of a project manager are key to managing projects and people and often make a difference when it comes to retaining key talent, growing business or successfully completing one project after another.

Historically, organizations choose managers primarily according to their technical skills and proven training or certification and the extent of experience are the most common bases for hiring.

However, soft skills elevate hard skills beyond the constraints of merely training a project manager, the disciplines learned and personal beliefs.

So here are the 6 soft skills that are essential for the success of a project manager.

Project Manager’s Soft Skills: Leadership

Leadership is outlined in the PMBoK as “the capability of doing things through others.” In other words, it means inspiring people to do the work.

This is usually done by conveying the vision of the project and the value that team members will create by successfully completing the work.

This vision will lead to a holistic approach and team members will thus be able to understand their importance as individuals to achieve the common goal of the project.

Project Manager’s Soft Skills: Motivation

When people know that their work is making a difference – for stakeholders or even for themselves – then they remain motivated.

Ogni persona ha varie esigenze e obiettivi personali e professionali e questi devono essere soddisfatti.

For some people it might be financial compensation, for some it is a feeling of accomplishment by doing challenging work, for some it might be hierarchical growth and for others it might be official recognition of their hard work.

Knowing what motivates each of the team members and helping them achieve these things is a key task for the project manager to keep the motivation and morale of the team high.

Project Manager’s Soft Skills: Communication

Communication must be a two-way road: an open and honest channel from top to bottom as well as from bottom to top.

This means that when the project manager communicates transparently decisions and information, team members need to feel comfortable sharing their concerns, problems or even constructive suggestions with the manager.

Active open communication builds mutual trust between team members and also between the team and the project manager.

The project manager should then establish efficient channels of communication with each stakeholder, keep cultural differences in perspective and communicate information on a regular basis.

Project Manager’s Soft Skills: Active Listening

This is a communication technique in which the listener provides constant feedback to the speaker.

This way both the speaker and the listener ensure that the message has been communicated as intended and without misunderstanding.

To engage in active listening, the listener should overcome the impulse of wanting to speak immediately and instead focus on real understanding of what is being said by channeling his or her energies to re-transmit the communicated information in his or her own words.

Project Manager’s Soft Skills: Negotiation

soft skills of pm

Negotiation makes for good conflict resolution.

The project manager should make sure that they listen to both parties, make decisions fairly and justly, and communicate openly with both parties if problems of any kind arise during the project.

During the negotiation it is clear that it may not always be possible to please both parties.

A win-win situation for both sides is one where each side is able to compromise in order to reach a resolution.

Listening to and re-articulating the problem may highlight the presence of an intrinsic solution that neither side had been able to consider beforehand.

The important thing is that the project manager does not side with anyone, at least not from the beginning, and that the solution is objective and not biased.

Project Manager’s Soft Skills: Conflict management

Conflicts are part of any system, particularly when several individuals, different from each other, are involved.

Conflict management could easily be one of the key skills that a project manager needs to have in order to manage projects successfully.

There can be billions of reasons for conflict to emerge in the project team, for example:

  • Competition to obtain a poor resource,
  • Possible communication gaps,
  • Unclear requirements,
  • Personnel policies
  • Business environment

And more.

If well managed, a conflictual situation can even result in bringing people together and making them more focused on achieving the project’s objectives.

This all depends on a project manager’s ability to resolve a conflict of any kind.

 

So, the project manager through these – and many other – soft skills can create solutions, execute an objective plan to achieve results, build a team and manage a crisis when it occurs.

Successful project management requires more than just mastery of technical skills related to processes, structures and discipline; it requires a special set of skills to direct all resources towards a common goal.

By understanding the role of transversal skills and mastering relevant technical skills, it is possible to achieve improved profitability, less absenteeism and improved stakeholder relations.

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Project Manager: the role and all you need to know

Project managers play a key role in every phase of the project life cycle, from planning to execution, from monitoring to control to completion.

The success or failure of the project and beyond may depend on them; the sustainability of a company may depend on their skills and competences.

Let’s try to provide insight about the role of the project manager and everything there is to know about this individual in this article.

First, let’s start with a central question…

…who is a project manager?

A project manager, as already stated before, plays a leading role in every phase of a project and is responsible for the scope, resources and, in short, the success or failure of the project itself.

