The composition of a team varies depending on several factors: the type of project it works on, the scope of activity, the size of the company and, of course, the working methodology applied.
In this article we will take a closer look at how to organize a PMP team according to the PMI PMBOK guidelines.
Team building: what is it?
Team building is the process of uniting individual professionals with different skills, backgrounds and experiences into a unified and integrated working team.
In this process, the goals and energies of individual employees are united in support of the team’s objectives.
The concept of ‘team building’ becomes more relevant as bureaucratic hierarchies diminish and horizontal working structures become more valuable. In most cases, team building refers to relationships between peer colleagues with a wide variety of skills.
A practice to be avoided and curbed is the ‘single-point-of-failure’, i.e. situations in which only one person within the team has certain competences. The consequences of this are clearly deducible: should the resource decide to change companies or be moved internally to another team, the team would be left without certain core competences.
Team Performance Domain in the PMBOK
The Team Performance Domain indicates activities and functions associated with people who are responsible for producing the derivables of a project that realise business outcomes.
This is the definition given by the PMBOK, according to which the proper execution of the performance domain has 3 different possible outcomes:
- Shared ownership;
- High-performance team;
- All team members demonstrate leadership and other interpersonal skills.
The Performance Domain establishes a culture and environment that allows a diverse set of professionals to come together and evolve into a high-performance project team. Specifically, the elements involved in the Team Performance Domain are:
- Project Manager: the person who is asked by the responsible organisation to lead the project team and who is responsible for whether or not the project objectives are achieved.
- Project Management Team: all members of the project team who are directly involved in project management activities.
- Project Team: a collection of individual professionals working together on the project to achieve its objectives.
The importance of leadership in PMP
The task of the project manager is not only to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and the ability to use tools and techniques, but it is essential that he or she also has leadership skills.
How do management activities differ from leadership activities? And why is it so important to integrate them? Let’s look at the differences:
- Management activities: focus on achieving project objectives, such as ensuring the effectiveness of processes, planning, coordination and control. Management activities may be centralised or distributed, but the main responsibilities must still be assigned to an individual.
- Leadership activities: focus on people, i.e. activities such as motivating, positively influencing, listening, facilitating and anything else that has to do with the project team. These activities must be performed by all members of the project team.
Also read: The 5 essential soft skills for a project managerServant Leadership: what is and how does it work?
Leadership and management activities may be handled in different ways depending on the needs of the team, where, for example, there may be no project manager whose role is taken over by each member in specific activities or the role may be taken ‘in turn’ by different members of the project team. In these situations, the development of Servant Leadership is particularly important.
Servant Leadership is a leadership style that focuses on understanding and responding to the needs and development of project team members in order to enable the highest possible performance of the project team. Servant Leaders emphasise the development of project team members to their maximum potential by focusing on the following main questions
- Are team members growing individually?
- Are team members becoming more aware, competent, less stressed and autonomous?
- Are team members on the right path to becoming Servant Leaders?
Servant Leaders work to enable team members to self-organise and gradually increase their level of autonomy and ability to make strategic decisions.
Development of a team: Fundamental elements in PMP
Regardless of the management style, the PMBOK identifies common aspects for the development of a successful project team:
- Vision and objectives: all team members must be clear about ‘where the project needs to go’. Vision and objectives must be communicated and made explicit throughout the project life cycle.
Roles and responsibilities: another element on which it is essential to have clarity for the success of the project, if members know who has to do what tasks, how the work is structured and who to contact in case of need, issues and problems of various kinds can certainly be stemmed very easily.
- Project Team Operations: facilitating the project team’s communication, problem solving and consensus building process can also include the development of a project team charter and a set of operational guidelines or standards.
- Guidelines: guidelines help the whole project team to move in the right direction.
- Growth: identifying areas where the project team is performing well and highlighting where it should improve its performance helps the team to grow, identify goals and achieve them while also supporting individual members in their personal and professional growth.
PMBOK 7 places great emphasis on collaboration and teamwork. Surely it has now become clear to all project management professionals that having ‘enlightened’ project managers is no longer the key to project success, it is no longer the individual who can determine the success of a job that lasts months (or even years!), but it is the collaboration and work of all the members of the team.
In this regard, we also interviewed Enrico Zanieri, an experienced Project Manager with over 20 years of career and LinkedIn Top Voice of the job section, HERE the complete interview.
Also read What is PMP?
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Excerpt: What does the PMBOK teach us about building an efficient and successful team? We have explored this in this article by analysing the most important aspects of the PMI guide to PMP certification.