With the help of their team, the Project Manager takes on multiple responsibilities across all five phases of a project’s life cycle.

These responsibilities are intertwined with the 10 areas of knowledge: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communication, risk acquisition and stakeholder management.

Project Manager Responsibilities

Let’s see in detail, breaking each phase down, what the responsibilities of a project manager are:

1. Start-up phase

• Preparation of a project document
• Stakeholder identification and management

This involves defining boundaries or scope of the project and set it down clearly and identify the project stakeholders by including them in the stakeholder register.

 

2. Planning phase

• Development of a project management plan
• Definition and management of the scope, creation of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and requirements collection
• Planning, definition and development of programs, activities, resource estimation and duration of activities
• Planning, cost estimation and budgeting
• Planning and identification of quality requirements
• Planning and identification of human resources demands
Communication system planning
• Planning and identification of potential risks, conducting qualitative and quantitative risk analysis and planning of risk mitigation strategies
Expectations planning and management of the parties involved

 

3. Execution phase

• Direction and management of all activities involved in the execution of a project
• Quality management
Project team selection, development and management
• Management of all communication aspects
• Management of all stakeholder expectations

 

4. Monitoring and control phase

• Supervision and control of the project work and management of all necessary changes
• Validation and control of the project scope
Time management
Project cost management and control
• Quality check of the results
• Control of all communications within the team and stakeholders
Project stakeholder engagement control

 

5. Closing phase

Completion of all project activities
• Completion of all contracts and relationships with suppliers or third parties
• Drafting of a final project document inclusive of best practices

 

As you may have realized, to be a professional project manager is not enough just to possess the technical know-how.

This role also requires a series of non-technical skills and it is these soft skills that often determine whether a project manager – and consequently their projects – will be successful or not.

Project managers must possess at least these seven non-technical skills:

  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Priority assignment
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability

In conjunction with the necessary technical skills, these skills will make a project manager even more efficient, providing a strong background that will allow them to adapt to the ever-changing dynamics of a project.

pm responsibilities

Additional responsibilities of a project manager that few people mention

Aside from the responsibilities that we have already discussed and which are automatically related to the management of a project, there are others that are rarely mentioned but which nevertheless have a significant weight in the role of a project manager.

Here are two important ones:

Additional responsibilities of a project manager: Ethical Conduct

A project manager will inevitably be working with different types of individuals and organizations and will experience situations that can be addressed using one behavior or another.

It is the project manager themselves that sets the basic rules of behavior as a leader within their project.

Therefore, every day, a good project manager should do everything possible to lead the project in a professional and ethical way by referring to the PMI Code of Ethics

Additional responsibilities of a project manager: Motivating and training people

It’s easy to set project goals and deadlines that are too tight and often one might forget that people are involved and not robots.

It is surely important to provide challenges and responsibilities to the various team members as well, whilst paying attention to what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Each project manager is responsible for the motivation and the way their team works, even when working on a short-term project.

People need to be constantly motivated to keep their interest in the organization and the success of a project and, to increase productivity, a project manager will also need to assess any customized training needs.

The goal at the end of the project, besides its success, should be to have people eager to work again.

 

Bottom line, a project manager must remember that there are responsibilities inherent in their role, although the project management world is so vast that they cannot be engraved in stone.

If the project requires something special, the project manager must be prepared to take responsibility for it – or know how to delegate it.

However, it is very important to remember that it is the project manager who commands the vessel and that the team of “sailors”, no matter how experienced they may be, will always rely on them to determine the direction towards which they should sail.

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Team Building activities for team improvement

Team Building activities can be an amazing asset for a Project Manager who needs to manage a team.

It can be hard to believe that you can have fun at work or with colleagues, but if you had the chance to work with forward-thinking companies you know that this is not only possible, instead it should be promoted.

Reasons are clear. Often the atmosphere in the office is boring, heavy and uninspiring. This can lead to problems that affect productivity.

For many years now, we have been trying to transform working environments into enjoyable places where positivity and relationships between colleagues are promoted. Companies know that a motivated team can increase productivity by up to 30% and more. On the other hand, we have already talked about this in this article on the company environment.

So planning some team building activities will not only relieve boredom, develop communication and create good memories, but will also bring interesting new ideas.

In addition, newcomers can also benefit from short team building activities that will allow them to integrate more quickly into the group and get to know their colleagues more easily.

What is the purpose of team building?

The idea at the heart of team building is to empower people to contribute to common goals and work in the same direction.

The very success of an organization depends on the ability of its employees to work in teams, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, show interest in each other and provide quality work together.

Here are some advantages that an organisation can see when it creates, according to the Agile methodology, a team with strong goals:

  • The level of productivity improves
  • Increased morale and motivation among team members
  • Improved collaboration in the workplace
  • Improved creativity among individuals
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Improved professional satisfaction among employees
  • Improved work quality

And much more.

Do team building activities really work?

Statistically, there is a lot of evidence that team building activities actually impact positively productivity and the workplace in general.

In particular, they work well for teams who are looking for new ways to improve their work and interaction with others.

The benefits of team building games and activities not only affect the way teams work, but also reflect the improvement of everyone’s overall personality.

The interesting fact here is that there are team building activities for every need and for every kind of team.

This means that if an activity is not considered suitable or not liked, there are dozens of other ideas that can be explored.

A major reason why such simple games and activities make a big change in a work environment is that they can help people get out of their comfort zones.

They provide team members with a means and platform to break the ice in an intimidating way and bring their teamwork to a whole new level.

What are the best team building activities?

team building activities

For starters, before choosing the best team building activity, it is important to identify the team’s needs.

The first and most important step in planning team building activities is to identify the team’s strengths and weaknesses.

You can start by asking the following questions to determine the root of any problems:

  • Are there conflicts between particular individuals who are creating internal divisions?
  • Should team members get to know each other better?
  • Do some members focus on their own success and, as a result, damage the group?
  • Is poor communication impacting on the team’s progress and productivity?
  • Should people learn to work together rather than individually?
  • Do some members influence the group’s ability to progress through resistance to change?
  • Does the group need a moral boost?

Once these questions have been answered, you can move on to choose one or more targeted activities to help the team deal with specific problems.

Let’s see some examples of team building activities:

Team Building Activities: Two Truths and a Lie

Problem: communication and icebreaker

Required time: 15-30 minutes

First, each team member should secretly write two facts about themselves and a lie on a small piece of paper – of course, the answers should not be revealed to anyone.

Once each person has completed this step, give 10-15 minutes for an active conversation, just like an informal meeting, where everyone discusses the three questions.

The idea is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while on the other hand, you try to guess other people’s truths / lies by asking them questions.

After the conversation is over, grouped in a circle, each participant repeats their three statements and the group decides what they think the lie is. This game helps to promote better communication in the office and allows colleagues to get to know each other better.

Team Building Activities: The “giant” puzzle

Problem: Problem Solving

Required time: 30 minutes

This problem solving activity involves the leader choosing a well-known image or comic book full of details.

The image should be split into as many equal squares as there are participants in the activity. Each participant then receives one of the “puzzle pieces” and must create an exact copy of their piece five times larger than its original size.

The problem is not knowing why or how one’s work might affect the overall picture. When all participants have completed their magnifications, they will be asked to put the pieces together into a giant copy of the original image on a table.

This problem solving activity will teach participants how to work in a group and will prove “departmental” work, i.e. the understanding that each person, while working alone, ultimately contributes to the overall result of the group.

Create your own team building activity

Required time: 1hour

The group leader asks the participants for help: it would be interesting to carry out a team building activity, but they don’t know any new ones and want support from the group members to find something original and never tried before.

The goal or problem, therefore, is to get each participant – or group of participants – to present a new team building activity appropriate for them. As well as being a problem solving activity in itself, this game also helps to promote creative thinking, communication, trust and time management.

 

Ultimately: team building activities are a fun and educational way to improve communication at team level, but it is important to identify the right activity to address the specific problem to be solved.

Only in this way will team building activities turn into a real success to boost morale and productivity.

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Managing roles and responsibilities of a project

Assigning roles and managing project responsibilities is certainly one of the most sensitive things a Project Manager has to deal with. You have to deal with sensitivities and expectations of team members, but at the same time you can’t lose focus on the project objective or business purpose.

Successful projects are usually the product of careful planning, talent and collaboration between the project manager, team members and other project stakeholders.

Projects cannot progress without every one of these key elements, but it is not always easy to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities that everyone should cover.

These roles may also be assigned to one or more individuals or, conversely, individuals may play more than one role depending on the structure and type of organization, as well as the scope of the project and its strategic positioning.

So, let’s try to define what the critical roles are to ensure the success of a project. Let’s see and explore at least 7 of them.

1. Project manager

We can’t but start by talking about the project manager (to whom we will soon dedicate an entire article), the main responsible for the completion of the project as initially agreed.

Depending on the type of project organization, typically a project manager leads the overall planning, execution, monitoring, control, and closure of the project.

This includes managing, reviewing, and prioritizing day-to-day project activities with the goal of remaining on schedule and within the project budget.

Their responsibilities also include executive status and reporting, risk analysis management, conflict mediation, communication management and stakeholder management.

The project manager usually uses project management software to plan activities and provide them a framework.

The main goal of these project management tools is to help the project manager prepare, execute, and control all aspects of a project or group of projects with optimal time management.

2. Project team

The project team consists of full-time or part-time employees who are assigned to work on different project activities and outcomes.

Having an interdisciplinary team with the right mix of skills and competences is key to the successful execution of any project.

Project teams, often identified and “put together” by project managers, may include internal staff from different departments and even different geographical areas.

Sometimes, project teams may also include suppliers, contractors, or external consultants, who have been explicitly grouped together for the project.

Their role is to successfully perform the project tasks and activities that have been assigned to them, keeping the project manager informed about the progress of the project, as well as any blockages and risks that may arise during project execution.

Project team members typically use project management software to see the tasks assigned to them, understand their work priorities, report progress and time spent on different tasks, and collaborate with other team members and the project manager.

3. Steering Committee

The steering committee is constituted by representatives of the management and other high-level stakeholders.

These individuals or groups with a direct interest in the outcome of the project supervise the whole life cycle of the project, providing guidance on the overall strategic direction.

They provide “leadership” support for the project, address issues raised by the project manager and decide on requests for changes to key elements of the project, such as final results, planning and budget.

4. Customer of the project

Clients are the individuals, organization or department for whom the project was started.

Whether it is an internal company project or an external project, each project has a customer who has a specific need that will have to be met by the successful completion of the project.

During a project, the role of the client is crucial to overall success.

They play an active role in approving project plans, requesting changes, increasing problems and risks, approving milestones, issuing payments and, most importantly, accepting (or declining) the final results of the project.

5. Project Management Office (PMO)

The Project Management Office, or PMO for short, is a group of individuals who help build and maintain a set of standards and best practices for internal project management and oversee their application in every project.

In other words, a Project Management Office is an organizational structure that standardizes project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools and techniques.

As more and more projects gain strategic importance, PMOs help to manage and execute them in a more predictable and controlled way, ensuring standardization of project management practices to achieve scale economies and thus improve overall project success rates.

project responsibilities

6. Resource Manager

Although limited in number, many organizations have this role as a dedicated Resource Manager, whose primary responsibility is to manage groups of resources available and assignable to projects.

The Resource Manager works closely with the project manager to coordinate resource capabilities and workload and is responsible for assigning the right people to the right projects at the right time.

The Resource Manager plays an essential role in capacity planning to ensure that resources satisfy project requirements.

He is also primarily responsible for managing skills management, continuously assessing the training needs and career development of employees working on projects.

7. Project sponsor

The project sponsor is the project’s pilot and internal champion.

Generally, they are top management members, those with an interest in the outcome of the project.

The project sponsors work hand-in-hand with the project manager and validate the project objectives by participating in the project planning.

Moreover, they often help resolve conflicts and remove obstacles that occur during the project and sign the necessary approvals to move each phase forward.

Tasks of the project sponsor:

  • Make key business decisions for the project
  • Approve project budget
  • Ensure resource availability
  • Report the objectives of the project throughout the organization

Bottom line, in order for a project to be successful, a whole team effort is required.

The roles and responsibilities assigned to team members and various stakeholders can be small or massive, but in the end every role and responsibility is important because the project can only be successful through efficient teamwork.

We have the tools, we have the culture.

Business climate and organizational well-being

Business climate, organizational and individual well-being and employee commitment are related to important organizational results, such as productivity, health and employee commitment.

These elements are complementary and mutually influential.

Work plays a key role in the health and well-being of employees and it is important to know the negative impact on organizational well-being and, consequently, on employees.

Instability and insecurity in today’s work environment demand the promotion of sound organizations and activities as part of a primary prevention approach.

In healthy organizations, culture, business climate and good practices create an environment that promotes employee health and safety and organizational effectiveness.

A healthy organization promotes healthy and successful business, thus emphasizing the strong link between organizational profitability and employee well-being.

As organizations grow, both in terms of number of employees and in quality and complexity of service, the human component has become a primary competitive advantage in the market.

Therefore, many organizations are competing heavily for talented, educated, creative and dedicated employees (this article on talent management may come in handy for you).

This is how the business climate and organizational well-being become a priority in the market.

Why is organizational well-being important?

Let’s get this straight: an active adult spends at least a third of his day at his workplace.

Therefore, a large part of an individual’s satisfaction depends directly on their working conditions and the climate in which they work.

Naturally, the same theory applies in the opposite direction: the more unhappy and frustrated one is at work, the more the quality of life decreases by a considerable amount.

Studies also show that individual well-being is able to produce long-term beneficial effects on the organization due to the increased commitment of employees in the workplace. We have already talked about how to make the work environment more pleasant to improve team efficiency.

Those individuals who work in a supportive business climate tend to see their workplace as positive, productive and engaging.

Furthermore, managers will benefit from investments in well-being in terms of an open organizational culture that challenges and engages employees and will certainly keep them loyal to their company.

Here are the 5 elements of organizational well-being that transcend countries, cultures and sectors.

Each of these elements can be considered universal and can be applied to any organization.

Professional well-being: how to spend your time and how much you enjoy your work

To make sure that most employees enjoy their work, it is important that they remain aware and informed of the impact their work has on the whole mechanism: from the company to the customer to the rest of the team.

It is not unusual to find out how some employees may desire different tasks or positions, so it is the project manager’s job to keep an open discussion and hear whatever messages they may have.

Afterwards, if the proposal is successful, they can be moved to different roles or even departments within the organization, ensuring that talent is retained within the organization.

Social well-being: strong and healthy relationships in employees’ lives

organizational well-being

Although it may seem that this chapter focuses solely on the personal lives of employees, a large part of the satisfaction that comes from healthy relationships also comes from positive relationships with co-workers.

Every positive interaction with others is beneficial to the quality of the workplace and a chance to reduce conflicts at the company level.

Here the options are plenty and varied: informal hang outs, themed evenings in the office, professional team building programs, lunch breaks, etc.

The relationship with your immediate supervisor or project manager is also of fundamental importance for employee loyalty and satisfaction.

A relationship is not a one-way process, but depends on the “work” that both parties are willing to perform.

The employee may therefore be inclined to have a good relationship with their manager, but the supervisor must do the same.

Financial well-being: managing the economic profile of employees effectively

The starting point for this discussion is a paycheck that the employee considers to be fair and satisfactory in return for their work.

An increasing number of organizations are tackling this and, indeed, have started to offer side benefits in order to create consent and certainty among their employees, such as medical and life insurance, private provision, etc.

Training and awareness of issues such as personal financial management, investments, credits and personal savings could be of great help to employees, especially younger or newly hired employees.

Physical well being: good health and the energy needed to tackle everyday activities

As previously noted, there are organizations that care about employees’ health and offer them healthcare and medical insurance.

Sometimes they even offer gym subscriptions or yoga classes.

Likewise, just as it is important that a company takes care of the physical well-being of its employees, it is equally important that it takes care of the psychological well-being.

There are countless cases of burnout, depression, extreme frustration in the workplace that remain unnoticed.

The project manager and the closest colleagues have the opportunity to notice more easily when a member of the group is struggling and therefore immediately offer assistance and support.

Community well-being – a sense of commitment to the environment

A standard custom for organizations is to participate in social awareness campaigns: charity, support to NGOs, ecological activities, volunteering opportunities for employees, etc.

Whatever action is taken towards the community increases employees’ pride and sense of belonging, giving them the opportunity to be emotionally involved in the organization’s businesses.

 

Ultimately, the vast majority of studies show that a workplace where well-being is a priority is beneficial for all: for management and management, in terms of profit, productivity and employee loyalty, and for employees in terms of quality of life in general, loyalty and personal satisfaction at work.

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7 tips to increase working group cohesion

Having a strong, cohesive team, is the dream of every Project Manager.

Working in a team has become common in many organizations, but working with others may not always be easy, especially when team members disagree with each other.

This can lead to serious consequences, such as not finishing a project on time or breaking the budget.

Instead of angering in case of disagreements, groups should therefore learn to stick together and communicate in every situation.

If a group is cohesive, members are more motivated to work together towards a single goal, which will lead to success.

So, how can we increase the cohesion of the working group? Let’s see our 6 tips.

What is the working group cohesion?

Group cohesion results when a group of individuals feel connected and moved to achieve a common goal.

Team members respect, trust and support each other.

While cohesive teams are often made up of people with different skills, what unites them all together is a strong sense of identity drawn from the organization itself where they share values, goals and processes.

In a way, a cohesive group can be compared to a group of fans following the same sports team in search of a collective victory.

Team cohesion is important because this social and professional connectivity can create a culture that inspires employees to remain loyal to the company.

With team cohesion, the team will feel comfortable in their work environment and satisfied to be part of something greater than themselves and the individual.

How to increase working group cohesion

Team cohesion isn’t always immediate and is generally the result of targeted actions taken by managers to promote positive group dynamics.

Here are 7 tips that a project manager can adopt to increase team cohesion:

1. Set objectives and values

Before beginning to work on team dynamics, it is important to have the team’s goals and values in mind.

If the organization does not already have a clear mission or vision, now is a good time to create it.

These elements will provide team members with a clear and shared picture of what they are working on.

2. Provide training and development

In order to maintain a strong team cohesion, each member of the team should feel qualified enough to contribute to the overall objective in the first place.

Upon recruitment, employees should be provided with clear information on their responsibilities, as well as adequate training to ensure the efficient performance of their work tasks.

Over time, employees should improve their work and to do so, they will need opportunities to develop their skills.

This can be achieved through cross-functional collaboration within the organization itself or through company-sponsored conferences, programs or training courses.

This will help team members feel adequately prepared and move forward in their careers within the organization.

3. Support team building

Part of team cohesion is also based on the self-esteem and morale of individuals.

Embarking on team building activities can be a great way to build the empathy and respect needed within a successful team.

As employees interact with each other and get to know each other beyond their work roles, team cohesion will increase.

group cohesion

4. Promote and enhance communication

Team building only works with unambiguous and continuous communication and the project manager is in charge of providing the appropriate resources to accomplish this.

Everyone should be able to connect easily and comfortably with their colleagues, without blockages or interruptions.

Here’s how establishing different communication channels to help the team stay productive and involved becomes essential, such as choosing project management software that includes an instant messaging feature, so that even remote teams can remain easily connected and cohesive without distractions.

5. Build trust

When establishing channels for interaction, it is important that team members feel comfortable with open communication.

Whether they are discussing with the project manager or a colleague, no one should be reluctant to express their thoughts and ideas.

Team cohesion will not be achieved if secrets are being kept at the management level, even if unintentionally.

6. Celebrate success together

Celebrating success – big or small, as a group or individually – is key to maintaining the cohesion of a team.

When the entire organization works towards shared goals, it is appropriate to share the results as a group.

The project manager should remember to thank the team members for their hard work and, in the case of important successes, also give a recognition.

7. Have fun

Lastly, have fun.

This does not mean that work has to play second fiddle and that time has to be spent telling jokes, but seeing the workplace not just as a boring, dull office can boost employee morale.

At minimum you work 8 hours a day and if every now and then, for about ten minutes or so, team members find themselves telling funny stories about their lives, the project manager doesn’t have to worry, on the contrary.

Opening up and getting to know each other can only be seen as a positive element.

 

Group cohesion is therefore the best way to ensure that all talent is maximized while increasing employee commitment and satisfaction.

This lasting bond will keep the team productive and more effective than ever before and projects can only succeed.

Read more about Twproject bootcamps.

One try is worth a million words.